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Development of Methods for Precise Control of Reproduction in Early-Weaned Sows Sows that have their litters weaned before 2 weeks of age may experience a variety of reproductive problems such as failing to return to heat, developing cystic follicles, displaying irregular heats, having poor conception rates and delivering small-sized litter sizes at the next farrowing.
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Reproduction & Growth
Management Strategies to Counteract the Negative Effect of Short Lactation Lengths (Early Weaning) on Subsequent Sow Reproductive Performance
Throughout history pork producers have progressively reduced average weaning age (lactation length) in the US. A few decades ago, 5 to 6 week lactation lengths were common and reduction of lactation length was primarily driven by the potential to increase sow productivity by decreasing the interval between farrowings. More recently, improved weaned pig nutrition and the potential pig health and growth benefits derived from the segregation of early weaned pigs (SEW) to a separate, 'high health' facility have contributed to driving this transition.
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Weaning to Rebreeding Interval
Upon weaning, there is an immediate reduction in feed intake and body weight as milk production ceases and mammary tissue dehydrates. The sow that is weaned from 17 to 28 days of lactation will normally cycle within five to 10 days of weaning, with longer intervals attributed to parity-one sows and sows that have a poorer body condition. Sows weaned early (i.e., < 14 days) may take an additional two to five days for estrus to occur.
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Interactions between postweaning feed intake and responsiveness to insulin in second litter and later parity sows
We examined the influence of insulin injections daily for 4 days between weaning and postweaning estrus on reproduction in 1) primiparous sows compared to multiparous sows and 2) primiparous sows given extra feed between weaning and postweaning estrus.
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Effect of Medicated Early Weaning on Serum-Borne and Locally-Produced Growth Factors and on Muscle Satellite Cell Responsiveness to Growth Factors
We have demonstrated that off-site early weaning (OSEW) enhances growth of pigs by as much as 35% between 2 and 7 weeks of age. Although OSEW significantly affects specific components of the immune system, it is not clear how or if these changes directly influence the biological process that regulate growth rate.
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Response of Sows to Segregated Early Weaning
The beneficial effects of SEW on improving health and performance of pigs is very well documented. However, producers should be aware of some of the possible negative side effects on sow productivity.
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Influence of Weaning Age on Pigs/Sow/Year
As the technology of rearing weaned pigs has improved, producers have been able to wean pigs at progressively younger ages. In earlier years, when weaning age was reduced from 56 days to 28 days, there was a large and significant increase in pigs per sow per year. As some producers have moved from 28 days weaning down to 21 days, and even down to 14 days (or younger) increase in sow productivity has not been as evident.
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Effect of Nursery Partition Design on Disease in Weaned Pigs
SEW programs were set up in an effort to control transmission of microorganisms from the sows to the piglets and therefore disease. However, SEW has not been completely successful in eliminating disease, probably because some pigs still get infected by the sows before weaning and then transmit this disease to other piglets in the nursery.
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Immune Enhancement and Medicated Early Weaning
Nonspecific immunity is usually lower in young pigs than adults. Consequently, enhancing the young pigs nonspecific immune capability may be beneficial for the health and performance of early weaned pigs.
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Immunological Basis of Medicated Early Weaning
Medicated early weaning (MEW) is a nonsurgical technique for producing pigs of a higher health status than the sows from which these pigs originate.
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Effect of Segregated Early Weaning on Performance of Single Source Pigs
Historically, the ability to commingle pigs of different health sources has affected finishing pig performance and production profitability. The purpose of this study was two fold. First, we wanted to determine if the growth advantage of SEW pigs that has been previously reported, was maintained through finishing. Second, we wished to study the effects of injectable oxytetracycline ( LA200 , Pfizer) on commingled of pigs with different health status.
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Reproduction & Growth
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