Journal article

Reduced growth performance in gilt progeny is not improved by segregation from sow progeny in the grower-finisher phase

JR Craig, RJE Hewitt, TL Muller, JJ Cottrell, FR Dunshea, JR Pluske

ANIMAL | CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS | Published : 2019

Abstract

Gilt progeny (GP) are born and weaned lighter than sow progeny (SP) and tend to have higher rates of mortality and morbidity. This study quantified the lifetime growth performance differences between GP and SP and, additionally, evaluated whether segregating GP and SP in the grower-finisher period compared to mixing them within common pens reduced this variation. It was hypothesised that GP would be lighter than SP at every stage and segregation would improve growth performance of both GP and SP. All piglets born to 61 gilts (parity 1) and 47 sows (parities 2 to 7; mean 3.5 ± 0.2) were allocated to four treatments at 10 weeks of age: (i) GP housed together (GG), (ii) GP mixed (M) with SP (GM..

View full abstract

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the technical research team and farm staff from SunPork Farms (Dalby, Australia) for their assistance in the data collection for this study. This research was funded by Australian Pork Limited (APL, Canberra, Australia), and J. Craig was supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award (PhD) from Murdoch University (Perth, Australia).