Sunday, October 13, 2019
    

Completed Research

Ontario Pork has a call for research proposals twice a year (fall and spring). These projects were approved for funding by the board on recommendation of the research committee. If you have questions or need further information about the research posted here please contact Kathy Zurbrigg at kathy.zurbrigg@ontariopork.on.ca


Completed Research

Minimum duration of teat use required in first lactation to ensure optimal milk yield in second lactation

Minimum duration of teat use required in first lactation to ensure optimal milk yield in second lactation

Project 13-001 - Researchers: Dr. Chantal Farmer (AAFC) and Dr. Bob Friendship, University of Guelph

Project funded in 2013 and completed in 2015.

With the combination of lean genetics and hyperprolific sows, producers may be faced with the challenge of first parity sows becoming too thin during lactation, which can reduce their future reproductive performance and longevity in the herd. To alleviate this problem, producers traditionally reduce the litter size for these sows by using cross-fostering, leaving some teats un-suckled. Previous research by Dr. Chantal Farmer demonstrated that non-use of a teat in first lactation will reduce its milk yield in second lactation.  The researcher found that leaving teats unused in first parity was found to reduce body weight of the piglet suckling that teat by 1.12 kg on day 56 of the next parity (Farmer et al., 2012). This lead the researcher to study a further question: how long does a teat need to be used in first lactation so that its milk yield is not impaired in the next lactation? 

To investigate this question, researchers at AAFC in Sherbrooke Quebec and the University of Guelph worked together to determine the impacts of a 2 d, 7 d or 21 d suckling period in 60 first lactation on piglet growth and milk composition of sows in second lactation. After weaning from the first lactation, sows were bred and followed for a second parity. In both lactations, litters were standardized to 12 piglets with 12 functional teats and surplus teats were sealed with tape. During the second lactation, piglets were weighed on days 2, 7, 14, 21(weaning), 31 and 56, and sow feed intake was recorded. Milk samples were obtained from sows on day 21 of the second lactation. Results of the study indicated that milk composition was not affected by the length of use of a teat in the first parity. Results also indicated that increasing the duration of lactation from 2 d to 7 d, or to 21 d in first-parity sows does not improve growth rate of their piglets in the subsequent lactation. This suggests that the suckling of a teat for 2 days during the first lactation is sufficient to ensure optimal mammary development and milk production in subsequent lactations.

Further Reading:
www.researchgate.net/publication/225186647_Milk_production_in_sows_from_a_teat_in_second_parity_is_influenced_by_whether_it_was_suckled_in_first_parity


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