Effect of split-weaning in first and second parity sows on sow and piglet performance.

P.C. Vesseur, B. Kemp, L.A. den Hartog, J.P.T.M. Noordhuizen

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The effect of split-weaning (SW) on: weaning to oestrus interval (WOI), sow reproductive performance, piglet growth and body weight and backfat development, was studied in 319 first and second parity sows. In sows of the control group (C) piglets were weaned at about 4 weeks of age. In the SW sows the heaviest piglets were weaned at about 3 weeks, leaving 6 piglets with the sow to be weaned at 4 weeks of age. SW and parity affected the WOI; the WOI was reduced in SW sows and in second parity sows. Body weight loss and reduction in backfat may explain the effects on WOI as found. Second parity SW sows showed a higher farrowing rate compared with second parity C and first parity sows. No effect of SW on the size of the next litter was found. The growth of piglets during the fourth week of lactation was higher in piglets of the SW sows. Piglet growth during a six week rearing period was worse in SW piglets weaned at three weeks. However, when reared up to the same age, the growth of these piglets was comparable with that of piglets weaned at four weeks. SW in first and second parity sows should be considered in current sow farming to improve sow production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-285
JournalLivestock Production Science
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Performance traits
  • Sows
  • Split-weaning
  • Weaning to oestrus interval


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