Our objective was to study reproductive consequences of lactation bodyweight loss occurring in primiparous sows with mild feed restriction and to relate these lactation weight losses and its consequences to metabolic profiles during lactation and subsequent early gestation. After weaning, 47 first-litter sows were retrospectively assigned to a high– (HWL, >13.8%, n = 24) or low (LWL, =13.8%, n = 23)–weight loss group. Thirty-six animals received an indwelling jugular vein catheter to determine lactational and gestational profiles of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and urea and gestational profiles of progesterone. At day 35 after insemination, sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected. Pregnancy rate was 75% (18/24) for HWL and 96% (22/23) for LWL sows. High–weight loss sows had a lower number of implantation sites (17.2 ± 0.8 vs 19.5 ± 0.7, respectively, p = 0.03) and a lower embryonic survival (65.6 ± 3.4 vs 77.4 ± 2.9%, p = 0.02), resulting in fewer vital embryos (14.9 ± 0.9 vs 16.8 ± 0.7, p = 0.07) than LWL sows. Progesterone peak values were reached later in HWL than in LWL sows (day 13.4 ± 0.5 vs 12.0 ± 0.5, respectively, p = 0.05). Gestational concentrations of IGF-1, NEFA and urea were almost identical for HWL and LWL sows, whilst numerical differences were seen during lactation. The current study shows negative consequences of lactational weight loss in mildly feed-restricted primiparous sows for embryonic survival and shows that these consequences seem only mildly related with metabolic alterations during lactation and not with metabolic alterations during subsequent gestation.
- dietary energy-source
- hormone profiles