Effects of restricting energy during the gilt developmental period on growth and reproduction of lines differing in lean growth rate: Responses in feed intake, growth, and age at puberty

Restricting energy during the gilt development slightly delays the mean age at puberty.

Tuesday 3 May 2011 (7 years 10 months 17 days ago)
The overall objective was to compare reproductive performance through 4 parities of gilts developed with ad libitum access to feed or with restriction of energy to 75% of ad libitum intake. Effects on growth and pubertal development are reported. The experiment was a 2 x 2 factorial with 661 gilts. One-half of the gilts (n = 330) were allowed ad libitum access to feed from weaning to breeding at 235 d of age (AL), and 331 littermates were developed with ad libitum access to feed to 123 d of age and then restricted to 75% of ad libitum intake to 235 d of age (Res). Diets for gilts on regimen AL were formulated to meet requirements for growth. All nutrients except energy and selenium were increased in the diet fed to gilts on regimen Res so that nutrient intake per unit of BW was expected to be similar to that of gilts on regimen AL. Sires of all gilts were from an industry maternal line. Dams were either an industry Large White-Landrace cross, or Nebraska selection Line 45, producing gilts denoted as LW/LR and L45X, respectively. Traits were recorded every 2 wk. Recording of feed intake and BW began at 53 d of age, and recording of backfat (BF) and LM area (LMA) began at 123 d of age. Estrus detection began at 140 d of age to determine age at puberty (AP).

The G:F ratio from 123 to 235 d of age for gilts on the AL regimen was greater (0.269 vs. 0.257, P < 0.01) than for gilts on the Res regimen; the greatest difference occurred in the first 2-wk period following feed restriction. The LW/LR gilts were heavier, had less BF, and had greater LMA than L45X gilts, but interaction with feeding regimen and period of development existed. Feed restriction reduced BW, BF, LMA, and ratio of BF to BW, but had little effect on ratio of LMA to BW. More L45X gilts than LW/LR gilts (98 vs. 91%, P < 0.01) expressed estrus. Mean age at puberty was 178.6 d for LW/LR and 173.0 d for L45X gilts (P < 0.01) and 174.1 d for regimen AL and 177.5 d for regimen Res (P < 0.05). The Res regimen delayed pubertal development.

PS Miller, R Moreno and RK Johnson, 2011. Journal of Animal Science, 89:342-354. http://dx.doi.org/10.2527/jas.2010-3111

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