Second litter syndrome in Iberian pig breed: factors influencing the performance
Second litter syndrome (SLS) consists of a loss of prolificacy in the second parity (P2), when a sow presents the same or lower results for litter size than in the first parity (P1). This syndrome has been reported for modern prolific breeds but has not been studied for rustic breeds. The objectives of this study are to determine how and to what degree Iberian sows (a low productivity breed recently raised on intensive farms) are affected by SLS; to establish a target and reference levels; and to assess the factors influencing the performance. Analysed data correspond to 66 Spanish farms with a total of 126 140 Iberian sows. The average Iberian sow prolificacy in P1 was 8.91 total born (TB) and 8.47 born alive (BA) piglets, whereas in P2, it decreased by −0.05 TB and −0.01 BA piglets, suggesting some general incidence of SLS. At the sow level, 56.63% did not improve prolificacy in terms of BA piglets in P2, and 16.98% had a clear decrease in prolificacy, losing ≥3 BA piglets in P2. Within herds, a mean of 57.75% of sows showed SLS, with an evident decrease in the number of BA piglets in P2. The plausible target for the Iberian farm’s prolificacy comes from the quartile of farms with the lowest percentage of SLS sows within the farms with the highest prolificacy between P1 and P2 (mean of 8.77 BA). So, in this subset of farms (N = 17), 47.3% of sows improved their prolificacy in P2 (i.e. did not show SLS). Hence, half the sows could be expected to show SLS even on farms with a good performance. Finally, this study brings out the main factors reducing P2 prolificacy through SLS in the Iberian breed: later age at first farrowing, long first lactation length, medium weaning to conception interval and large litter size in P1. In conclusion, improving the reproductive performance of Iberian farms requires reducing the percentage of sows with SLS, paying special attention to those risk factors. The knowledge derived from this study can provide references for comparing and establishing objectives of performance on Iberian sow farms which can be used for other robust breeds.
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Sanz-Fernández, S., C. Díaz-Gaona, J.C. Casas-Rosal, R. Quintanilla, P. López, N. Alòs, and V. Rodríguez-Estévez. 2022. "Second Litter Syndrome In Iberian Pig Breed: Factors Influencing The Performance". Animal 16 (12): 100675. doi:10.1016/j.animal.2022.100675.
Genètica i Millora Animal
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