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Animal Reproduction and Physiology
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2001;14(11): 1534-1541.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2001.1534    Published online November 1, 2001.
Effect of Restricted Feed Intake on Early Reproductive Development in Large White Gilts
John B. Gaughan
Forty-five Large White gilts were used to study the effect of energy intake from 28 to 176 d of age on body composition and reproductive development. From 28 to 60 d, the gilts were fed ad libitum a 16.6 MJ DE/kg, 24% crude protein and 1.3% total lysine diet. From 61 d of age three dietary treatments were used; 1) ad libitum access to feed (15.6 MJ DE/kg, 21% crude protein and 1.07% total lysine) (H), 2) feed offered at 75% (M) of the previous days intake of H, and 3) feed offered at 60% (L) of the previous days intake of H. ADG from 61 to 176 d of age was (p<0.05) affected by treatment. Although live weight at 176 d of age did not differ (p>0.1) the H gilts had higher (p<0.08) carcass weights than the M or L gilts. Back fat depths were similar (p>0.1) for all treatments at 115 d of age, however by 176 d of age M and H gilts were fatter (p<0.1) than L gilts. The mean lipid deposition (LD) from 115 to 176 d of age for L gilts (78.9 g/d) was less (p<0.05) than for M gilts (143.6 g/d) and H gilts (135.6 g/d). There were no differences between treatments for protein deposition (PD) over the same period. More (p<0.05) H gilts (n=8) attained puberty (first observed estrus) than either M gilts or L gilts (n=4 for both). Follicle numbers were similar (p>0.1) across treatments. For gilts that attained puberty, H gilts had fewer (p<0.05) follicles (13.5) than M gilts (19.7) and L gilts (21.3). For gilts with follicular development, H gilts had the heaviest (458.7 g) reproductive tract weight (RTW). However, for those that attained puberty, L gilts had the heaviest RTW. RTW were lowest for those with no follicular development. Energy restriction had a negative impact on puberty attainment, i.e. it took longer to reach puberty. However, for gilts that attained puberty, the number of follicles was greater for those on lower feed intakes. It would appear that rate of fat deposition, but not necessarily the total amount of fat, plays an important role in puberty attainment.
Keywords: Protein Deposition; Reproductive Development; Pigs

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