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Anim Biosci > Volume 37(8); 2024 > Article
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Animal Bioscience 2024;37(8): 1333-1344.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.23.0406    Published online April 25, 2024.
Assessing reproductive performance and predictive models for litter size in Landrace sows under tropical conditions
Praew Thiengpimol1  , Skorn Koonawootrittriron2  , Thanathip Suwanasopee2,* 
1Department of Agricultural Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
2Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Correspondence:  Thanathip Suwanasopee, Tel: +668-2590-6906, Email: agrtts@ku.ac.th
Received: 9 October 2023   • Revised: 13 January 2024   • Accepted: 2 March 2024
Litter size and piglet loss at birth significantly impact piglet production and are closely associated with sow parity. Understanding how these traits vary across different parities is crucial for effective herd management. This study investigates the patterns of the number of born alive piglets (NBA), number of piglet losses (NPL), and the proportion of piglet losses (PPL) at birth in Landrace sows under tropical conditions. Additionally, it aims to identify the most suitable model for describing these patterns.
A dataset comprising 2,322 consecutive reproductive records from 258 Landrace sows, spanning parities from 1 to 9, was analyzed. Modeling approaches including 2nd and 3rd degree polynomial models, the Wood gamma function, and a longitudinal model were applied at the individual level to predict NBA, NPL, and PPL. The choice of the best-fitting model was determined based on the lowest mean and standard deviation of the difference between predicted and actual values, Akaike information criterion (AIC), and Bayesian information criterion (BIC).
Sow parity significantly influenced NBA, NPL, and PPL (p<0.0001). NBA increased until the 4th parity and then declined. In contrast, NPL and PPL decreased until the 2nd parity and then steadily increased until the 8th parity. The 2nd and 3rd degree polynomials, and longitudinal models showed no significant differences in predicting NBA, NPL, and PPL (p>0.05). The 3rd degree polynomial model had the lowest prediction standard deviation and yielded the smallest AIC and BIC.
The 3rd degree polynomial model offers the most suitable description of NBA, NPL, and PPL patterns. It holds promise for applications in genetic evaluations to enhance litter size and reduce piglet loss at birth in sows. These findings highlight the importance of accounting for sow parity effects in swine breeding programs, particularly in tropical conditions, to optimize piglet production and sow performance.
Keywords: Litter Size; Parity Curve; Piglet Loss at Birth; Prediction Models; Sow Reproductive Performance

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