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Things we Consider for Matting Period

  • litter size related to number of heats, more than age or weight
  • fewest ova at first estrus (heat) = the smallest potential litter
  • increase by about 1 ovum each for 2nd, 3rd heat, so potential litter size increases
  • normally breed in 2nd or 3rd heat, so gilts farrow by 10-11 months of age.

Selecting the proper time to breed replacement gilts is an important part of reproductive management. A few precocious females may begin estrous cycles and show estrous signs by five months, but most do not reach sexual maturity until around six months of age. Since the ovulation rate increases at each subsequent estrus period, we delay mating until the second or even the third cycle to increase litter size. Although the number of piglets born will increase if mating is postponed, there are other factors to consider in making the decision about when to mate gilts.


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