Aspects of puberty in the indigenous gilt

Author: D.H. Holness
Year: 1972
Issue: 2
Volume: 2
Page: 85 - 90

Parameters relating to the onset of puberty were recorded in a total of 120 indigenous gilts in two experiments. In the first experiment gilts were reared from eight weeks of age on three planes. of nutrition estimated to provide 100 (High plane), 75 (Medium plane) and 50% (Low plane) of the nutrient requirements for growth and reproduction. The second experiment was of a factorial design and gilts were reared on diets containing two levels of protein and three levels of energy in six treatment groups. Gilts were fed individually in both experiments. Plane of nutrition had a significant effect on the live mass (P < 0,01) and age (P< 0,05) at which puberty was attained in experiment one. The onset of first oestrus occurred over a considerably smaller period of time in the high plane gilts when compared with the medium and low plane. In the second experiment, there was a highly significant difference (P < 0,01) in both live mass and age at puberty between gilts on the two intakes of protein, but no apparent effect of the three levels of energy. The age of onset of puberty was not related to the gilt’s litter of origin on her sire. No correlation was evident between age at puberty and subsequent productivity in terms of number of piglets born at first parity.

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