2004 Volume 66 Issue 5 Pages 477-482
The objective of the present study was to retrospectively investigate causes of variation on litter size at birth (total number of piglets born per litter (TB) and number of piglets born alive per litter (BA)) of Landrace (L) and Yorkshire (Y) sows in swine nucleus herds in Thailand. The data included sows farrowed during a four-year period from January 1998 to December 2001. The analyzed data set included observations on 8020 litters from 2199 L sows and 6919 litters from 1680 Y sows. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was applied for statistical analyses using General Linear Mixed Model (MIXED) procedure of SAS. No breed difference was found for both TB and BA. Farrowing months significantly influenced TB and BA (P<0.001). Sows farrowed in August and September had a lower BA than sows farrowed from November to June (P<0.05). Effect of farrowing months on both TB and BA was more pronounced in primiparous compared with multiparous sows. Average minimum daily temperature during gestation negatively correlated with both TB and BA, average maximum daily temperature during gestation negatively correlated with BA and average daily humidity during gestation negatively correlated with both TB and BA. The correlations were stronger in L than in Y sows.