Milk consumption of piglets was measured to study the relation between milk consumption and growth. The experiment was part of a series of experiments in which the objective was to study genetic and environmental effects on performance traits measured during the suckling period. The within litter variance of birth weight, growth and milk consumption amounted to 75, 46 and 63% of the total variance respectively. The within litter variance of growth rate was reduced by 34% due to the covariables birth weight and milk consumption. 80 to 90% of the between litter variance of growth of piglets could be explained by a model with the covariables weight loss of the sow during the suckling period and creep and milk intake of the piglets. Relations between traits depend on the litter size during the suckling period.

H. AM van der Steen

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XI. Genetics of reproduction, lactation, growth, adaptation, disease, and parasite resistance., , 234–242, 1986
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