Age of Breeding and Reproductive Performance of Gilts
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At a time when pigs reach market weight at 5 to 6 months of age, when continuous farrowing allowing gilts to fit into the farrowing program any time of the year is more popular and when feed costs are very high for the 2 to 3 months of unproductive time while the gilt is reaching 8 months of age, it is time to reevaluate our recommendation of age at which gilts should be bred. The following data are from an initial experiment designed to compare reproductive performance of gilts bred at 6 months of age (approximately first estrus) with gilts bred at 8 months of age (approximately third estrus).