Animal Science Department


First Advisor

Phillip S. Miller

Date of this Version



Wittler, J. E. 2022. Evaluation of nutritional factors affecting sow reproductive longevity. M.S. thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Phillip Miller. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2022

Copyright © 2022 J’Nan E. Wittler


Sow reproductive longevity is an important trait for swine operations from a production and economic standpoint. Previous research has shown that a sow needs to produce 3 litters before she covers the costs associated with introducing her to the operation. A literature review of research conducted related to sow longevity is discussed in Chapter 1. Chapters 2 and 3 present data from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s long-term sow longevity research. The research looks at the effects of energy restriction with soy hulls during gilt development on sow reproductive longevity through 4 parities. Chapter 2 presents data from replications 16-18 where 383 gilts were fed developmental dietary treatments from d 112 to 209 of age and then tracked through 4 parities. Chapter 3 presents data from replications 14-15 where 256 gilts were fed dietary treatments from d 114 to 226 d of age and then again tracked through 4 parities. While some results differed between the two chapters, the overall result was similar: energy restriction during gilt development results in delayed age at puberty but does not have a negative impact on reproductive performance and longevity.

Advisor: Phillip S. Miller