Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Hinkle, E. E., 2012, The effect of dam parity on progeny growth performance, passive immunity, and gastrointestinal microbiota. A dissertation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Animal Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Thomas E. Burkey. Lincoln, Nebraska: October, 2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Erin E. Hinkle


Previous research has shown that parity (P) 4 progeny have greater weaning weights and decreased microbial diversity compared to P1 progeny. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate litter performance, passive immunity, and fecal microbiota among P1 and P3 dams and their progeny. In experiment 1, 56 P1 and 49 P3 dams and their progeny’s litter and growth performance, immunoglobulin (IgG and IgA) concentrations, and gut microbiota were evaluated. In experiment 2, 48 pigs per P were selected to determine growth performance, immunoglobulin (IgG and IgA) concentrations, and gut microbiota. In experiment 3, 8 dams per P were selected. At birth, piglets were fostered to P3 or P1 dams, creating 4 treatments 1) Parity 1 dam with P1 progeny 2) Parity 1 dam with P3 progeny 3) Parity 3 dam with P1 progeny 4) Parity 3 dam with P3 progeny to determine if passive immunity or in utero growth had more of an effect on growth performance. Few differences were observed between parities in litter performance. Progeny BW was increased for P3 progeny compared to P1 dams throughout lactation and the nursery period (d 0 to 63 of age), irrespective of crossfostering. P3 progeny had increased ADG and ADFI during all phases of the nursery period and overall compared to P1 pigs. Progeny derived from P3 dams had greater serum IgG concentrations compared to P1 progeny during lactation. Circulating IgA concentrations were greater in P3 progeny on d 0 of lactation, but were increased in P1 pigs compared to P3 pigs during the nursery period. Despite dam parity’s effect on the immune system, dam parity did not affect gut microbiota. During the lactation period, pigs had similar ADG despite compromised immunity of P1 raised progeny. Therefore, in utero growth and development had a larger impact on growth rate than passive immunity. Growth performance, body weights, and immune parameters of pigs are influenced by dam parity.

Advisor: Thomas E. Burkey