Records have been analysed from a small herd in which early weaning was practised. Piglets were weaned when average weight was 7–8 kg, at about 30 days old. Decreased feeding of sows, followed by a short period of fasting, was practised at weaning.
Mean duration of suckling was 31·5 days and mean interval from weaning to oestrus 6·0 days. 93% of sows conceived to service at the first or second heat period. Mean farrowing interval for all sows was 159·7 days (151·9 days for those holding to the first service). Corresponding annual farrowing frequencies, calculated from these figures, are 2·29 and 2·40.
Litter sizes at birth and at weaning were 10·7 and 9·3; corresponding weights of piglets were 1·74 and 7·99 kg. With increase of litter sequence there was a significant decrease of weaning weights; however, there was also an increase in size of litter weaned. Seasonal changes of piglet weight were also found. Early weaning can be considered a useful way to increase production.