This study assessed the effect of feeding level on progesterone concentration in the caudal vena cava during early pregnancy in gilts. Twenty-four Landrace gilts were allocated to either a high (2.8±0.02) or a low (1.5±0.01 kg day⁻¹) feeding level at Day 0 of pregnancy. Serial blood samples were collected every 15 min for 3 h before and 3 h after feeding on Days 6 and 9 of pregnancy. Embryo survival and development as well as in vitro luteal progesterone production were assessed at Day 10 of pregnancy. Progesterone concentration in the vena cava was pulsatile with gilts on the high feeding level having more pulses compared with Low gilts on Day 9 of pregnancy (P<0.05). On Day 6 the number of pulses did not differ significantly between treatments; however, the average progesterone concentration in the vena cava tended to be higher in the gilts on the high feeding level (P<0.10). Embryo survival at Day 10 was 92±3% for High gilts compared with 77±3% for Low gilts (P<0.05). No difference in embryo development between the treatments was seen. There was no difference between treatments in in vitro secretion of progesterone by luteal tissue. In conclusion, a high plane of nutrition positively affects progesterone secretion by the ovaries in early pregnancy.