The vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM1) has a strong influence on embryonic development and on the formation of the umbilical cord and placenta. These developmental processes are crucial to ensure the success of pregnancy. In this work, we have identified two T306A and C558T single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) at exons 2 and 3 of the pig VCAM1 locus, respectively. The T306A substitution involves a non conservative Asn to Lys replacement at amino acid position 102, whereas the C558T polymorphism is synonymous. An in silico prediction of the consequences of the Asn102→Lys102 mutation with the PolyPhen software revealed that it is not deleterious. The T306A SNP segregated in the Iberian, Piétrain, Duroc, Large White and Landrace breeds as well as in European wild boars. The C558T SNP also segregated and most of commercial standard breeds. The genotyping of the C558T SNP in an Iberian × Meishan intercross allowed to find a suggestive association (Bonferroni threshold, p < 0.004) between C558T genotype and time the newborn piglet needs to reach the udder (p = 0.013) as well as a significant one with time to make the first ingestion of colostrum (p = 0.003). The biological basis of these associations remains unclear and they should be interpreted with caution. © 2008 The Authors.