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Lactational oestrus and reproductive performance following a delayed limited nursing schedule in primiparous sows

Chen, T.Y., Turpin, D.L., Knight, A.L., Bouwman, E.G., Soede, N.M., Kirkwood, R.N. and Langendijk, P. (2017) Lactational oestrus and reproductive performance following a delayed limited nursing schedule in primiparous sows. Theriogenology, 96 . pp. 42-48.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.03...
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Abstract

With conventional lactation management, sows only conceive after weaning. However, intermittent suckling (IS) enables follicle growth and ovulation during lactation by reducing the suckling-induced inhibition of gonadotrophins. The current study evaluated IS regimes initiated at Day 21 or Day 28 post farrowing compared to conventional weaning on Day 28, in primiparous sows. Sows (Large White and Large White x Landrace) were randomly allocated to Control (C28; n = 44), IS21 (n = 29) and IS28 (n = 34) treatments at Day 20. Sows in IS21 and IS28 were subjected to intermittent suckling from Day 21 or Day 28 post farrowing. During IS, sows were separated from their piglets for 8 h daily, then weaned 7 d later at Day 28 and Day 35 respectively, whereas piglets in the C28 treatment had continuous access to sows until weaning at Day 28. Percentage of IS sows that showed oestrus during lactation was 59% (16/27) in IS21 and 72% (21/29) in IS28 (P > 0.05). Cumulatively over the lactation and 7 d post-weaning period, 93% of IS21, 85% of IS28 and 93% (31/33) of C28 sows showed oestrus (P > 0.05). Pregnancy rate at Day 30 post mating, for sows that were mated during lactation was 93% (15/16) in IS21 and 95% (20/21) in IS28, whereas C28 sows had a 96% (30/31) pregnancy rate (P > 0.05). No difference was found in the time of oestrus relative to weaning (C28) or onset of IS (IS21 and IS28) (P > 0.05). The IS sows that did not ovulate before weaning all showed oestrus within 7 days from weaning, and the weaning to oestrus interval was similar to control sows (P > 0.05). However, for all IS sows (across IS treatments) that showed lactational ovulation, LH secretion pattern at onset of IS was different (P < 0.05) from the sows that did not ovulate in lactation. Plasma progesterone concentration tended to be lower in the IS21 treatment (P < 0.10) compared to the C28 sows at 4 d after ovulation. The subsequent litter size was not affected by treatments although numerically lower for IS21 (P > 0.05). The present study showed that in modern primiparous sows, lactational oestrus can be induced and pregnancy can be maintained at a similar rate and producing comparable subsequent litter sizes to conventionally weaned sows when IS commenced at four weeks post farrowing. However, when IS commences at three weeks post farrowing, this may affect the percentage of sows showing oestrus in lactation and may potentially influence subsequent litter size.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/36341
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