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Gonadotropin‐induced Puberty Does Not Impair Reproductive Performance of Gilts over Three Parities

Eckhardt, OHO, Martins, SMMK, Pinese, ME, Horta, FC, Rosseto, AC, Torres, MA, De Andrade, AFC, Muro, BBD, Marino, CT, Rodrigues, PHM, Moretti, AS
Reproduction in domestic animals 2014 v.49 no.6 pp. 964-969
artificial insemination, boars, equine chorionic gonadotropin, estrus, farrowing, gilts, luteinizing hormone, piglets, pregnancy, puberty, reproductive performance, sows, ultrasonics
The aim of this study was to evaluate the reproductive performance of three parities of gilts treated or not treated with gonadotropin to induce puberty. Sixty gilts received 600 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) followed by 2.5 mg of porcine luteinizing hormone (LH) 72 h later. Fifty‐nine other gilts were exposed only to a mature boar for 15 min twice daily. Artificial insemination (AI) was performed at 0, 12 and 24 h after the detection of oestrus, and gestation was confirmed by ultrasound after 35 days. Sows were inseminated at the first post‐weaning oestrus. The total numbers of piglets born, piglets born alive, stillborn, mummified foetuses, as well as pregnancy and farrowing rates were evaluated for each of the three parities. Culling rates, farrowing intervals and weaning‐to‐oestrous intervals (WEI) were also analysed. Mean age at puberty and oestrous manifestation were not significantly different between treatments (p = 0.0639; 179.20 ± 17.52 compared with 173.96 ± 16.94, 91.66% compared with 94.92%) across the experimental period. However, females that underwent puberty induction showed modest increases both in the number of total pigs born and in the number of piglets born alive. In conclusion, puberty induction through exogenous gonadotropin administration in field conditions did not induce a more concentrated first oestrous manifestation, but trended to a modest increase in the number of pigs born alive in the first parity and a reduced culling rate during the first gestation.