|In order to prove the effect of `fixed time insemination` and insemination at standing oestrus after post-weaning application of GnRH, in a Croatian large breeding unit, 502 sows were assigned to three groups and were artificially inseminated (AI) at their first post-weaning oestrus as many times as they stand, in 24-h intervals.
The groups were treated as follows: group 1 (control, n = 160) were AI during their standing reflex; group 2 [`GnRH-fixed time insemination` (GnRH-FT-AI), n = 175] were AI, independent of detection of oestrus and following administration of GnRH-agonist at 96 h post-weaning; group 3 [GnRH insemination at standing oestrus (GnRH-OE-AI), n = 167] the animals were GnRH-agonist treated as group 2 and were AI at their standing reflex.
Pre-trial daily average lactational feed intake, average daily feed intake from weaning to oestrus, oestrus within 6 days post-weaning (%), ovulation within 6 days post-weaning (%), weaning-to-oestrus interval (h), duration of oestrus (h), follicle size (mm), interval from oestrus to ovulation (h), subsequent day 24 pregnancy rate (%), farrowing rate (%) and total pigs born were evaluated.
Pre-trial average daily lactational voluntary feed intake was 7.1 Â± 0.08 kg in group 1, 7.0 Â± 0.07 kg in group 2 and 7.1 Â± 0.17 kg in group 3 (p > 0.05).
Average voluntary daily feed intake from weaning to oestrus was 5.1 Â± 0.3 kg in group 1, 5.2 Â± 0.5 kg in group 2 and 5.2 Â± 0.19 kg in group 3 (p > 0.05).
Oestrus was detected within 6 days post-weaning in 134 (83.8%) in control, 164 (93.7%) in GnRH-FT-AI and 155 (92.8%) animals in GnRH-OE-AI groups (p = 0.05). Follicle size did not differ (p > 0.05) among the groups.
In control 82.8%, in GnRH-FT-AI 91.5% and in GnRH-OE-AI 91.0% of the sows ovulated within 6 days post-weaning (p = 0.04), and had 80.6, 90.9 and 89.7% 24-day pregnancy rates (p = 0.16), respectively.
In GnRH-FT-AI group 90.2%, in GnRH-OE-AI sows 89.7%, in control animals 79.9% farrowing rates were recorded (p = 0.17).
Weaning to oestrus interval was 113.1 h in control, 114.1 h in GnRH-FT-AI and 112.6 h GnRH-OE-AI (p > 0.05).
Duration of oestrus was significantly shorter in GnRH-FT-AI (44.9 h) and GnRH-OE-AI (48.1 h) animals, compared with the control (62.9 h) sows (p = 0.001). Similarly, the interval from oestrus to ovulation revealed significant (p = 0.004) differences between the groups (control 44.1 h, GnRH-OE-AI 34.1 h and GnRH-FT-AI 32.9 h).
GnRH-FT-AI (12.5) and GnRH-OE-AI (12.6) sows had significantly higher (p = 0.01) number of total pigs born (n = 10.4) compared with control sows.
GnRH-agonist-gel treatment to the sow shortens duration of oestrus, the interval from oestrus to ovulation, and may eliminate the need for oestrus detection in the hands of skilled personnel.
Source: Baer, C & Bilkei, G (2004): The Effect of Intravaginal Applied GnRH-agonist on the Time of Ovulation and Subsequent Reproductive Performance of Weaned Multiparous Sows. In: Reproduction in Domestic Animals 39 (5), 293-297.
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