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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

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Effect of daily environmental temperature on farrowing rate and total born in dam line sows
Bloemhof, S. ; Mathur, P.K. ; Knol, E.F. ; Waaij, E.H. van der - \ 2013
Journal of Animal Science 91 (2013)6. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 2667 - 2679.
heat-stress - genetic-parameters - primiparous sows - pigs - reproduction - traits - gilts - progesterone - lactation - tolerance
Heat stress is known to adversely affect reproductive performance of sows. However, it is important to know on which days or periods during the reproduction cycle heat stress has the greatest effects for designing appropriate genetic or management strategies. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify days and periods that have greatest effects on farrowing rate and total born of sows using 5 different measures of heat stress. The data consisted of 22,750 records on 5024 Dutch Yorkshire dam line sows from 16 farms in Spain and Portugal. Heat stress on a given day was measured in terms of maximum temperature, diurnal temperature range and heat load. The heat load was estimated using 3 definitions considering different upper critical temperatures. Identification of days during the reproduction cycle that had maximum effect was based on the Pearson correlation between the heat stress variable and the reproduction trait, estimated for each day during the reproduction cycle. Polynomial functions were fitted to describe the trends of these correlations and the days with greatest negative correlation were considered as days with maximum effect. Correlations were greatest for maximum temperature, followed by those for heat load and diurnal temperature range. Correlations for both farrowing rate and total born were stronger in gilts than in sows. This implies that heat stress has a stronger effect on reproductive performance of gilts than of sows. Heat stress during the third week (21 to 14 d) before first insemination had largest effect on farrowing rate. Heat stress during the period between 7 d before successful insemination until 12 d after that had largest effect on total born. Correlations between temperatures on consecutive days during these periods were extremely high ( > 0.9). Therefore, for farrowing rate the maximum temperature on 21 d before first insemination and for total born the maximum temperature at day of successful insemination can be used as predictive measures of heat stress in commercial sow farms. Additionally, differences between daughter groups of sires were identified in response to high temperatures. This might indicate possibilities for genetic selection on heat tolerance.
Insulin-stimulating diets during the weaning-to-estrus interval do not improve fetal and placental development and uniformity in high-prolific multiparous sows
Wientjes, J.G.M. ; Soede, N.M. ; Laurenssen, B.F.A. ; Koopmanschap, R.E. ; Brand, H. van den; Kemp, B. - \ 2013
Animal 7 (2013)8. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1307 - 1316.
nutritionally induced relationships - pancreatic beta-cells - growth-factor-i - primiparous sows - energy-source - luteinizing-hormone - birth-weight - reproductive characteristics - follicle development - ovulation interval
Piglet birth weight and litter uniformity are important for piglet survival. Insulin-stimulating sow diets before mating may improve subsequent piglet birth weights and litter uniformity, but the physiological mechanisms involved are not clear. This study evaluated effects of different levels of insulin-stimulating feed components (dextrose plus starch; fed twice daily) during the weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI) on plasma insulin and IGF-1 concentrations, and on follicle development and subsequent luteal, fetal and placental development and uniformity at days 42 to 43 of pregnancy. During WEI, multiparous sows were isocalorically fed diets supplemented with 375 g/day dextrose plus 375 g/day corn starch (INS-H), with 172 g/day dextrose plus 172 g/day corn starch and 144 g/day animal fat (INS-L), or with 263 g/day animal fat (CON). Jugular vein catheters were inserted through the ear vein at 1.5 days before weaning to asses plasma insulin and IGF-1 concentrations. After estrus, all sows received a standard gestation diet until slaughter at days 42 to 43 of pregnancy. The dextrose plus starch-diets enhanced the postprandial insulin response in a dose-dependent manner (e.g. at day 2 insulin area under the curve was 4516 µU/444 min for CON, 8197 µU/444 min for INS-L and 10 894 µU/444 min for INS-H; s.e.m. = 694; P <0.001), but did not affect plasma IGF-1 concentrations during the first 3 days of WEI. Follicle development and subsequent luteal, fetal and placental development and uniformity were not affected by the dietary treatments, nor related to plasma insulin and IGF-1 concentrations during WEI. Pre-weaning plasma insulin and IGF-1 concentrations were negatively related to sow body condition loss during lactation, but were not related to subsequent reproduction characteristics. This study shows that dietary dextrose plus starch are effective in stimulating insulin secretion (both postprandial peak and long-term concentration), but not IGF-1 secretion during the first 3 days after weaning in multiparous sows. The extreme insulin-stimulating diets during WEI did, however, not improve follicle development, or subsequent development and uniformity of fetuses and placentas in these high-prolific sows (27.0 ± 0.6 ovulations; 18.6 ± 0.6 vital fetuses)
Embryo survival, progesterone profiles and metabolic responses to an increased feeding level during second gestation in sows
Hoving, L.L. ; Soede, N.M. ; Feitsma, H. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Theriogenology 77 (2012)8. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 1557 - 1569.
dietary energy-source - growth-factor-i - early-pregnancy - reproductive-performance - primiparous sows - multiparous sows - parity sows - postweaning performance - conceptus growth - nursing behavior
This study describes reproductive and metabolic responses in sows fed at two different feeding levels from day 3–35 of second gestation. After insemination, 37 sows were assigned to one of two treatments: 1) Control: 2.5 kg/day of a gestation diet; 2) Plus Feed 3.25 kg/day of a gestation diet (+30%). Sow weight, back fat and loin muscle depth were measured at farrowing, weaning, start of treatment, day 14 after start treatment and end of treatment. Frequent blood samples were taken for progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), glucose and insulin, insulin-like-growth-factor-1 (IGF-1), non-esterified-fatty-acids (NEFA) and urea analysis. At day 35 after insemination sows were euthanized and their reproductive tract collected to assess ovarian, embryonic and placental characteristics. Plus Feed sows gained 5.4 kg more weight and 0.9 mm more back fat and tended to be heavier at slaughter compared to Control sows (193 vs. 182 kg, P = 0.06). No difference in loin muscle gain was found. Treatment also did not affect vital embryonic survival, which was 72.1 ± 3.9% for Control and 73.4 ± 3.2% for Plus Feed sows, resulting in, respectively, 15.9 ± 0.9 and 15.7 ± 0.7 vital embryos. No effect of treatment on any of the ovarian, embryonic or placental characteristics was found. Progesterone profiles during the first month of gestation, and LH characteristics at day 14 of gestation were not different between treatments. Progesterone concentration was lower (P <0.05) 3 h after feeding compared with the prefeeding level on days 7–11 after first progesterone rise for Plus Feed and on days 8–10 after first progesterone rise for Control sows. At day 15, preprandial glucose and insulin concentrations were not different between treatments, insulin peaked later (48 vs. 24 min) and at a higher concentration in Plus Feed than in Control sows. Furthermore, glucose area under the curve (AUC) tended to be lower (-171.7 ± 448.8 vs. 1257.1 ± 578.9 mg/6.2 h, P = 0.06, respectively) for Plus Feed vs. Control sows. IGF-1 concentration was not different between treatments, but NEFA concentrations were lower for Plus Feed vs. Control sows (149.5 ± 9.2 vs. 182.4 ± 11.9 µm/L, respectively, P = 0.04) and urea concentration tended to be higher in Plus Feed than in Control sows (4.3 ± 0.1 vs. 3.9 ± 0.1, respectively, P = 0.13). None of the metabolic parameteres were related to reproductive measures. In conclusion, feeding 30% more feed from day 3 till d 35 of second gestation increased weight gain and resulted in lower NEFA concentrations, but did not affect progesterone, LH or IGF-1 and embryonic and placental characteristics.
Progestagen Supplementation During Early Pregnancy does not Improve Embryo Survival in Pigs
Soede, N.M. ; Bouwman, E.G. ; Laan, I. van der; Hazeleger, W. ; Jourquin, J. ; Langendijk, P. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)5. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 835 - 841.
accessory sperm count - to-conception interval - primiparous sows - altrenogest treatment - exogenous progesterone - follicular development - fertilization rate - lactation length - ovarian-function - litter size
Progesterone supplementation during early pregnancy may increase embryo survival in pigs. The current study evaluated whether oral supplementation with an analogue of progesterone, altrenogest (ALT), affects embryo survival. A first experiment evaluated the effect of a daily 20-mg dosage of ALT during days 1–4 or 2–4 after onset of oestrus on embryo survival at day 42 of pregnancy. A control group (CTR1) was not treated. The time of ovulation was estimated by transrectal ultrasound at 12-h intervals. Altrenogest treatment significantly reduced pregnancy rate when start of treatment was before or at ovulation: 25% (5/20) compared to later start of treatment [85% (28/33)] and non-treated CTR1 [100% (23/23)]. Altrenogest treatment also reduced (p <0.05) number of foetuses, from 14.6 ± 2.6 in CTR1 to 12.5 ± 2.5 when ALT started 1–1.5 days from ovulation and 10.7 ± 2.9 when ALT started 0–0.5 days from ovulation. In a second experiment, sows with a weaning-to-oestrous interval (WOI) of 6, 7 or 8–14 days were given ALT [either 20 mg (ALT20; n = 49) or 10 mg (ALT10; n = 48)] at day 4 and day 6 after onset of oestrus or were not treated (CTR2; n = 49), and farrowing rate and litter size were evaluated. Weaning-to-oestrous interval did not affect farrowing rate or litter size. ALT did not affect farrowing rate (86% vs 90% in CTR2), but ALT20 tended to have a lower litter size compared with CTR2 (11.7 ± 4.1 vs 13.3 ± 3.1; p = 0.07) and ALT10 was intermediate (12.3 ± 2.9). In conclusion, altrenogest supplementation too soon after ovulation reduces fertilization rate and embryo survival rate and altrenogest supplementation at 4–6 days of pregnancy reduces litter size. As a consequence, altrenogest supplementation during early pregnancy may reduce both farrowing rate and litter size and cannot be applied at this stage in practice as a remedy against low litter size.
Timing of lactational oestrus in intermittent suckling regimes: Consequences for sow fertility
Soede, N.M. ; Laurenssen, B.F.A. ; Abrahamse-Berkeveld, M. ; Gerritsen, R. ; Dirx-Kuijken, N.C.P.M.M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Animal Reproduction Science 130 (2012)1-2. - ISSN 0378-4320 - p. 74 - 81.
conventional housing systems - dietary energy-source - 2 feeding levels - reproductive-performance - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - extended lactation - progesterone - pigs - ovulation
Three intermittent suckling (IS) regimes were evaluated for their effects on lactational oestrus and subsequent fertility. Control sows were weaned (CW; n = 38) at d 26 ± 2 of lactation. In IS19-7D (n = 40) and IS19-14D (n = 42) sows, IS started at d 19 ± 1 of lactation and sows were weaned 7 or 14 d later. In IS26-7D (n = 41), IS started at d 26 ± 1 of lactation and sows were weaned 7 d later. During IS, sows were separated from their piglets for 10 h/day. Oestrus detection was performed twice daily without a boar and ovulation was confirmed by ultrasound once a week. In IS19-7D, IS19-14D and IS26-7D, respectively, 50%, 64% and 61% of the sows showed oestrus and ovulation during IS (P > 0.05), and, of the remaining sows, 100%, 93%, and 69% showed oestrus in the first week after weaning. In CW sows, 95% showed oestrus in the first week after weaning. Parity 1 sows were considerably less likely than older parities (23% vs. 68%) to show oestrus in lactation. Pregnancy rate of the first post partum oestrus (during lactation or after weaning) was 89% (CW), 92% (IS19-7D), 80% (IS19-14D) and 77% (IS26-7D) (P > 0.05) and subsequent litter size was 14.5 ± 0.5, 14.5 ± 0.6, 15.3 ± 0.5 and 15.2 ± 0.8, respectively (P > 0.05). Sows mated during lactation had similar pregnancy rate and litter size to those mated after weaning. Hence, ongoing lactation for the first 2–9 d of pregnancy did not negatively affect fertility. A total of 50–64% of IS sows showed lactational oestrus, regardless of the stage of lactation. Pregnancy rates and litter size were similar to control sows, and were not affected by stage of lactation at mating
Split-weaning Before Altrenogest Synchronization of Multiparous Sows Alters Follicular Development and Reduces Embryo Survival
Leeuwen, J.J.J. van; Verhoeven, M. ; Heden-van Noort, I. van; Kranenbarg, S. ; Kemp, B. ; Soede, N.M. - \ 2012
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)4. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 530 - 536.
primiparous sows - progestagen treatment - luteinizing-hormone - bovine oocytes - ovulation rate - litter size - estrus - follicles - gilts - pregnancy
This study used split-weaning (SW) to induce differences in follicle size at weaning and study its consequences for follicle development during and after post-weaning altrenogest feeding and for reproductive performance. Multiparous sows (n = 47) were assigned to SW (n = 23; litter size reduced to the six smallest piglets 3 days before weaning) or control (C; n = 24; normal weaning). Altrenogest (20 mg/day) was fed to all 47 sows from Day -1 till Day 5 (complete weaning = Day 0). Follicle size on Day 1, 2 and 8 was smaller in C than in SW (p = 0.05). Ovulation rate was similar, but C sows had higher embryo survival rate (ESR) than SW sows (83 ± 19 and 58 ± 31%, respectively; p = 0.001). SW sows with low ESR (63%; n = 10; p = 0.04). A decrease in follicle size between Day 5 and 6 of altrenogest feeding was associated with increased ESR in both treatments (p = 0.002). Follicle pool analyses (assessment of all follicles >2 mm) revealed that on Day 3, sows with low ESR had a higher % of follicles >5 mm compared with sows with high ESR (30% vs 10%; p = 0.04). Thus, sows in which follicle growth was less suppressed during altrenogest feeding had a lower ESR. These effects on follicle development and ESR were more pronounced in split-weaned sows.
Nutritionally Induced Relationships Between Insulin Levels During the Weaning-to-Ovulation Interval and Reproductive Characteristics in Multiparous Sows: II. Luteal Development, Progesterone and Conceptus Development and Uniformity
Wientjes, J.G.M. ; Soede, N.M. ; Brand, H. van den; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)1. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 62 - 68.
uterine protein secretion - dietary energy-source - piglet birth-weight - primiparous sows - embryo survival - feed-intake - luteinizing-hormone - gilts - size - growth
Insulin-stimulating sow diets before mating improve piglet uniformity. We studied effects of nutritionally induced differences in insulin levels during the weaning-to-ovulation interval (WOI) on luteal development, progesterone secretion and pre-implantation conceptus development and uniformity (d10). To create insulin contrasts, 32 multiparous sows were fed either a dextrose plus lactose containing diet (each 150 g/day) at 4 h intervals (DL treatment) or an isocalorically control diet (containing soybean oil) at 12 h intervals (CTRL treatment) during the WOI. After ovulation, all sows received a standard gestation diet at 12 h intervals. Ovulation rate, plasma progesterone levels, pregnancy rate and embryo survival did not differ between treatments. CTRL sows had a higher total luteal weight (11.2 vs 9.7 g; p = 0.03) than DL sows. Conceptus diameter at d10 of pregnancy tended to be larger in CTRL sows (diameter: 7.1 vs 6.4 mm; p = 0.07). Conceptus uniformity was not influenced by treatment. Insulin area under the curve (AUC) and mean insulin during the WOI were positively related with mean progesterone (ß values were 0.78 (ng/ml)/1000 µU and 0.14 (ng/ml)/(µU/ml) for AUC and mean, respectively; p <0.05) and maximal progesterone (ß values were 1.46 (ng/ml)/1000 µU and 0.27 (ng/ml)/(µU/ml) for AUC and mean, respectively; p <0.05) levels during the first 10 days of pregnancy, but not with conceptus development and uniformity. In conclusion, high insulin levels during the WOI seem to be beneficial for progesterone secretion in sows, probably mediated through beneficial effects of insulin on follicle development.
Nutritionally Induced Relationships Between Insulin Levels During the Weaning-to-Ovulation Interval and Reproductive Characteristics in Multiparous Sows: I. Luteinizing Hormone, Follicle Development, Oestrus and Ovulation
Wientjes, J.G.M. ; Soede, N.M. ; Brand, H. van den; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 47 (2012)1. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 53 - 61.
dietary energy-source - growth-factor-i - primiparous sows - feed-intake - lactation - glucose - gilts - pigs - performance - secretion
To get more insight in how insulin secretion patterns and corresponding insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) levels are related to luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion, follicle development and ovulation, 32 multiparous sows were fed either a dextrose plus lactose-containing diet at 4 h intervals (DL; each 150 g/day) or an isocaloric control diet at 12 h intervals (CTRL; containing soybean oil) during the weaning-to-ovulation interval (WOI). Insulin parameters (basal, peak levels and mean insulin) and IGF-1 levels during the WOI were similar for both treatments, but the insulin secretion pattern differed (related with feeding frequency and meal sizes). Oestrus and ovulation characteristics were not influenced by treatment. The LH surge was higher in CTRL compared with DL sows (3.73 vs 3.00 ng/ml; p = 0.03). Average diameter (6.5 vs 6.1 mm; p = 0.08) and uniformity (CV: 11 vs 15%, p = 0.02) of follicles =3 mm at day 4 after weaning was higher in CTRL compared with DL sows. Basal insulin levels were positively related with follicle diameter at ovulation (ß = 0.05 mm/(µU/ml); p = 0.04) and negatively related with LH surge level (ß = -0.07 (ng/ml)/(µU/ml); p = 0.01). Insulin area under the curve (AUC) (ß = 0.037 (ng/ml)/1000 µU; p = 0.02) and IGF-1 levels (ß = 0.002 (ng/ml)/(ng/ml); p <0.01) were positively related to basal LH level around the LH surge. From these data, we conclude that insulin and IGF-1 levels during the WOI are related to LH secretion and follicle development. Not only the absolute level of insulin seems important, but also the pattern within a day in which insulin is secreted seems to affect LH secretion and development of pre-ovulatory follicles.
Effects of dietary carbohydrate sources on plasma glucose, insulin and IGF-I levels in multiparous sows
Wientjes, J.G.M. ; Soede, N.M. ; Aarsse, F. ; Laurenssen, B.F.A. ; Koopmanschap, R.E. ; Brand, H. van den; Kemp, B. - \ 2012
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 96 (2012)3. - ISSN 0931-2439 - p. 494 - 505.
growth-factor-i - volatile fatty-acid - primiparous sows - energy-source - luteinizing-hormone - incretin responses - physical-activity - lactase activity - embryo survival - estrus interval
Effects of different carbohydrate sources on plasma glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels were compared to subsequently be able to study effects of insulin-stimulating diets on follicle development in sows. The following feed components were tested in 12 sows during six consecutive test periods of 9.5 days: dextrose (DEX), sucrose (SUC), lactose (LAC), dextrose plus lactose (DL), sucrose plus lactose (SL), dextrose plus sugarbeet pulp (DSBP) and control (CON). On day 2, 5 and 9 of each test period, plasma glucose (only at day 9), insulin and IGF-I profiles were determined. Despite similar glucose profiles for all diets, the postprandial insulin response was higher for DL and SL compared with CON and LAC; the other diets were intermediate. Plasma IGF-I levels were higher in CON, LAC and SL compared with DSBP, but differences were only marginal. It was concluded that dextrose and sucrose have the potential to stimulate fast and high insulin peaks, especially when combined with additional lactose. Despite the high dextrose in the DSBP diet, the insulin response was flattened, probably due to the viscosity of sugarbeet pulp. The results show that modulation of plasma insulin levels by dietary carbohydrates seems possible in anabolic sows, but IGF-I levels are less easily modified.
An increased feed intake during early pregnancy improves sow body weight recovery and increases litter size in young sows
Hoving, L.L. ; Soede, N.M. ; Peet-Schwering, C.M.C. van der; Graat, E.A.M. ; Feitsma, H. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2011
Journal of Animal Science 89 (2011)11. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 3542 - 3550.
gonadotropin-releasing-hormone - multiparous sows - ovarian-function - reproductive-performance - fetal-development - conceptus growth - primiparous sows - protein loss - live weight - gilts
This study evaluated the effect of feeding level and protein content in feed in first- and second-parity sows during the first month of gestation on sow BW recovery, farrowing rate, and litter size during the first month of gestation. From d 3 to d 32 after first insemination, sows were fed either 2.5 kg/d of a standard gestation diet (Control, n = 49), or 3.25 kg/d (+ 30%) of a standard gestation diet (Plus Feed, n = 47), or 2.5 kg/d of a gestation diet with 30% greater level of ileal digestible AA (Plus Protein, n = 49). Feed intake during the experimental period was 29% greater for Plus Feed sows compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (93 vs. 72 kg, P <0.05). Plus feed sows gained 10 kg more BW during the experimental period compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (24.2 ± 1.2 vs. 15.5 ± 1.2 and 16.9 ± 1.2 kg, respectively, P <0.001). Backfat gain and loin muscle depth gain were not affected by treatment (P = 0.56 and P = 0.37, respectively). Farrowing rate was lesser, though not significantly, for Plus Feed sows compared with Control and Plus Protein sows (76.6% vs. 89.8% and 89.8%, respectively, P = 0.16). Litter size, however, was larger for the Plus Feed sows (15.2 ± 0.5 total born) compared with the Control and Plus Protein sows (13.2 ± 0.4 and 13.6 ± 0.4 total born, respectively, P = 0.006). Piglet birth weight was not different among treatments (P = 0.65). For both first- and second-parity sows, the Plus Feed treatment showed similar effects on BW gain, farrowing rate, and litter size. In conclusion, an increased feed intake (+ 30%) during the first month of gestation improved sow BW recovery and increased litter size but did not significantly affect farrowing rate in the subsequent parity. Feeding a 30% greater level of ileal digestible AA during the same period did not improve sow recovery or reproductive performance in subsequent parity
Effects of altrenogest treatments before and after weaning on follicular development, farrowing rate, and litter size in sows
Leeuwen, J.J.J. van; Martens, M.R.T.M. ; Jourquin, J. ; Draincourt, M.A. ; Kemp, B. ; Soede, N.M. - \ 2011
Journal of Animal Science 89 (2011)8. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 2397 - 2406.
primiparous sows - progestagen treatment - estrous-cycle - feed-intake - gilts - fertility - regumate - piglet - estrus - synchronization
In a previous study, we showed that follicle size at weaning affects a sow’s response to a short altrenogest treatment after weaning. In this study, an attempt was made to prevent growth of follicles into larger size categories before weaning using different altrenogest treatments before weaning to improve reproductive performance after postweaning altrenogest treatments. Sows (87 primiparous and 130 multiparous) were assigned to: control (no altrenogest treatment; n = 59), RU0-20 (20 mg altrenogest, d -1 to d 6; weaning = d 0; n = 53), RU40-20 (40 mg altrenogest, d -3 to d 0 and 20 mg altrenogest d 1 to d 6; n = 53), and RU20-20 (20 mg altrenogest, d -3 to d 6; n = 52). Follicle size was assessed daily with trans-abdominal ultrasound. Follicle size on d -3 (3.6 ± 0.7 mm) and at weaning (4.0 ± 0.7 mm) was similar for all treatments. Altrenogest-treated sows had larger follicles at the start of the follicular phase than control sows (5.4 ± 0.1 and 3.8 ± 0.2 mm, LS Means, respectively; P <0.0001) and on d 4 of the follicular phase (8.0 ± 0.1 and 6.7 ± 0.2 mm, LS Means, respectively; P <0.0001). Multiparous sows had larger follicles than primiparous sows at the start of the follicular phase (5.3 ± 0.1 and 4.7 ± 0.1 mm, LS Means, respectively; P <0.01) and on d 4 of the follicular phase (8.0 ± 0.1 and 7.0 ± 0.1 mm, LS Means, respectively; P <0.0001). Farrowing rate and litter size (born alive + dead) were not affected by treatment or parity. However, in primiparous sows, when mummies were included in litter size, altrenogest sows had larger litters than control sows (13.4 ± 0.5 and 11.9 ± 0.7 piglets, respectively; P = 0.02). In primiparous control sows, backfat depth at weaning and litter size were positively related (slope of the regression line = 0.82; P <0.05), which was not the case in primiparous altrenogest sows. In conclusion, the different altrenogest treatments before weaning did not prevent growth of follicles before weaning and similarly affected subsequent follicle development and fertility. In primiparous sows, altrenogest treatment after weaning increased the number of fetuses during pregnancy but positive effects seemed limited by uterine capacity. Altrenogest treatment after weaning improved litter size in primiparous sows with low backfat depth at weaning, which suggests a specific positive effect of a recovery period after weaning in sows with low body condition scores at weaning
Reproductive cycles in pigs
Soede, N.M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2011
Animal Reproduction Science 124 (2011)3-4. - ISSN 0378-4320 - p. 251 - 258.
growth-factor-i - porcine corpora-lutea - dietary energy-source - 2 feeding levels - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - follicular development - estrous-cycle - ovulation rate - pulsatile release
The oestrous cycle in pigs spans a period of 18–24 days. It consists of a follicular phase of 5–7 days and a luteal phase of 13–15 days. During the follicular phase, small antral follicles develop into large, pre-ovulatory follicles. Being a polytocous species, the pig may ovulate from 15 to 30 follicles, depending on age, nutritional status and other factors. During the luteal phase, follicle development is less pronounced, although there is probably a considerable turnover of primordial to early antral follicles that fail to further develop due to progesterone inhibition of gonadotrophic hormones. Nevertheless, formation of the early antral follicle pool during this stage probably has a major impact on follicle dynamics in the follicular phase in terms of number and quality of follicles. Generally, gilts are mated at their second or third estrous cycle after puberty. After farrowing, pigs experience a lactational anoestrus period, until they are weaned and the follicular phase is initiated, resulting in oestrus and ovulation 4–7 days after weaning. This paper describes the major endocrine processes during the follicular and luteal phases that precede and follow ovulation. The role of nutrition and metabolic status on these processes are briefly discussed
Cortisol profiles in sows submitted to an intermittent suckling regime compared with that of abruptly weaned sows
Kluivers-Poodt, M. ; Gerritsen, R. ; Nes, A. van; Langendijk, P. - \ 2010
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 45 (2010)3. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 377 - 382.
to-estrus interval - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - stress - reproduction - lactation - ovulation - piglet
The aim of this study was to monitor changes in cortisol levels in sows around the time of separation from their piglets, in two different intermittent suckling regimes, compared with that in conventionally weaned sows. Sows were either weaned at 21 days of lactation (CONT) or subjected to an intermittent suckling regime (IS) from 14 days of lactation onwards. Sows in the IS regimes were separated from their piglets for 12 h every day, either from 08:00 to 20:00 hours (IS12) or from 08:00 to 14:00 hours and 20:00 to 02:00 hours (IS6). Separation caused a transient increase in cortisol levels on the first (CONT and IS12) and second (IS12) day of separation, compared with a gradual decline from early morning when the sows were still continuously suckling. In IS6 sows, in contrast, the transient rise in cortisol levels after separation at 08:00 hours was observed on the first 3 days and also on day 7 of the IS regime. Cortisol parameters were correlated with peri-ovulatory characteristics like onset of oestrus, onset of the LH surge and time of ovulation. Onset of the LH surge was delayed in IS6 sows. In conclusion, increase in cortisol levels as a consequence of separation of sows and piglets, is an acute, incidental phenomenon in IS12 and CONT sows, but shows a repeated acute elevation in IS6 sows, possibly placing IS6 sows at a higher risk of influencing peri-ovulatory processes and developing cystic follicles
Effects of Dextrose Plus Lactose in the Sows Diet on Subsequent Reproductive Performance and within Litter Birth Weigt Variation
Brand, H. van den; Enckevort, L.C.M. van; Hoeven, E.M. van der; Kemp, B. - \ 2009
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 44 (2009)6. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 884 - 888.
to-estrus interval - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - preweaning survival - embryo survival - ovulation rate - energy-source - feed-intake - insulin - growth
Effects of dextrose plus lactose in sow's feed were tested on subsequent reproductive performance and within litter birth weight variation. During the last week of gestation and lactation, sows were either fed a commercial lactation diet (Control: C), or an isocaloric diet containing 25 g/kg dextrose plus 25 g/kg lactose (Treatment: T). In the subsequent weaning-to-oestrus interval (WEI), all sows received the same amount of a commercial feed, but T sows were supplemented with 150 g dextrose plus 150 g lactose per day. Weight and backfat changes were recorded as well as litter characteristics during the treatment period and the subsequent parity. No significant effect of treatment was found on the subsequent reproductive performance, including the number of piglets born, although the number of live born piglets was 0.51 larger (p = 0.31) and weight of the live born piglets was 84 g higher in the T sows (p = 0.07) than in the C sows. When sows were categorized in sows with 12 or less and more than 12 total born piglets in the previous litter, treatment of sows with dextrose plus lactose resulted for the group with 12 or less piglets in a strong increase in subsequent total born piglets (13.97), whereas in the untreated sows the subsequent litter size was 11.89. In the group with more than 12 total born piglets, no effect of treatment was found (interaction between previous litter size and treatment p = 0.03). The within litter variation in birth weight in the subsequent litter was numerically lower in the T sows. We concluded that the use of dextrose and lactose during lactation and WEI seems to enhance litter size in sows with low previous litter size and seems to have the potential to reduce the within litter variation in birth weight.
LH and FSH secretion, follicle development and oestradiol in sows ovulating or failing to ovulate in an intermittent suckling regimen
Langendijk, P. ; Dieleman, S.J. ; Dooremalen, C. van; Foxcroft, G.R. ; Gerritsen, R. ; Hazeleger, W. ; Soede, N.M. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2009
Reproduction Fertility and Development 21 (2009)2. - ISSN 1031-3613 - p. 313 - 322.
luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - stimulating-hormone - lactating sows - litter separation - boar exposure - feeding level - estrus - expression - prolactin
The present paper describes LH and FSH secretion, follicle development and ovulation in sows that were subjected to a limited nursing regimen. From Day 14 of lactation, 32 sows were separated from their piglets for 12 h every day (intermittent suckling; IS). Half the sows had boar contact during separation. Nine of 32 sows ovulated spontaneously within 14 days from initiation of IS. The frequency of LH pulses on the first day of IS tended to be higher in anovulatory sows (6.3 v. 4.2 pulses per 12 h; P <0.10); other characteristics of LH secretion were similar to sows that ovulated. The characteristics of FSH secretion did not differ over the 8-h sampling period. Boar contact did not influence either LH and FSH secretion or the number of sows that ovulated. Up to 58% of anovulatory sows showed an increase in follicle size after initiation of IS and, 4 days after the initiation of IS, one-third still had follicles similar in size to those in ovulatory sows. However, the oestradiol concentration in anovulatory sows did not increase. We conclude that FSH and LH stimulation in anovulatory sows is not limiting for normal follicle development, but that ovarian follicles are not responsive to increased LH secretion
Intermittent suckling enables estrus and pregnancy during lactation in sows: Effects of stage of lactation and lactation during early pregnancy
Gerritsen, R. ; Soede, N.M. ; Hazeleger, W. ; Langendijk, P. ; Dieleman, S.J. ; Taverne, M.A.M. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2009
Theriogenology 71 (2009)3. - ISSN 0093-691X - p. 432 - 440.
luteinizing-hormone - extended lactation - reproductive tract - primiparous sows - ovulation rate - progesterone - prolactin - gilts - pigs - lh
Previously we demonstrated that pre-ovulatory LH and post-ovulatory progesterone (P4) concentrations in plasma were low and embryo development was retarded when sows were induced to ovulate during lactation by submitting them to intermittent suckling (IS). The present study investigated whether this was due to: (1) stage of lactation when IS was initiated, and (2) continuation of IS post-ovulation. Multiparous Topigs40 sows were studied under three conditions: conventional weaning at Day 21 of lactation (C21; n = 30), intermittent Suckling from Day 14 of lactation (IS 14; it = 32), and intermittent suckling from Day 21 of lactation (IS21; It = 33). Sows were separated from piglets for 12 h daily during IS. IS sows were either weaned at ovulation or 20 d following ovulation. One-third (21/63) of the IS21 and C21 sows had already ovulated or had large pre-ovulatory follicles at Day 21 and were excluded from further study. Initiation of IS at Day 14 instead of Day 21 of lactation tended to reduce P4 at 7 d post-ovulation (P = 0.07), did not affect pregnancy rate, and tended to reduce embryo survival (P = 0.06). Continuation of IS during pregnancy resulted in lower P4 at 7 and 12 d post-ovulation. tended to reduce embryo weight and pregnancy rate (P <0.10), whereas embryo survival was not affected. This study presents data for a population of sows in which follicle growth and ovulation are easily triggered under suckling conditions. Further, when these sows are bred during lactation, initiation of IS at 21 rather than 14 d of lactation with weaning at ovulation yields the most desirable reproductive performance. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Genetic parameters and predicted selection results for maternal traits related to lactation efficiency in sows
Bergsma, R. ; Kanis, E. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2008
Journal of Animal Science 86 (2008)5. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 1067 - 1080.
residual feed-intake - primiparous sows - large white - body-composition - breeding sows - birth-weight - growth-rate - pigs - performance - stayability
The increased productivity of sows increases the risk of a more pronounced negative energy balance during lactation. One possibility to prevent this is to increase the lactation efficiency (LE) genetically and thereby increase milk output for a given feed intake and mobilization of body tissue. The benefits of selection for LE depend on its heritability and the relationships with other traits of interest. The objectives of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for LE, its underlying traits, and to predict the consequences of current selection strategies in dam lines. Data from 4 farms were available to estimate genetic parameters. Heritabilities were estimated by using a univariate repeatability model, and genetic correlations were estimated bivariately. Selection index theory was used to predict the genetic progress by 3 alternative breeding programs: 1) a breeding program that aimed at balanced progress in the total number of piglets born, piglet mortality, and percent prolonged interval from weaning to estrus; 2) extension of this breeding goal with LE; and 3) a breeding goal that included only one selection criterion, litter weight gain, to demonstrate the effect of indirect selection for milk production. The heritability for LE was low (0.12). Body fat mass (0.52) and BW (0.45) of sows at the beginning of lactation showed the greatest heritabilities. Protein mass at the beginning of lactation, protein loss, weight loss, and ad libitum feed intake during lactation showed moderate heritabilities (0.39, 0.21, 0.20, and 0.30, respectively). Low to moderate heritabilities were found for litter weight at birth, within-litter SD in the birth weight of piglets, litter weight gain, fat loss, and restricted feed intake during lactation (0.19, 0.09, 0.18, 0.05, and 0.14, respectively). Within-litter SD in the weaning weight of piglets showed no genetic variability. It was predicted that a breeding goal for dam lines with an emphasis on the total number of piglets born, piglet mortality, and percent prolonged interval from weaning to estrus would not dramatically change BW or body composition at the beginning of lactation, or mobilization of body tissue and feed intake during lactation. Inclusion of LE in the breeding goal will improve stayability, as defined by the first-litter survival of sows and LE itself, without negative consequences for other economically important traits. Nevertheless, it might be worthwhile to design a breeding goal in which LE increases and feed intake remains unchanged.
Peri-oestrus Hormone Profiles and Follicle Growth in Lactating Sows with Oestrus Induced by Intermittent Suckling
Gerritsen, R. ; Soede, N.M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Dieleman, S.J. ; Hazeleger, W. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2008
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 43 (2008)1. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 1 - 8.
preovulatory lh surge - luteinizing-hormone - stimulating-hormone - prolactin secretion - progesterone concentration - litter separation - endocrine changes - primiparous sows - boar exposure - ovulation
This study describes follicle dynamics, endocrine profiles in multiparous sows with lactational oestrus compared with conventionally weaned sows (C). Lactational oestrus was induced by Intermittent Suckling (IS) with separation of sows and piglets for either 12 consecutive hours per day (IS12, n = 14) or twice per day for 6 h per occasion (IS6, n = 13) from day 14 of lactation onwards. Control sows (n = 23) were weaned at day 21 of lactation. Pre-ovulatory follicles (¿6 mm) were observed in 100% of IS12, 92% of IS6 and 26% of C sows before day 21 of lactation and in the remaining 74% C sows within 7 days after weaning. All sows with pre-ovulatory follicles showed oestrus, but not all sows showed ovulation. Four IS6 sows and one IS12 sow developed cystic follicles of which two IS6 sows partially ovulated. Follicle growth, ovulation rate and time of ovulation were similar. E2 levels tended to be higher in IS sows (p = 0.06), the pre-ovulatory LH surge tended to be lower in IS12 (5.1 ± 1.7 ng/ml) than in C sows (8.4 ± 5.0 ng/ml; p = 0.08) and P4 levels were lower in IS12 and IS6 than in C sows (at 75 h after ovulation: 8.8 ± 2.4 ng/ml vs 7.0 ± 1.4 ng/ml vs 17.1 ± 4.4 ng/ml; p <0.01). In conclusion, sows with lactational oestrus induced by IS are similar to weaned sows in the timing of oestrus, early follicle development and ovulation rates, but the pre-ovulatory LH surge and post-ovulatory P4 increase are lower.
Early Embryo Survival and Development in Sows with Lactational Ovulation
Gerritsen, R. ; Soede, N.M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Taverne, M.A.M. ; Kemp, B. - \ 2008
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 43 (2008)1. - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 59 - 65.
reproductive-performance - luteinizing-hormone - primiparous sows - progesterone - pigs - estradiol-17-beta - prolactin - nutrition - pregnancy - profiles
During lactation, daily separation of sow and piglets, intermittent suckling (IS), can induce lactational oestrus and ovulation. This study examined effects of IS on subsequent early embryo survival and development. Multiparous Topigs40 sows were separated from their piglets for either 12 consecutive hours per day (IS12, n = 13) or two times for 6 h per day (IS6, n = 10) from day 14 of lactation onwards until 23 days after ovulation. Control sows (C, n = 17) were weaned at day 21 of lactation. Oestrus was shown in all treatments within 5 days after the start of treatment. Sows were inseminated each day of oestrus and slaughtered at D23 after ovulation. Intermittent suckling did not significantly affect pregnancy rates of sows (75% IS12 vs 78% IS6 vs 94% C; p > 0.10). Embryo survival was not significantly affected by IS (IS12: 57%; IS6: 51%; p > 0.10) although it seemed to be lower than in C sows (70%). Some parameters of embryo, placental and uterine development were affected by IS, especially in the IS6 group. IS6 embryos had shorter placentas (17.5 ± 1.2 cm; p <0.05) than C (20.3 ± 1.4 cm) and IS12 sows (20.9 ± 0.7 cm) were smaller and less developed than C sows (p <0.05). In conclusion, embryo survival does not seem significantly affected by IS, although numerical differences were great. Embryo development, however, was negatively affected in IS6 sows possibly due to a combination of high milk production, stress and lactational effects on uterine development.
Superovulatory Ovarian Response in Mangalica Gilts is Not Influenced by Feeding Level
Egerszegi, I. ; Hazeleger, W. ; Rátky, J. ; Sarlós, P. ; Kemp, B. ; Bouwman, E. ; Solti, L. ; Brüssow, K.P. - \ 2007
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 42 (2007). - ISSN 0936-6768 - p. 441 - 444.
porcine follicular-fluid - oocyte maturation - ovulation rate - nutritional-status - different patterns - insulin-treatment - primiparous sows - embryo survival - early-pregnancy - landrace gilts
The aim of the study was to compare how different feeding levels affect the ovarian potential of follicular development and oocyte maturation in response to superovulatory treatment in native Mangalica (M, n = 17) compared with Landrace (L, n = 20) pigs. Gilts of both breeds were fed high-energy (HI-2.5 kg) or low-energy (LO - 1.25 kg) feed during oestrus synchronization (15 days of Regumate (R) feeding) till the time of oocyte aspiration (Day 6 after Regumate (R)). Follicular growth was stimulated by the administration of 1000 IU equine choriou gonadotropiu (eCG) 24 h after Regumate (R) treatment, and ovulation was induced by injection of 750 IU human choriou gonadotropiu (hCG) 80 h after eCG adminstration. Ultrasound (US) investigation was done three times (4-10 h before, and 40-44 and 72-74 h after eCG administration) for the observation of follicular development. Oocyte and follicular fluid (FF) were collected endoscopically 34 h after hCG injection. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were evaluated, their morphology determined, and thereafter fixed and stained for chromatin evaluation. Oocytes were classified as meiosis-resumed (germinal vesicle breakdown, diakinesis, metaphase I to anaphase 1) or matured (telophase I and metaphase 11). FF concentrations of oestradiol and progesterone were measured by validated radioimmunoassays. In L gilts, differences were observed between HI and LO in the number of preovulatory follicles (32.3 +/- 10.5 vs 17.1 +/- 12.3, p <0.05), but not in M (25.3 +/- 2.9 vs 28.8 +/- 7.3, p > 0.05). Initial follicular growth was not affected by feeding levels; however, preovulatory follicle size was larger in M (7.1 +/- 0.9 and 6.9 +/- 1.1 turn vs 5.7 +/- 0.7 and 5.5 +/- 0.8 mm; p <0.05). No differences were obtained with relation to mature chromatin configuration in both breeds (L gilts: HI - 70% and LO-67% vs M gilts: HI- 67% and LO - 63%). A twofold higher oestradiol concentration was detected in FF of HI-M and LO-M (29.6 +/- 6.8 and 30.9 +/- 10.3 ng/ml respectively) compared with that of L (16.9 +/- 9.7 and 17.9 +/- 3.6 ng/ml, respectively; p <0.05). The mean FF progesterone level was nearly fivefold higher in M (2020.4 +/- 1056 and 1512.2 +/- 1121.8 ng/ml) compared with L (386.2 +/- 113.7 and 298.8 +/- 125.9 ng/ml, p <0.05). The results indicate an influence of the feeding of altered energy on the number of recruitable preovulatory follicles in modern Landrace but not in native Mangalica breed. Moreover, the follicular steroid hormone milieu differs between Landrace and Mangalica gilts but not depending on feeding levels. Oocyte maturation was not affected by diet.
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