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.
Breeding replacement gilts for organic pig herds
Leenhouwers, J.I. ; Napel, J. ten; Hanenberg, E.H.A.T. ; Merks, J.W.M. - \ 2011
Animal 5 (2011)4. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 615 - 621.
to-conception interval - lactation length - litter size - systems - performance - mortality - livestock - traits - growth
In this study, breeding structures and commercial sow lines were evaluated by economic and genetic simulation studies for their suitability to provide the Dutch organic pig sector with replacement gilts. Sow and litter performance from over 2000 crossbred sows from 2006 to 2007 were collected on 11 to 14 Dutch organic pig herds, respectively, and compared with conventional herds. Results showed that organic herds had lower farrowing rates (3.6% to 7.5%), more live born piglets per litter (0.4% to 1.2%) and higher preweaning mortality rates (7% to 13%) compared to conventional herds. These results were used to simulate economic performance of various combinations of breeding structures and sow lines under organic conditions, under the assumption of absence of genotype-environment interactions. Sow and litter performance data under organic conditions (total piglets born/litter, stillborn piglets/litter, mortality until weaning, lactation length, interval weaning-oestrus and sow culling rate) and the costprice calculation for the Dutch organic pig sector were used as input for the economic simulation studies. The expected genetic progress was simulated for three potential breeding structures of the organic sector: organic breeding herds producing F1 gilts (OrgBS), a flower breeding system (FlowerBS) and a two-line rotation breeding system (RotBS). In FlowerBS, an organic purebred sow line is bred, using on-farm gilt replacement. The OrgBS with a Yorkshire X Landrace cross had the highest margin per sow place ((sic)779), followed by RotBS with Yorkshire X Landrace cross ((sic)706) and FlowerBS with Yorkshire sow line ((sic)677). In case that an organic purebred sow population of 5000 sows would be available, FlowerBS gave the highest genetic progress in terms of cost price reduction ((sic)3.72/slaughter pig per generation), followed by RotBS and OrgBS ((sic)3.60/slaughter pig per generation). For FlowerBS, additional costs will be involved for maintaining a dedicated breeding programme. In conclusion, OrgBS using conventional genetics is economically the most viable option for the organic pig sector. However, this structure has clear disadvantages in terms of risks with regard to disease transmission and market demand. FlowerBS using a dedicated purebred organic line will only be cost-effective if sow population size is sufficiently large. RotBS might be a viable alternative, especially in combination with artificial insemination (AI) boars that are ranked according to an organic selection index. Regardless of breeding structure, the Yorkshire sow line gave the highest prolificacy and the highest economic returns on organic herds.