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Development of Methods for Precise Control of Reproduction in Early-Weaned Sows Sows that have their litters weaned before 2 weeks of age may experience a variety of reproductive problems such as failing to return to heat, developing cystic follicles, displaying irregular heats, having poor conception rates and delivering small-sized litter sizes at the next farrowing.
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Weaning-- Semen-- Insemination-- Pregnancy Diagnosis--
Reproduction & Growth
Heat Detection and Insemination Strategies
There are many variables that influence the two main components of overall herd reproductive performance- sow and boar fertility. Regardless of breeding management, i.e., natural service (NS) vs. artificial insemination (AI), broad management areas like environment, nutrition, lactation length or farrowing room management and health status are generally similar in both protocols. However, unlike natural service, successful matings that should culminate sow and boar fertility into the birth of live offspring are no longer the responsibility of the boar, but a person.
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Enhancement of Fertility with A.I.: Effect of Oxytocin as a Pre-Breeding Stimuli
A number of compounds have been shown to enhance sperm transport via stimulation of uterine and oviductal contractions. One such hormone is oxytocin. An initial study demonstrated that 5 i.u. of oxytocin significantly increased the number of spermatozoa in the oviduct.
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Detection of Estrus
Detection of estrus is an important component in A.I. breeding programs and is difficult to optimize. The keys to successful detection of estrus are to be observant, prevent over-exposure to boars and understand the physiological and behavioral signs that occur prior to the standing reflex.
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Common Mistakes in Managing Breeding Females
Successful herd reproductive performance depends heavily on the management of the breeding female population. Because a single infertile sow or gilt cannot influence overall reproductive to the extent that an infertile boar will, it's not common to overlook the reproductive problems with the breeding female. From a physiological perspective, management considerations in optimizing female reproductive performance include genetics, nutrition, environment, health, stress and of course, breeding.
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Influence of Mating Time on Pig Parentage
If a sow is bred three times in two days, which mating contributed the most number of pigs to the litter when she farrows? This question has always been important, but it takes on new significance with the use of combination matings (natural followed by A.I.).
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Catching Gilts in Estrus
Adding gilts into the breeding herd is a major task in sow herd management. The magnitude of this task is highlighted by the large replacement rate that all sow herds experience.
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Relationship of Sow Nutrition and Post-weaning Return to Estrus
On commercial swine breeding farms, it is expected that a large percentage of sows exhibit a fertile estrus within 3 to 8 days after weaning. A varying percentage of sows, however, fail to exhibit estrus within this time span and may experience extended periods before returning to normal reproductive function. Delayed return to estrus has a major negative impact on breeding herd efficiency by disruption of breeding schedules, increasing "non-productive sow days," reducing pigs produced per sow per year, and perhaps causing premature culling of sows with good genetic potential for milk production and heavy litter weights.
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Reproduction & Growth
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