Use of Triptorelin Acetate for Inducing Ovulation and Facilitating Fixed Time Artificial Insemination of Sows Weaned on Small-Scale and Niche Market Pig Farms
Fabi, Amanda Jean
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Developing a single fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocol would benefit small-scale and niche market pork producers by decreasing semen costs and labor associated with detection of estrus. The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of an artificial insemination (AI) breeding system using triptorelin acetate, a GnRH agonist (OvuGel®; JBS United Animal Health, LLC, Sheridan, IN) that induces ovulation. A total of 96 sows (parity, 3.5 ± 0.2; body condition score (BCS), 2.5 ± 0.07) were weaned (h 0) after a 24.8 ± 0.6 d lactation on five participating small swine farms and allocated to one of four treatment groups: 1) TRT1: (n = 24) OvuGel applied intravaginally at h 96 and AI at h 120; 2) TRT2: (n = 24) P.G. 600® (400 IU eCG and 200 IU hCG, Merck Animal Health, Inc., De Sota, KS) injected intramuscularly at weaning, OvuGel at h 96 and AI at h 120; 3) TRT3: (n = 24) P.G. 600 at weaning, and AI at 0 and 24 h after first detection of estrus; and 4) TRT4: (n = 24) AI at 0 and 24 h after first detection of estrus. Treatments 1 and 2 were FTAI protocols with sows being inseminated without regard to estrus onset. Treatments 3 and 4 were consistent with current industry AI practices. The proportion of females displaying estrus by d 7 post-weaning was greater (P < 0.05) for sows that received OvuGel (94.5 %) compared to sows that did not receive OvuGel (82.2 %). There were no effects (P > 0.05) of P.G. 600 or P.G. 600 x OvuGel on females displaying estrus by d 7 or d 10 post-weaning. Weaning to estrus interval was decreased (P < 0.05) for sows that received P.G. 600 (4.9 ± 0.4 d) compared to sows that did not receive P.G. 600 (5.4 ± 0.4 d). There were no effects (P > 0.05) of OvuGel or P.G. 600 x OvuGel on the weaning-to-estrus interval. There were no effects of P.G. 600, OvuGel or P.G. 600 x OvuGel (P > 0.1) on pregnancy rate (total sows pregnant/inseminated) (61.2 %), total litter size (11.3), number born dead (1.0) or number of mummies (0.2). There was an effect (P < 0.05) of P.G. 600 x OvuGel on total born live (10.2). Sows treated with OvuGel had a greater number of live piglets born per semen dose (5.4) compared to sows that did not receive OvuGel (3.2) (P < 0.05). These results suggest that FTAI protocols may be employed on small-scale pig farms without compromising reproductive performance.
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