Induced estrus and breeding during lactation: Effects on sow and litter performance
Roy N. Kirkwood DVM, PhD; Philip A. Thacker PhD
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Objective: To test the effect of pregnancy concurrent with lactation on piglet growth and sow fertility.
Methods: At 28 days of lactation, sows were either weaned (controls) or treated with 1000 IU pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) and then weaned at 42 days of lactation. Sows were bred at the first estrus after weaning or PMSG.
Results: Pregnancy concurrent with lactation did not adversely affect suckling pig performance. The proportion of sows that achieved estrus 7 days after weaning or PMSG treatment, the mean wean-to-estrus interval, and subsequent litter size did not differ between treatments. However, farrowing rate was lower (P<.01) for PMSG-treated sows.
Implications: Pregnancy can be achieved concurrent with lactation. However, because of its likely adverse effect on sow fertility, it is not advised for commercial application.
Keywords: lactation, PMSG, estrus, pregnancy
Cite as: Kirkwood RN, Thacker PA. Induced estrus and breeding during lactation: Effects on sow and litter performance. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(3):95-98.
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