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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of Single, Fixed-Time Artificial Insemination in Gilts Using Two Different Protocols to Synchronize Ovulation

Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G2W1, Canada
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Animals 2020, 10(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020306 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 February 2020 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pig Reproduction)
It is necessary to have a consistent supply of service-ready gilts available to incorporate into each batch of breeding sows. Techniques to manipulate the timing of estrus and possibly the timing of ovulation in gilts are helpful in order to achieve this goal. This study investigated two different techniques for inducing ovulation to allow fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI) protocols in gilts and compared results with gilts bred when observed in standing heat following cessation of daily altrenogest treatment. Pubertal gilts (n = 180) were assigned to one of three treatment groups. Group 1 gilts (LUT, n = 62) were induced to ovulate utilizing intramuscular injections of equine chorionic gonadotropin followed by porcine luteinizing hormone, and bred using a single FTAI. Group 2 gilts (TRI, n = 61) were induced to ovulate by intravaginal deposition of triptorelin acetate and were bred by a single FTAI. Group 3 gilts (CON, n = 57) were observed for estrus and bred twice (24 h apart) using artificial insemination (AI). LUT and TRI gilts completed farrowing in a smaller window of time compared to CON gilts; however, they also tended to have poorer reproductive performance. LUT and TRI piglets were 80 g and 64 g, respectively, heavier at weaning than CON piglets. Results indicate that FTAI might be useful as a means of minimizing the range in lactation length in a farrowing batch. However, modifications of the protocols may be required to ensure optimum farrowing rates and litter size.
In order to efficiently have a consistent supply of service-ready gilts available to incorporate into each batch of breeding sows, it is necessary to manipulate the timing of estrus and possibly the timing of ovulation of gilts. Estrus can be synchronized by the withdrawal of altrenogest after at least 14 days of treatment. It is possible that protocols developed to induce ovulation, and therefore allow fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI), can improve the predictability of gilt breeding. This study investigated the effect of two FTAI protocols in gilts on reproductive performance and timing of farrowing and piglet weaning weight compared to gilts bred based on signs of estrus after cessation of altrenogest. Puberty was induced in gilts, followed by treatment with altrenogest. Following altrenogest withdrawal, 180 gilts were assigned to one of three treatment groups. Group 1 gilts (LUT, n = 62) were treated with 600 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin 24 h after altrenogest withdrawal and 5 mg porcine luteinizing hormone (pLH) 80 h later, followed by a single FTAI 36 h after pLH. Group 2 gilts (TRI, n= 61) received 2 mL of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, triptorelin acetate, intravaginally 6 d after altrenogest withdrawal and were bred by a single FTAI 24 h later. Group 3 gilts (CON, n = 57) were observed for estrus and bred twice by AI, 24 h apart. LUT and TRI gilts farrowed closer together (2.4 ± 1.6 and 2.9 ± 1.2 d(days), respectively) compared to CON gilts (4.5 ± 3.3 d). Piglets in LUT were 80 g (p < 0.001) heavier and piglets in TRI were 64 g (p < 0.05) heavier at weaning than CON piglets, when controlling for birth weight. Results indicate that FTAI might be useful as a means of minimizing the time from the first to the last gilt farrowing in a breeding batch of gilts. However, modifications of the protocols may be required to ensure optimum farrowing rates and litter size.
Keywords: fixed-time artificial insemination; gilt breeding fixed-time artificial insemination; gilt breeding
MDPI and ACS Style

Rodrigues, L.; Amezcua, R.; Cassar, G.; O’Sullivan, T.L.; Friendship, R. Comparison of Single, Fixed-Time Artificial Insemination in Gilts Using Two Different Protocols to Synchronize Ovulation. Animals 2020, 10, 306.

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