The aim of this study was to examine whether the low post-ovulatory plasma P4 levels found in intermittently suckled (IS) sows are related to the high feeding level during intermittent lactation. Multiparous sows (n = 21) were separated from their piglets for 12 h per day starting at day 14 of lactation until 6 days after ovulation. At day 28 of lactation, 9 sows had ovulated (spontaneous) and the remaining 12 sows were treated with PG600 (PG600-induced). At ovulation sows were allocated to either a high (H) feeding level (on average 6.5 kg) or a low (L) feeding level (high feeding level minus 2.5 kg) until 6 days after ovulation. Plasma P4 levels were not affected by feeding level or type of ovulation (P > 0.10), and neither were CL parameters, embryo survival rate and embryo development at day 30 of gestation. In conclusion, low levels of plasma P4 were found in IS sows with lactational ovulation but these were not affected by feeding level during the first week after ovulation. Further studies are needed to investigate which factors cause the lower plasma P4 levels in these sows.
- liver blood-flow