Lactational Oestrus in Intermittently Suckled Sows: Peri-Ovulatory Hormones, Follicle Development and Ovulation

R. Gerritsen, N.M. Soede, P. Langendijk, S.J. Dieleman, B. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Intermittent Suckling (IS) can induce lactational oestrus in sows. This study examined the quality of lactational oestrus by studying periovulatory hormones, follicle development and ovulation. Multiparous TOPIGS 40 sows were allocated to a Control group (C) weaned at D21of lactation (n = 23), or to one of 2 IS groups. IS started at D14 of lactation and sows and piglets were separated for consecutive 12 h per day (IS12; n = 14) or at 6 h intervals (IS6; n = 13). Oestrus detection was performed without a boar. Lactational oestrus was shown in 100% IS12, 92% IS6 and 26% C sows before D22 of lactation. The remaining 74% C sows showed oestrus within 7 d after weaning. Ovulation occurred in 93% IS12, 83% IS6 and 100% C sows showing oestrus after start IS/weaning. In non-ovulating oestrous sows cystic follicles were present. Duration of oestrus was longer for C (70 ± 5 h; LSM ± SE) than IS6 (48 ± 8 h; p = 0.06); IS12 was intermediate (61 ± 6 h). No differences were found in follicle development, ovulation rate or oestradiol levels, or in onset of oestrus or time of ovulation relative to start IS/weaning. LH peak tended to be higher in Control sows (8.38 ± 1.24 ng/ml) than IS12 sows (5.1 ± 0.48 ng/ml; p = 0.08). Progesterone levels rose faster in C than in IS12 and IS6 (at 75 h after ovulation: 17.1 ± 0.9 ng/ml vs 8.8 ± 1.0 ng/ml vs 7.0 ± 1.2 ng/ml; p <0.01). Thus, lactational oestrus was easily induced in these sows, but the process of ovulation seemed affected leading to changes in peri-ovulatory hormones and cystic follicles
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-387
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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