The Intermittent Suckling Regimen in Pigs: Consequences for Reproductive Performance of Sows

R. Gerritsen, N.M. Soede, P. Langendijk, W. Hazeleger, B. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Intermittent suckling (IS), a system in which the sow and the piglets are separated for a number of hours per day during lactation, is put forward as a system that can increase piglet welfare around weaning and also induce lactational oestrus. To be of practical use, IS regimes need to result in a predictable oestrus and good reproductive performance. This review describes the effects of IS on sow reproductive performance. During IS, the LH pulsatility pattern switches to a high frequency, low amplitude release during separation, as is normally observed at weaning. In sows that ovulate during IS, LH pulsatility remains higher than in anovulatory sows. Around 90% of the IS sows show follicle growth up to pre-ovulatory size in a similar time period as sows post-weaning. Depending on the stage of lactation that IS commenced, 13% (day 21) to 21% (day 14) of the sows with pre-ovulatory follicles did not ovulate, but follicles either regressed or developed into cystic follicles. In the ovulatory IS sows oestradiol production is comparable but the LH surge is lower with an early start of IS (day 14) when compared with the weaned sows. Continuation of IS post-ovulation has negative effects on pregnancy rate, embryo development and progesterone levels. Factors related to lactation (e.g. a high metabolic clearance rate), may play a role in this. In conclusion, IS can result in a fertile oestrus when the timing of start of IS and duration of IS are taken into account, but for practical use IS regimes result in a too variable reproductive performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

Estrus
Weaning
suckling
Lactation
sows
reproductive performance
Swine
swine
Metabolic Clearance Rate
Pregnancy Rate
Ovulation
Embryonic Development
Progesterone
Estradiol
estrus
weaning
Growth
piglets
lactation
ovarian cysts

Keywords

  • luteinizing-hormone
  • embryo survival
  • lactational ovulation
  • follicle growth
  • corpora-lutea
  • progesterone
  • secretion
  • lh
  • prolactin
  • estradiol-17-beta

Cite this

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title = "The Intermittent Suckling Regimen in Pigs: Consequences for Reproductive Performance of Sows",
abstract = "Intermittent suckling (IS), a system in which the sow and the piglets are separated for a number of hours per day during lactation, is put forward as a system that can increase piglet welfare around weaning and also induce lactational oestrus. To be of practical use, IS regimes need to result in a predictable oestrus and good reproductive performance. This review describes the effects of IS on sow reproductive performance. During IS, the LH pulsatility pattern switches to a high frequency, low amplitude release during separation, as is normally observed at weaning. In sows that ovulate during IS, LH pulsatility remains higher than in anovulatory sows. Around 90{\%} of the IS sows show follicle growth up to pre-ovulatory size in a similar time period as sows post-weaning. Depending on the stage of lactation that IS commenced, 13{\%} (day 21) to 21{\%} (day 14) of the sows with pre-ovulatory follicles did not ovulate, but follicles either regressed or developed into cystic follicles. In the ovulatory IS sows oestradiol production is comparable but the LH surge is lower with an early start of IS (day 14) when compared with the weaned sows. Continuation of IS post-ovulation has negative effects on pregnancy rate, embryo development and progesterone levels. Factors related to lactation (e.g. a high metabolic clearance rate), may play a role in this. In conclusion, IS can result in a fertile oestrus when the timing of start of IS and duration of IS are taken into account, but for practical use IS regimes result in a too variable reproductive performance.",
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The Intermittent Suckling Regimen in Pigs: Consequences for Reproductive Performance of Sows. / Gerritsen, R.; Soede, N.M.; Langendijk, P.; Hazeleger, W.; Kemp, B.

In: Reproduction in Domestic Animals, Vol. 43, No. 5, 2008, p. 29-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - The Intermittent Suckling Regimen in Pigs: Consequences for Reproductive Performance of Sows

AU - Gerritsen, R.

AU - Soede, N.M.

AU - Langendijk, P.

AU - Hazeleger, W.

AU - Kemp, B.

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KW - embryo survival

KW - lactational ovulation

KW - follicle growth

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KW - progesterone

KW - secretion

KW - lh

KW - prolactin

KW - estradiol-17-beta

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DO - 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01226.x

M3 - Article

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SP - 29

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JF - Reproduction in Domestic Animals

SN - 0936-6768

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