Administration of P.G. 600 to sows at weaning and the time of ovulation as determined by transrectal ultrasound

R. V. Knox, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, G. M. Miller, K. L. Willenburg, J. A. Robb

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This study determined whether the interval from estrus to ovulation was altered by giving P.G. 600 to sows at weaning. Mixed-parity sows received P.G. 600 i.m. (n = 72) or no treatment (n = 65) at weaning (d 0). Beginning on d 0, sows were observed for estrus twice daily. At the onset of estrus and thereafter, ultrasound was performed twice daily to determine the average size of the largest follicles and time of ovulation. Weaning age (20.1 ± 0.4 d) did not differ (P > 0.10) between treatments. More P.G. 600 sows expressed estrus within 8 d (P < 0.01) than controls (94.4% vs 78.4%, respectively). Parity was associated with expression of estrus (P < 0.02), with 78% of first-parity and 93% of later-parity sows exhibiting estrus. However, no treatment × parity effect was observed (P > 0.10). The interval from weaning to estrus was reduced (P < 0.0001) by P.G. 600 compared with controls (3.8 ± 0.1 d vs 4.9 ± 0.1 d). Follicle size at estrus was not affected by treatment (P > 0.10). The percentage of sows that ovulated did not differ (P > 0.10) for P.G. 600 and control sows (90.3% vs 81.5%, respectively). Time of ovulation after estrus was not affected by treatment and averaged 44.8 h. However, univariate analysis indicated that the interval from weaning to estrus influenced the interval from estrus to ovulation (r = 0.43, P < 0.0001). Further, multivariate analysis showed an effect of treatment on the intervals from weaning to estrus, weaning to ovulation (P < 0.0001), and estrus to ovulation (P < 0.04). Within 4 d after weaning, 81% of the P.G. 600 sows had expressed estrus compared with 33% of controls. However, this trend reversed for ovulation, with only 35% of P.G. 600 sows ovulating by 36 h after estrus compared with 40% of controls. The estrus-to-ovulation interval was also longer for control and P.G. 600 sows expressing estrus ≤ 3 d of weaning (45 h and 58 h, respectively) than for sows expressing estrus after 5 d (39 h and 32 h, respectively). Farrowing rate and litter size were not influenced by treatment. However, the interval from last insemination to ovulation (P < 0.02) indicated that more sows farrowed (80%) when the last insemination occurred at ≤ 23 to ≥ 0 h before ovulation compared with insemination ≥ 24 h before ovulation (55%). In summary, P.G. 600 enhanced the expression of estrus and ovulation in weaned sows but, breeding protocols may need to be optimized for time of ovulation based on the interval from weaning to estrus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2001


  • Estrus
  • Farrowing
  • Litter Size
  • Ovulation
  • Sows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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