Effect of frequency of boar exposure and adjusted mating times on measures of reproductive performance in weaned sows

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In weaned sows, reduced reproductive performance can result from failure or delayed return to estrus or improper timing of insemination. This experiment evaluated the effect of increased frequency of boar exposure and adjusted mating times on reproductive performance. Sows of mixed parity were weaned ∼18.7 d after parturition and allotted by genotype, parity, and lactation length to boar exposure frequency of once daily (1X, n = 66), twice daily every 12 h (2X, n = 61), or three times daily exposure at 8-h intervals (3X, n = 60). Sows were weaned into crates and boar exposure was initiated 3 d after weaning. Once estrus was detected, ultrasound was performed every 8 h to determine time of ovulation. All sows were artificially inseminated twice in the 1X group at 0 and 24 h, in the 2X group at 12 and 24 h, and in the 3X group at 16 and 32 h after onset of estrus. The weaning-to-estrus interval was not influenced by treatment and averaged 4.5 d. The percentage of sows expressing estrus in 8 d was higher (P < 0.05) for 1X (97.3%) compared with 2X (92.8%) but not the 3X group (94.0%). The percentage of sows ovulating after estrus was not influenced by treatment (P > 0.10) and averaged 96.5%. Estrus-to-ovulation interval was not affected by treatment (44.7 h) but was influenced by weaning-to-estrus interval (P < 0.0001). Length of estrus was influenced by treatment (P < 0.001), with estrus in the 1X (46.6 h) shorter than in the 2X (60.0 h) and 3X (67.0 h) treatments, and also by weaning-to-estrus interval (P < 0.001). The percentage of first inseminations occurring within 24 h before ovulation was increased (P < 0.001) in the 2X (62%) and 3X (66%) groups compared with the 1X group (28%) and was also influenced by parity (P < 0.001) and weaning-to-estrus interval (P < 0.05). The percentage of second services within 24 h before ovulation was not increased by any factor and averaged 78%. Farrowing rates were not increased (P > 0.10) for 2X (87.2%) and 3X (83.1%) treatments compared with 1X (75.0%). Total pigs born was also not affected by treatment, although 2X (11.2) and 3X (10.7) numbers were greater than 1X (10.0). It appears that once-daily estrus detection combined with delayed mating could achieve optimal reproductive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-899
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002


  • Boars
  • Estrus
  • Farrowing Rate
  • Ovulation
  • Reproduction
  • Sows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of frequency of boar exposure and adjusted mating times on measures of reproductive performance in weaned sows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this