Physiology and endocrinology symposium: Factors influencing follicle development in gilts and sows and management strategies used to regulate growth for control of estrus and ovulation

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Abstract

Factors that affect follicle health and growth can influence estrus, ovulation, conception, and litter size. Since the majority of the breeding herd is composed of sows, production schedules are established based on synchronized follicle growth following weaning. Insemination of sows over a 3-to 4-d period after weaning facilitates farrowing over fewer days and helps improve the uniformity of pigs at weaning. Synchronized inseminations of the group are reduced when disturbance to the follicular phase results in delayed estrus. The failure of >15 follicles to uniformly progress beyond the 6.0 mm size within 4 d during the follicular phase is associated with delayed estrus and ovulation, reduced ovulation rate, and reduced farrowing rate. In sows, the follicular phase is initiated at weaning by removal of the suckling inhibition, whereas in cycling gilts, luteolysis and clearance of progesterone begins the process. The timing and patterns of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone stimulation to the ovary determine follicle health and selection for ovulation. Interestingly, abnormal wean-to-estrus intervals in sows and deviations from a 19-to 22-d estrous cycle in gilts are associated with reduced fertility. However, in both cases, it is not entirely clear whether the abnormal intervals are a direct result of problems occurring prior to or only during the follicular phase. In prepubertal gilts, the signal for initiating the follicular phase remains elusive, but could reside in differential sensitivity and response to hormone signals at the level of the ovary and brain. Although the mechanisms are not clear, factors such as boar exposure, stress, feed intake, growth rate, and birthweight have been shown to stimulate an early follicular phase. In contrast, inhibitors to follicle growth have been associated with season, heat stress, photoperiod, negative energy balance, poor body condition, slow growth, fewer parities, and short lactation length. Hormonal aids for inducing and delaying the follicular phase, as well as for inducing ovulation are available to aid in synchronized breeding schedules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1433-1445
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Fingerprint

endocrinology
Follicular Phase
Endocrinology
Estrus
Ovulation
gilts
sows
ovulation
estrus
physiology
weaning
Weaning
Growth
insemination
Insemination
farrowing rate
Breeding
Ovary
luteolysis
Appointments and Schedules

Keywords

  • estrus
  • follicular phase
  • gilt
  • infertility
  • puberty
  • sow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Cite this

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title = "Physiology and endocrinology symposium: Factors influencing follicle development in gilts and sows and management strategies used to regulate growth for control of estrus and ovulation",
abstract = "Factors that affect follicle health and growth can influence estrus, ovulation, conception, and litter size. Since the majority of the breeding herd is composed of sows, production schedules are established based on synchronized follicle growth following weaning. Insemination of sows over a 3-to 4-d period after weaning facilitates farrowing over fewer days and helps improve the uniformity of pigs at weaning. Synchronized inseminations of the group are reduced when disturbance to the follicular phase results in delayed estrus. The failure of >15 follicles to uniformly progress beyond the 6.0 mm size within 4 d during the follicular phase is associated with delayed estrus and ovulation, reduced ovulation rate, and reduced farrowing rate. In sows, the follicular phase is initiated at weaning by removal of the suckling inhibition, whereas in cycling gilts, luteolysis and clearance of progesterone begins the process. The timing and patterns of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone stimulation to the ovary determine follicle health and selection for ovulation. Interestingly, abnormal wean-to-estrus intervals in sows and deviations from a 19-to 22-d estrous cycle in gilts are associated with reduced fertility. However, in both cases, it is not entirely clear whether the abnormal intervals are a direct result of problems occurring prior to or only during the follicular phase. In prepubertal gilts, the signal for initiating the follicular phase remains elusive, but could reside in differential sensitivity and response to hormone signals at the level of the ovary and brain. Although the mechanisms are not clear, factors such as boar exposure, stress, feed intake, growth rate, and birthweight have been shown to stimulate an early follicular phase. In contrast, inhibitors to follicle growth have been associated with season, heat stress, photoperiod, negative energy balance, poor body condition, slow growth, fewer parities, and short lactation length. Hormonal aids for inducing and delaying the follicular phase, as well as for inducing ovulation are available to aid in synchronized breeding schedules.",
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AB - Factors that affect follicle health and growth can influence estrus, ovulation, conception, and litter size. Since the majority of the breeding herd is composed of sows, production schedules are established based on synchronized follicle growth following weaning. Insemination of sows over a 3-to 4-d period after weaning facilitates farrowing over fewer days and helps improve the uniformity of pigs at weaning. Synchronized inseminations of the group are reduced when disturbance to the follicular phase results in delayed estrus. The failure of >15 follicles to uniformly progress beyond the 6.0 mm size within 4 d during the follicular phase is associated with delayed estrus and ovulation, reduced ovulation rate, and reduced farrowing rate. In sows, the follicular phase is initiated at weaning by removal of the suckling inhibition, whereas in cycling gilts, luteolysis and clearance of progesterone begins the process. The timing and patterns of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone stimulation to the ovary determine follicle health and selection for ovulation. Interestingly, abnormal wean-to-estrus intervals in sows and deviations from a 19-to 22-d estrous cycle in gilts are associated with reduced fertility. However, in both cases, it is not entirely clear whether the abnormal intervals are a direct result of problems occurring prior to or only during the follicular phase. In prepubertal gilts, the signal for initiating the follicular phase remains elusive, but could reside in differential sensitivity and response to hormone signals at the level of the ovary and brain. Although the mechanisms are not clear, factors such as boar exposure, stress, feed intake, growth rate, and birthweight have been shown to stimulate an early follicular phase. In contrast, inhibitors to follicle growth have been associated with season, heat stress, photoperiod, negative energy balance, poor body condition, slow growth, fewer parities, and short lactation length. Hormonal aids for inducing and delaying the follicular phase, as well as for inducing ovulation are available to aid in synchronized breeding schedules.

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