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J Anim Sci. 2004 Jul;82(7):2164-8.

The reproductive performance and factors affecting on-farm application of low-dose intrauterine deposit of semen in sows.

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Minitube of America, Inc., Verona, WI 53593, USA.


The objective of this experiment was to determine the reproductive performance and factors that affect on-farm application of low-dose intrauterine insemination (IUI) in sows. Four hundred twenty-two sows were used in a simple arrangement of four treatments to determine the effect of spermatozoa per dose (0.5 x 10(9), 1 x 10(9), or 4 x 10(9) IUI, and 4 x 10(9) with a conventional catheter) on the main effects of conception, litter size, and farrowing rate. Following weaning at approximately 18 d after parturition, estrus detection was performed daily in the presence of a mature boar. At the time of estrus detection, sows were blocked for parity (1, 2, or 3+), weaning-to-estrus interval (WEI; 3, 4, or 5 d), and assigned randomly to be serviced twice with semen from the same boar(s). Treatment services were equally divided among three technicians. Delivery of acceptable numbers of spermatozoa per dose with either device (IUI or conventional) produced similar reproductive performances; however, farrowing rate, total pigs born, and total born alive decreased (P < 0.05) when suboptimal numbers (< or = 1 x 10(9)) of spermatozoa were used with IUI. Treatment interactions with parity were not detected and were removed from the final model. Treatment interactions with WEI on farrowing rate were detected (P < 0.05), and sows with WEI of 3 d had a markedly lower (P < 0.05) farrowing rate than all other treatment groups. The results from this experiment suggest that placement of semen at the beginning of the uterine horn with conventional volumes and spermatozoa numbers produces results similar to placement of semen in the cervical cavity with a conventional AI catheter. Although there is little published evidence of reproductive performances in a commercial setting with suboptimal numbers of spermatozoa, these results suggest that insemination beyond the cervix does not offset effects of suboptimal numbers of spermatozoa.

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