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The influence of age at 1st boar contact on puberty attainment in the gilt



The influence of age at 1st boar contact on puberty attainment in the gilt



Animal Production 29(2): 231-238



A total of 36 Large White .times. (Large White .times. Landrace) young female pigs (gilts) were allocated to 1 of 9 treatments. These were 30 min daily boar contact from 125, 132, 139, 146, 153, 160, 167, 174 or 181 days of age. Gilts were fed so as to maintain them on predetermined growth curve, gaining 0.45 kg/day. Once puberty had been detected gilts were mated at the next (2nd) estrous period and subsequently slaughtered 20 days post coitum. The interval 1st boar contact to puberty was significantly longer (P < 0.05) among gilts first exposed to a boar at ages below 139 days. Among gilts older than this the interval was similar. Although the 174 and 181 day groups were significantly older at puberty (P < 0.05) no significant differences were observed among the younger age groups. Synchronization of pubertal estrus appeared to be better for the 160 and 167 day groups with 3 of 4 gilts reaching puberty within 8 days. There was no indication that weight at puberty, ovulation rate, percentage embryo survival or number of viable embryos at 20 days post coitum were affected by treatment. The optimal gilt age at which to commence boar contact in terms of age at puberty, interval from 1st boar contact to puberty and synchronization of the pubertal estrus, is apparently in the age range 160-170 days.

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