Oestrus synchronization with fixed-time artificial insemination in smallholder pig production systems in north-east India: Success rate and benefits

Author: G. Kadirvel, K. M. Bujarbaruah, Suresh Kumar & S. V. Ngachan
Year: 2017
Issue: 2
Volume: 47
Page: 140 - 145

Pig production is an important component of the farming systems that are practised in the north-eastern region of India and it has special significance for improving the socio-economic status of tribal farmers in the region. In an effort to optimize the production efficiency of rural pig production systems, the potential influence of oestrus synchronization and fixed-time artificial insemination (AI) on synchronizing husbandry programmes was investigated. A total of 117 crossbred sows, selected from various village production units, were randomly allocated to two (control and treatment) groups. The sows in the treatment group (n = 81) received 800 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), followed by 500 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) 72 hours after the eCG injection. The sows in the control group (n = 36) served as the untreated control. The onset of oestrus, oestrus signs, oestrus intensity, and duration of oestrus were observed after treatment. The oestrus sows were inseminated twice at 24 h and 36 h, respectively, after hCG injection at various village production units. Results revealed that 86.4% of sows in the treatment group exhibited all the behavioural and physical signs of oestrus. The average interval between treatment and onset of oestrus was 84.8  2.43 hours. The mean oestrus intensity of sows in the treatment group was 2.3 (when assessed on a scale of 1 to 3), which did not differ significantly from the oestrus intensity exhibited by the control group. The duration of oestrus varied from 36 to 56 hours in the treated sows, which was significantly longer when compared with the duration of oestrus in the control group. The study obtained a farrowing rate of 82.6% and litter size of 9.2  0.32 after oestrus synchronization with timed insemination. Oestrus synchronization facilitated the insemination of a batch of sows at particular locations covering two to three village clusters, which drastically reduced the transport costs for the semen. Oestrus synchronization facilitated the effective implementation of AI by coordinating the insemination of batches of sows, thus reducing shipping and insemination costs. Improving heat detection contributed to shortening the weaning to oestrous interval in smallholder pig production system, which in turn decreased production costs.

Keywords: Assisted reproduction, Farrowing rate, insemination cost, reproduction efficiency
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