Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, September 29, 1984, Image 144

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    P4-Lanc«ster Farming, Saturday, September 29,1984
Studies probe ways
to schedule sow farrowing
NEWARK, Del - If swine
producers could schedule their
sows to farrow during regular
working hours, they’d make better
use of their labor force and also
increase pig survival rates.
Research has shown that by
having someone on hand to assist a
sow when she farrows, it’s possible
to get at least one extra live pig per
litter. Sows often give birth at
night, making it inconvenient to
provide this help.
Dr. Paul Meckley, a specialist in
animal reproductive physiology at
the University of Delaware
Agricultural Experiment Station,
has been w rkmg on a project
aimed at sclu duling farrowmgs by
treating so\ s with hormones
which either t elay or stimulate the
onset of parturition.
The two-year cooperative study
was funded in part by a U.S.
Department of Agriculture in
tegrated reproductive
management grant to the
University of Delaware
Agricultural Experiment Station
and the USDA Animal
Reproductive Laboratory at
Beltsville, MD. Two Beltsville
researchers, H.D. Guthrie and
V.G. Pursel, were involved in the
project. (Guthrie recently
reported on their work at the 10th
International Congress on Animal
Reproduction dnd Artificial In
semination at the University of
Illinois, Urbana.)
In trials at the University of
Delaware swine unit near
Georgetown, sows near the end of
their pregnancies were injected
with either Lutalyse (a
prostaglandin compound which
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induces farrowing within ap
proximately 26 hours) or Regimate
(altrenogest, a progesterone-like
compound which delays labor) m
order to schedule farrowmgs
during normal workday hours
For example, if a sow were due
to farrow Friday or Saturday, by
giving her a shot of Lutalyse on
Wednesday morning, she would
likely farrow some time the next
day. If an animal were due to
farrow on a Sunday, feeding her
Regimate the previous Friday
through Sunday would delay
parturition until Monday or
“To delay farrowing, we looked
at the effects of Regimate with
drawal alone and withdrawal plus
a shot of prostaglandin the
following day to synchronize
parturition,” Meckley said. “With
Regimate alone you can’t be sure
exactly when the sow will farrow.
Delaying parturition too long in
creases the number of stillbirths,
but with a one or two-day delay
within a normal 114-day pregnancy
period we found no difference in
the number of pigs born, the
number born alive or the number
“We’ve done this as often as
three successive breedings with no
observable effect on sows,” he
Regimate currently is used to
synchronize estrus in cattle, but
the scientist stressed that the
compound has not yet been ap
proved for use on swine, so he can’t
recommend using it on sows at this
point. Lutalyse is used on both
cattle and horses-especially with
embryo transfers. This compound
in in the process of being cleared
for swine.
The study involved a total of 131
sows and gilts divided into four
groups; (1) control (no treat
ment); (2) Lutalyse only; (3)
Regimate fed for three consecutive
days; and (4) Regimate for three
days followed by a shot of Lutalyse
at 10 a.m. the day after the last
Regimate feeding.
“Our findings definitely showed
that prostaglandin can be used to
synchronize parturition at least to
the point where there’s a good
chance of having daytime rather
than night farrowings,” Meckley
said. “Seventy-six percent of the
treated sows farrowed within a 12-
hour interval on the day after
injection.” Sows were treated on
days 111, 112 or 113 of pregnancy
Meckley said studies are con
tinuing to more precisely control
the time of farrowing, using other
hormones such as Oxytocin and
Relaxin. The purpose of this
research is to help swine producers
fine-tune farrowing for more ef
ficient labor use. The scientists are
trying to keep treatment costs
within $3 to $4 per sow to make
them economically feasible.
\f i
1 1
I 1 •
.l v l
ures Morkets on Page 3
Read Foti
Fast track
to egg cost reduction
Berks Co. offers seminars
IJSESPORT A senes of
poultry meetings designed to assist
owners of small flocks will be
cosponsored by the Berks County
Extension and Berks Poultry
Fanciers beginning Oct. 4. No
reservations or fees are required
to attend, and all four sessions will
be held in the same locations.
To reach the Ag Center, travel
north on Route 183 past the
Rearhno Aimnrt Turn left at the
SPEAKER: Herb Jordan, Penn State Extension Poultry Specialist
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
DATE: October 1,1984
PLACE: Berks County Agriculture Center.
DATE: Octobers, 1984
PLACE: Berks-Lehigh Valley Farm Credit
Service Bldg, (basement)
SPEAKER: Dr. Paul Aho, Penn State Extension Poultry Specialist.
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
DATE: Novembers, 1984
PLACE: Berks County Agriculture Center
DATE: November 6,1984
PLACE: Berks-Lehigh Valley Farm Credit
Service Bldg, (basement)
SPEAKER: Dr. Forest Muir, Penn State Extension Poultry Specialist
TIME: 7:30 P.M.
DATE: Decembers, 1984
PLACE: Berks County Agriculture Center
DATE: December 4,1984
PLACE: Berks-Lehigh Valley Farm Credit
Service Bldg, (basement)
SPEAKER: Dr. Clarence Colhson, Penn State Extension Entomologist
TIME: 7:30P.M.
DATE: January 7,1985
PLACE: Berks County Agriculture Center
DATE; January 8,1985
PLACE: Berks-Lehigh Valley Farm Credit
Service Bldg, (basement)
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Fitchville, CT 06334
Phone (203)642-7529
first traffic light onto Upper Van
Reed Road. Go 100 yards and bear
right at the “Y” The Center is
located on the left. For more in
formation call: 215-378-1327.
The Berks-Lehigh Valley Farm
Credit Service Building is located
on Route 100, Fogelsville, just
south of Route 22. For information
call: 215-820-3085.
Following is a session schedule
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(717) 299-9905