"The effect of three feeding regimens on progesterone level was tested during early pregnancy in multiparous sows. A total of eighteen sows in their eighth parity (8.1 +/- 2.8, mean +/- S.D.) were used. During lactation the sows were fed to appetite and after weaning they received 4 kg (52 MJ) a commercial feed per day. Following ovulation, sows were allocated to one of three treatment groups and fed 2 kg/day (low feeding, LLL) or 4 kg/day (high feeding, HHH) throughout the trial or 2 kg/day for I I days, 4 kg/day for 10 days, and 2 kg/day for the remaining days of the study (modified feeding, LHL). Blood for progesterone and cortisol analyses was collected daily throughout the study, and for luteinizing hormone (LH) assay for 12 h at 15 min intervals on days 14 and 21 of pregnancy. An adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge test was performed on all sows day 28 of pregnancy. Dietary treatment did not significantly affect hormonal parameters. However, progesterone concentration tended to be lower (P = 0.08) in the HHH group than in the LLL group. In the LHL group venous progesterone concentration seemed to fluctuate. No effects of feeding were observed on progesterone concentration in allantoic fluid on day 35 of pregnancy. Venous cortisol level was significantly higher (P < 0.05) during proestrus and oestrus in all groups and there was no significant difference between groups in response to ACTH challenge. The mean amplitude of LH pulses decreased significantly (P < 0.01) from days 14 to 21 of pregnancy in all groups. In addition, an interaction was found between feeding level and baseline LH concentration and also between feeding level and mean LH concentration. Embryonic recovery was highest in the LLL (69%), lowest in the HHH (45%) and moderate in the LHL (55%) group. Neither high feeding nor modified feeding provided any benefits for reproductive performance in multiparous sows. A low feeding regimen thus appears optimal for multiparous sows in early pregnancy at least with the management regime described. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved."
- 413 Veterinärvetenskap