Effect of pre-partum hCG on farrowing performance of older parity sows & their piglets viability
Investigate whether pre-partum hCG will elevate sow blood oestrogen that, with additional supply of calcium chloride, will have downstream effects on farrowing duration, neonatal piglet viability, and preweaning growth and survival.
Older sows suffer a disproportional rate of stillbirths, possibly due to inadequate uterine muscle tone. Parturition requires elevated oestradiol which, if limited, may result in poorer contractions with resultant stillbirths. Similarly, uterine muscle contractions require calcium that may be limiting in older sows.
Key methodology: Sows will be treated at specific times prepartum and the progress of farrowing and piglet viability and preweaning growth and survival monitored.