Program Leader – Dr Ray King
The research completes work commenced as part of the CRC for Internationally Competitive Pork industry and will enhance the reproductive efficiency of the Australian industry by providing better means of detecting pregnancy, increasing litter size and ultimately volume.
The research covers two areas:
- Early pregnancy detection and predicting litter size – develop technologies for rapidly determining whether sows are pregnant within days of mating, and for predicting litter size prior to farrowing. The technologies will use urine and/or blood to detect pregnancy, and foetal hormones for pregnancy and litter size respectively. The technologies will enable producers and veterinarians to detect pregnant and non pregnant sows within days of mating, and to estimate litter size during gestation. The pregnancy information will be used to manage mating regimes and reduce the number of failed matings and non productive days. The information on litter size will enable producers and nutritionists to modify the nutrition and management of sows having different litter sizes.
- Increasing litter size and reproductive efficiency -investigate the use of progesterone implants to maintain pregnancy and increase litter size in sows. Nutrition studies to examine ways to increase pregnancy rates and litter size in sows. Research to enable producers and managers to improve pregnancy rates and litter sizes, particularly during summer and in older sows. Poor reproduction in summer and in aging sows, remain major constraints on the efficiency of the Australian industry and the research addresses both constraints.
Projects transferred from the previous Pork CRC with Project No in brackets
5A-107 (2D-131): Dietary ractopamine supplementation – Will van Wettere, University of Adelaide – Summary Report
5A-108 (2H-108): Impact of temperature on sow productivity – Will van Wettere, University of Adelaide – Report