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Non-invasive endocrine assessments in the domestic sow: towards an automated reproductive monitoring system for pig production

  • A. R. Pickard (a1), J. M. Vazquez (a2), R. M. Pemberton (a3), J. P. Hart (a3) and T. T. Mottram (a4)...

Abstract

A method for monitoring the reproductive status of female pigs, using non–invasive hormone analysis was developed. Plasma and saliva samples were collected from five reproductively active sows, and analysed for oestradiol–17ß and progesterone by immunoassay. The oestradiol–17ß content of the saliva samples was also measured using a novel biosensor–based method to demonstrate, in principle, the potential to develop an automated system for hormone analysis and interpretation. A hand–held saliva sampling device was designed and built for the purpose of this experiment. Plasma and saliva samples were collected for 3.5 months from four of the five sows. The vascular access port implanted into the fifth sow failed; therefore she could only be used for saliva collection. Saliva sampling was 100% successful for the first two weeks of the study. Over the entire sampling period, daily and twice weekly samples could be collected on 86% of the attempts made. Both progesterone and oestradiol–17ß were measured in saliva samples using conventional immunoassay techniques.

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Non-invasive endocrine assessments in the domestic sow: towards an automated reproductive monitoring system for pig production

  • A. R. Pickard (a1), J. M. Vazquez (a2), R. M. Pemberton (a3), J. P. Hart (a3) and T. T. Mottram (a4)...

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