Multi-Farm Analyses Indicate a Novel Boar Pheromone Improves Sow Reproductive Performance

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John J. McGlone 1,2,* , Arlene Garcia 1 and Anoosh Rakhshandeh 3 1 Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Physiology and Welfare, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA; arlene.garcia@ttu.edu

2 Animal Biotech, Dallas, TX 75201, USA 3 Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA; Anoosh.Rakhshandeh@ttu.edu * Correspondence: john.mcglone@ttu.edu; Tel.: +1-806-834-8275

Received: 26 November 2018; Accepted: 19 January 2019; Published: 27 January 2019
 
Simple Summary: Pork production farms are more sustainable if the total number of pigs per batch is increased with a given sow herd size. Improving breeding and farrowing rates as well as litter size will increase farm output per sow. This field study examined the effect of application of a novel boar pheromone (BOARBETTER®; BB) containing three active molecules. Effects on sow reproductive efficiency were measured as breeding and farrowing rates, pigs born alive, stillborn, and total numbers born. Farms applied BB in alternating weeks. Among records from nearly 4000 sows enrolled in the study, the use of BB increased the number of pigs born alive per litter and total pigs born per farrowing batch. BOARBETTER® is a cost effective and safe product that has the potential to meaningfully improve sow reproductive performance.

Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a novel 3-molecule boar pheromone (BOARBETTER®, BB,) to improve sow reproductive performance (breeding, conception, farrowing rates, pigs born alive, stillborn, mummies and total born). Data from 12 commercial farm sites were used to evaluate the effectiveness of BB. Each farm was used as the experimental unit in the meta-analyses. Individual sows records were collected, merged and analyzed in overall analyses. Relative to CON, BB increased the number of total born pigs per litter (13.81 ± 0.11 vs. 14.30±0.11 pigs/litter, respectively; p < 0.01) and the number of pigs born alive (12.76±0.14 vs. 13.13±0.14pigs/litter,respectively;p<0.05).In the merged dataset analyses, the parity by treatment interaction was significant for total pigs and pigs born alive per litter (p < 0.01). In parities one through three, treatment with BB increased total pigs born by 0.88 per litter, and pigs born alive per litter by 0.73 pigs per litter (p < 0.05). However, BB had no effect on these parameters in sows from parities four through six. BOARBETTER® increased reproductive success, is cost effective, safe, and can meaningfully improve sow reproductive success and performance.

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