Three experiments were conducted to examine relationships among dose and frequency of administration of exogenous porcine growth hormone (pGH) on growth traits and ovarian function of prepubertal gilts. In Exp. 1, gilts were treated with 0 or 5 mg of pGH daily for 42 d or 5 mg of pGH daily on alternate weeks over a 42-d period. In Exp. 2, gilts were treated with 0, 2.5, or 5 mg of pGH daily for 31 d or daily on alternate weeks for 31 d. In Exp. 3, gilts received 5 mg of pGH daily on either wk 1, 3, and 5 or wk 2, 4, and 6 during a 42-d period. In all experiments, ADG increased dramatically and feed efficiency improved markedly during treatment with pGH, and both traits declined rapidly during periods when treatment was withdrawn. Gilts treated with pGH daily on alternate weeks tended to be more similar (P greater than .05) to control gilts for growth rate, feed efficiency, and carcass measurements than to gilts that received continuous daily administration of pGH during the entire duration of the experiments. Increased concentrations of estradiol and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I in follicular fluid and serum, decreased concentrations of IGF-II in follicular fluid, and increased weights of ovaries were evident as both dose and frequency of exogenous pGH administration increased. Therefore, gilts are extremely sensitive to administration and withdrawal of exogenous pGH during the finishing phase of the production cycle and can respond within 7 d to changes in exogenous pGH treatment regimens. Alternate weekly administration of exogenous pGH in vivo may improve follicular function, as indicated by relationships among IGF-I and IGF-II, estradiol, and progesterone, but fails to improve overall growth and carcass traits compared with controls.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology