The Recipients' Parity Does Not Influence Their Reproductive Performance Following Non-Surgical Deep Uterine Porcine Embryo Transfer

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With the development of the non-surgical deep uterine (NsDU) embryo transfer (ET) technology, the commercial applicability of ET in pigs is now possible. There are, nevertheless, many factors that influence NsDU-ET effectiveness that need to be addressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the weaned recipients' parity on fertility and prolificacy following NsDU-ET. The recipients (n = 120) were selected based on their reproductive history and body condition and grouped into three categories according to their parity: primiparous sows, sows of parity 2 and sows of parities from 3 to 5. Thirty fresh embryos (morulae and unhatched blastocysts) were non-surgically transferred into one uterine horn of each recipient. It was possible to insert the NsDU-ET catheter through the cervix along a uterine horn in 98.3% of the recipients. The parity had no influence on the difficulty grade of the insertions or on the percentage of correct insertions. The cervix and uterine wall were not perforated during the insertions, and vaginal discharge was not observed after transfer in any of the recipients. There were no differences in the pregnancy rates (74.8%), farrowing rates (71.2%) or litter sizes (9.6 ± 3.3) between groups. Also, there were no differences between groups regarding to the piglets' birthweights or piglet production efficiency. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that weaned sows from parity 1 to 5 are appropriate to be used as recipients in NsDU-ET programs, which increase the possibilities for the utilization of ET in the recipient farms.

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