Abstract The aim of the present study was to evaluate the control of ovulation by the administration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) or gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) at the onset of estrus. Thirty-three multiparous sows housed under tropical conditions and showing standing estrus within 5 days after weaning were included. The sows were allocated to three groups, spontaneous ovulation (control group, n = 10), induced ovulation using 750 IU hCG (hCG group, n = 10), and induced ovulation using 50 μg GnRH (GnRH group, n = 13). The hormones were given at the onset of estrus and the occurrence of ovulation was monitored every 6 h by transrectal ultrasonography. Data for weaning-to-estrus interval, onset of estrus-to-ovulation interval (EOI), and the length of estrus were recorded. All sows in the control and hCG groups ovulated, while 3 out of 13 sows treated with GnRH developed cystic ovaries (did not ovulate). Of those sows ovulating, the EOI of the hCG (40.2 ± 1.7 h) and GnRH (37.5 ± 3.3 h) groups were shorter than that of the control group (63.6 ± 9.6 h; P < 0.05). In conclusion, the administration of either hCG or GnRH at the onset of estrus can control time of ovulation but, at the dose employed, sows receiving GnRH may develop ovarian cysts.
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