One-hundred-and-twenty large white X landrace gilts were allocated at random to one of three treatment groups. Treatment A gilts were given an orally active progestogen, allyltrenbolone (Regumate; Hoechst UK) once daily for 18 days from 185 days of age. Treatment B gilts were given a subcutaneous injection of gonadotrophins (400 iu pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophin, 200 iu human chorionic gonadotrophin). (PG600; Intervet Laboratories) at 203 days of age. Treatment C gilts received no exogenous hormones. All the gilts were housed in groups of 10 from 153 days of age, and up to 203 days of age were isolated from boars. From 203 days each group of 10 gilts was subdivided into two groups of five, a boar was accommodated in a pen adjacent to each group of five and daily contact with it was allowed for one hour. Eight gilts in treatment A, five gilts in treatment B and seven gilts in treatment C failed to exhibit oestrus before 233 days of age (P greater than 0.05). The intervals from exposure to the boar to the onset of oestrus for treatments A, B and C were 8.5, 5.5 and 11.0 days respectively (P less than 0.001). Gonadotrophin treatment significantly reduced the time taken by gilts to show oestrus and the variability within the group was significantly less than that in the other two groups. There were no significant differences between the groups in the mean size of their litters.
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