For years, the interactions between animal nutrition, hence well-nourished animals, and reproduction, have been studied. And there is scientific evidence that reproduction is compromised when an animal is undernourished. In this context, flushing is a nutritional strategy that consists of increasing the amount of energy supplied to the gilts a few days before insemination.
The purpose of this increase is an improvement in the ovulation rate and consequently an increase in the number of babies born. This fact is due to the organism’s priority functions in which it first assimilates the nutrients and energy provided by food. After this first association, the rest of the nutrients and energy will be directed to secondary functions, but no less important (reproduction). This strategy was and still is widely used in swine farms as a routine practice in the nutritional management of animals.
The adoption of “flushing” should be for a period of 10 to 14 days, until coverage, is recommended for gilts with bodyweight between 110 and 120 kg and aged between 180 and 190 days, where a diet with 3200 kcal EMA, at will.
The effect generated by “flushing” is not super-ovulatory, but allows the maximization of the ovulatory potential through a more adequate hormonal status. The role of insulin is known as a regulator of ovarian activity, with a decisive role in the efficacy of “flushing” and for this reason, it is important to emphasize that the energy source used in the flushing diet has a fundamental role in the potentiation of the endogenous secretion of insulin, always prioritizing the maximum participation of carbohydrates as a source of energy in them.
However, for flushing to have good results and not become just an additional cost, all management must be in accordance, always respecting animal welfare.
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