Sow Anatomy

Sow Anatomy

Sows should be inseminated 12 to 24 hours after standing in estrus and again every 12 to 24 hours after the first insemination for as long as they stand in estrus.

Gilts are commonly inseminated as soon as standing estrus is detected and every 12 hours afterwards as long as they are still standing in estrus.

To achieve optimum results, semen should be in the female reproductive tract 6 to 8 hours prior to ovulation. Since sperm cells can live for up to 24 hours in the female’s reproductive tract, it is better to inseminate early in estrus rather than late.

The following pages will help you learn more about how to artificially service the female pig using A.I. techniques.

Inserting the Catheter

Inserting the Catheter

Preparations for A.I. include making sure you have all necessary equipment ready and available. The following steps will help you successfully A.I. your pig.

Surroundings

Make sure your female is in an area where you can easily, and safely, conduct the A.I. procedure. If a boar will be used for additional stimulation (due to pheromones), keep it in an alleyway or the neighboring pen. Best results may be achieved if the female is in a familiar area so she is not distracted and does not feel the need to explore new surroundings.

 

Vulvar Hygiene

The vulva and surrounding area should be cleaned with a disposable single-use paper towel or tissue prior to insemination.

Preparing the Catheter

The catheter is used to move the semen from the container (tube, bottle, or bag) into the female’s reproductive tract.

Keep the catheter clean by leaving it in a sealed plastic bag until it is ready for use.

Stimulating the Female

The female should be stimulated to stand in a manner that simulates the boar’s action in a natural mating situation.

This includes:

  • Applying pressure to her back
  • Applying pressure to her side and flank with your knee
  • Rubbing her sides and massaging her udder with your hand

Inserting the Catheter

When you are ready to insert the catheter make sure to follow these steps closely:

  • Insert it slowly
  • Direct the tip upward, usually about 30°
  • Rotate it counterclockwise during insertion
  • The catheter should be locked into the cervix when resistance is felt.
  • Stimulation may occur before, during and after the insertion of the catheter.

Depositing the Semen

This is the most time-consuming part of the A.I. process, Do Not Rush this step. Make sure you follow these guidelines:

Do not open the semen container until the catheter is inserted and locked in the cervix.
The goal of the process is to get as much semen into the female’s reproductive tract as possible while eliminating leakage and backwash.
It may take 5 to 10 minutes for the semen container to empty. The semen will be drawn in by the female’s reproductive tract through uterine contractions and by gravity. To prevent backwash and/or leakage, try not to squeeze the container.

After the Process is complete

When the semen container is empty remove the catheter by rotating it in a clockwise fashion while gently pulling on it. Move the female back to her normal quarters. Try to keep her calm and try to prevent any fighting and other disturbances. The first 14 days after breeding is the most critical time as it takes that long for the fertilized eggs to implant on the uterine wall.

View the entire A.I. Process from start to finish in the video below.