Artificial insemination and castration in pigs

black baby pig with momArtificial insemination

AI in pigs is now regularly used around the world. The advantage for small pig breeders is that it avoids the costs and inconvenience of keeping a boar. It also allows pig farmers to use boars with better genetic potential than they could afford to buy.

As correctly diluted semen keeps for about 3 days, it can be dispatched by mail or courier services. Boars can be trained to mount a dummy sow for semen collection into an artificial vagina. The sow is inseminated by inserting a catheter into the vagina and rotating it to the left until it is locked into the cervix. The semen is then run by gravity through the catheter taking about 5 - 15 minutes. An aerosol spray of boar smell or tape recordings of a boar’s courting grunts can be used to stimulate the sow. Sometimes the sow will accept an assistant operator sitting on her back during insemination.

Castrates
  • Castrations of pigs must only be carried out by a veterinarian.
  • Castration may not be neccessary.
  • Castrates will grow faster than gilts but not as fast as entire pigs.
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