Pig breeding and record keeping

Being organised is essential for timing insemination accurately. Use this information to develop your own records for effective service routines.

Back to Breeding performance in pigs

Why are records so important?

Setting up and following an effective heat detection and service plan for your farm helps you:

  • detect the signs of heat accurately
  • schedule insemination at the optimum times

This is essential for optimising breeding performance and achieving the best results.

Review and adjust the routine periodically and develop an effective routine that is based on current best practice and information recorded on your farm. It is also important to make allowances for variations.

What should be recorded

Make sure you record this information for each female:

  • Tag number (weaning to oestrus interval)
  • Date and time of proestrus
  • Date, time and duration of oestrus
  • Date and time of first standing heat
  • Date and time of all inseminations
  • Projected and actual return dates
  • Any other observations

Include details such as:

  • Number of days between weaning and oestrus
  • Oestrus duration
  • Variations in the number of days between weaning and oestrus, and oestrus duration
  • Seasonal changes (such as increased returns or longer days to service)
  • Weaning day
  • Weaning to service interval for your breeding herd (day of the week your sows exhibit first standing heat)
  • Duration of heat

Outdoor breeding and keeping records

Watch this video for information about how records are kept on Earsham Pig Farm.

Browse our other tutorial videos on YouTube

Making records easy to follow and review

Use markers 

Clear records and coloured marks make it easy to know what is happening with each female and what the next step needs to be.

Use different coloured spray markers and/or the position, shape or number of marks, to clearly show the status of each female.

Keep everyone informed

  • Provide training for relevant staff
  • A step-by-step manual can help everyone follow the routine on the farm
  • Use record books to help ensure key information follows the routine on the farm

Use the information

  • Review recorded information regularly to determine any trends for your farm or for individual females
  • Determine if your herd is generally a 2- or 3-day standing heat herd
  • Tailor the insemination routine accordingly

Useful links