Breeding performance in pigs
Reproductive performance is an important factor for a successful pig unit. Explore our guidance below on topics such as condition scoring, timing of service, seasonality and artificial insemination.
Why breeding performance is important
Achieving a consistent flow of sows and litters through the farrowing and subsequent departments is paramount to the smooth operation of a breeding unit. It is important to keep the cost of producing piglets to a minimum to enable you to maximise profitability at sale.
Knowing how your breeding herd performs helps you to identify where and how to concentrate your time, effort and investment to improve performance and reduce the cost of production.
Keeping track of changes in performance over time means you learn what works for your unit, in terms of herd management and environment, motivating yourself and the team to do more of this. It also provides early warning if performance starts to deteriorate.
Body condition score in sows
Body condition scores (BCS) help indicate the health, welfare, productivity and longevity of sows. This is how to conduct visual and manual assessments.
Knowing when to cull sows and – why – is an important part of herd management. This information will help you develop a good culling policy.
Timing of service in sows
Inseminating at the right time is essential to achieve the best farrowing rates and litter sizes. Use this information to ensure successful insemination and improved reproductive performance.
Pig breeding and record keeping
Being organised is essential when timing insemination successfully. Use this information to keep useful records for effective service routines.
Heat detection in pigs
Accurate heat detection is essential for the correct timing of insemination. Use this information to ensure good timing, successful insemination and improved reproductive performance.
Using boars in pig breeding
The use of boars with breeding female pigs can play an important part in stimulating and detecting heat. Follow these guidelines to support the breeding process.
Skip-a-heat in sows and gilts
This method avoids a second litter performance drop and can help improve performance and longevity of the sow. This information covers equipment, checks and best practice.
Weather, seasons and pig breeding
The weather and the seasons can have an effect on pig production. Use this information to understand why it's important to consider temperatures during the breeding process.
Artificial insemination (AI) and pigs
It is important take care when storing and handling AI. Follow these best practice guidelines on semen storage and handling, keeping records, care and the bungee serving technique.