17 August 2001

Lack of boars sees AI on rise

MANY pig producers inexperienced in AI technique are being forced to use the method due to boar shortages caused by movement restrictions, says Cotswold International.

AI is also increasing because of the hotter weather as producers attempt to reduce the incidence of sows returning. Brushing up on rusty AI practices could be beneficial and cost-effective.

"Semen, although labelled as perishable, should not be put into a fridge but kept in a temperature controlled cabinet at 16-18C," says Reg Joseph, the companys director of European operations.

"When bought in bulk, semen tubes must also be turned every 12 hours to prevent semen separating out from the diluent."

Hygiene is particularly important during the operation, so Mr Joseph advises using a disposable catheter for every service.

Sows need boar contact to come on heat. "When boars are unavailable or too heavy to be run with gilts, the vet could vasectomise a young slaughter pig." &#42