Artificial Insemination in Swine**
**Please be warned: this page contains explicit material of a sexual nature.

This boar has mounted a training dummy. A training dummy must be secure and adjusted to an correct height for the animal. Training is usually a slow and gradual process. A boar is usually allowed to mate a sow before learning to use the dummy. After he is trained, he may never mate a sow again.

The nature of boar semen allows extended semen to remain viable after storage at room temperature for days. This, in combination with the ready availability of overnight delivery services has allowed for the development of boar studs remote from the sow herd. A variety of semen extenders are available and can be matched to the anticipated duration of storage.

The glove collection method shown here is used to harvest the semen. Unlike many other domestic animals, the boar does not require an artificial vagina. The technician need encourage the boar only minimally and catch the product in a sterile cup.

The semen is checked for mobility and morphology, sperm density is determined by spectroscopic methods, and then extended typically to create 80 ml aliquots containing 3.5 million cells. Vasectomized boars can be used for heat detection in AI breeding systems or alternatively, live boars are utilized for initial heat detection and first service and subsequent services are covered by AI. With experience, AI can result in farrowing rates at least as high as other systems.

After an estrus check, the sow will stand for servicing. A hollow tube with a corkscrew-shaped hollow knob on the end is inserted into her vagina. After the plug is locked into her cervix, a tube of semen is attached to the open end and allowed to drain into the cervix. (Notice the herdsman keeps some pressure on the sow's back during the servicing.)

The boar approaches the sow. His presence stimulates the sow and ensures a more successful servicing.

The advantages of AI are numerous: sow to boar ratio increases from 10-20 for natural cover to 100-200 for AI, heterospermic matings are easily accomplished by mixing semen, and producers are able to rapidly and with minimum biosecurity risk import improved genetics.

Copyright ©1997 by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine
Faculty: Dr. Paul Pitcher
Student: Sandra Springer,'99