Pen-Mating & Hand-Mating in Swine

Pen-mating means that, ideally, a cohort of females is brought into the boar's pen and he services them all while they are in the pen. This is the least labor-intensive mating system because the pigs are just left to mate at will. In addition, even though the sows are better stimulated by entering the boar's environment, the boar is often brought to the females' pen to save on labor.

Pen -mating is the least efficient use of boar power, or boar use efficiency. Sows may be mated which do not need to be (already conceived). And so-called pregnancy wastage is higher due to "social competition."

Hand-mating means that the boar and one sow (or gilt) at a time are brought together for servicing. Not only does this allow the producer to choose who gets mated and eliminate social competition,it also allows for better timing of the servicing in order to allow the boar's fertility to be at its peak with each subsequent mating. Hand-mating has a higher labor requirement than does pen-mating

Artificial insemination (AI) is the most efficient mating system.

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