Breeding Facilities

replacement gilts

The pens to the left in this gestation barn are housing extra replacement gilts for this high-turnover herd.

Proximity to boars stimulates earlier sexual development of gilts, stimulates earlier onset of estrus after weaning, facilitates estrus detection, and makes it easier to bring sows to boars for hand or pen mating. The breeding interval, weaning to conception, averages 6 to 7 days per group.

Returns are females which did not conceive with first round of breeding. Sows which return to estrus fall back into a group which followed them.

The replacement gilts should be housed near boars in order to speed the onset of their first estrus. After reaching puberty, gilts should not have boar exposure except during periods of estrus detection and breeding. Continuous boar exposure inhibits expression of behavioral estrus, because sows and gilts become refractory and will not display the lordosis reflex.(boar effect.)

Sows in Recovery are moved from the farrowing rooms into breeding facilities in anticipation of post-weaning estrus. They should not have direct boar contact except for estrus detection or breeding.

Breeding Management Practices of pen-mating, hand-mating, or AI influence breeding facility design. For example, in hand-mating management, pen size for the boar, flooring footing, safety measures for employees, and ability to bring the female to male's pen are important. (Pheromones in his pen stimulate her optimally.)

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