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Reproductive Tract Reveals Answers to Good AI

by 5m Editor
3 May 2011, at 12:00am

Knowing the structure of the sow's reproductive tract can help improve the results with AI, according to the latest Producers for Profit newsletter from BPEX.

The newly-formed Gloucestershire Training Group had the chance to see inside a sow’s reproductive tract and understand exactly what happens internally. Vet Roger Blowey dissected a sow’s uterus and identified all the relevant parts of the tract when the group met for a workshop at Quedgeley Animal Hospital.

There is a lot of advice on the best ways to manage heat detection and service routines but there’s not always time to stop and consider why they are done the way they are.

Understanding how sow management practices affect the sows biologically is important to ensure the best performance.

BPEX’s Angela Cliff said: “There was a lot of discussion about best practice, in particular about the set-up of the AI and post-AI rest areas and overall efficiency of operation. The AI area should be both easy to use and provide a calm environment for the sows.”

Ms Cliff gave the group some points to consider when planning the AI area, including:

  • It should be close to the weaned sow/gilt service area
  • Do not allow constant boar contact with the weaned sows for at least 24 hours pre-oestrus detection
  • Ensure sow walkways have solid sides to reduce distractions and stoppages
  • If the sows are moved in a large group, ensure no boar contact is available while waiting in the holding area
  • The recommended size for an AI pen for one or two sows is 2m × 2m
  • Post-AI, it is important to provide boar contact. Do not stress the sows at this time. Ideally, leave them in-situ for at least 15 minutes, preferably 30 minutes.

This new training group has got off to a great start, with 13 stockpeople at this workshop. Contact Angela Cliff (07967 788484) for details of the full programme of meetings in Gloucestershire and across the Midlands.

May 2011