Discussion created on 08/27/2012

Pig Housing

Forum: Housing for pigs

I have recently taken over a 30 sow piggery. I have ordered 20 extra gilts to increase my sows to 50. I would like to know if it is ok to keep my pregnant sows in one pen (say 20 per pen) and only separate them only a few days (e.g. one week) before they farrow?

My second question is what is cheaper between using a boar and using artificial insemination? I know this answer may depend on how much you pay for the sperm in each country, but I am looking more for a general rule of thumb.

Siphamandla Gumbi
Pretoria, South Africa

Siphamandla Gumbi
Pig farmer
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Marius Baciu Marius Baciu
Agro Engineer Zootechnist
September 4, 2012
For the second question I will say A.I is the way to go even if you buy the semen.
In North America A.I almost everywhere.
Good Luck!!
Andrew Hope Andrew Hope
Pig farmer
September 4, 2012

I have used group housing for gestating sows, both in deep litter buildings and outdoors behind electric fences. The important thing to remember is to group the sows according to size to prevent bullying of younger/smaller sows. AI is the best for all pound results so long as you are getting good conception rates, good heat detection is the key to good results.

September 5, 2012

Hi. we keep sows in groups of 50 but they are penned seperate until 5 weeks after insemination. this system works great, but you have to be ready take the smallest sow out. We feed on the floor, and that also gives an extra cost of feeding the biggest sow extra to let the smallest sow eat.
As for A.I. it is not only a matter of the cost here and now. In general your boar willl be geneticly behind compared to the profesional boar station, so you loose a lot of potential by having own boars for such a small herd. We have own boars, for our 10.000 sows, but part of the reason is lack of boar stations in Ukraine.

Noni Noni
September 11, 2012

I group house my dry sows but my gilts I also group house but in a separate pen, When coming in to milk at least 5 days out from farrowing the gilts should be put in single pens the older sows in a communal pen with enough farrowing huts to accommodate them all.

Bringing in semen can bring in diseases you dont already have in your piggery.... I would and do prefer to have my own boars. Better to have a few lines in your piggery and do your own breeding. Less of a headache and less on the drugs.

Tunga Tunga
September 30, 2012
Hi, I'm writing from Mongolia.
First, you need to separate them more than one week before they farrow.
Second, AI is cheaper and important than natural mating.

Good Luck!
Kgadi Senyatsi Kgadi Senyatsi
October 6, 2012
With about 50 breeding females, AI would be the best and less labour compared to natural mating. you will need more boars if you opt for natural mating. Check with ARC-Irene for the price of semen, or Kanhym Estates. They can also give you the best advice on both of your questions.

Good Luck
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Scott Webster
Scott Webster
Pork Industry Expert Advisor
  Madison, Wisconsin, United States
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