Selecting Breeding Gilt

Selecting breeding gilt is important since it contributes half the quality of the herd. Areas to be considered while selecting breeding gilt:

  1. Gilts selected to have at least 12 teats so as to accommodate a large litter
  2. Gilts to be selected from sows, which mean 9-10 or more piglets per litter and are unknown to be good mothers and first farrowing at one year of age and farrowing interval of seven month
  3. Select breeding gilts at weaning period, further selection should be done 5-6 months of age.
  4. Select fast growing weaners. These will likely consume less feed per nit live weight gain. Thus less costly to keep.
  5. The selected gilts should have good body confirmation i.e strong legs, sound feet etc
  6. Gilt should not select for breeding purposes having supernumerary and inverted teats, and fat deposited at the base of the teats
  7. Gilt must be at least 8 months old at first service

Age of breed gilts: 8 months

Weight of breed gilts: 100-120kg

Length of heat period: 2-3 days

Best time to breed in heat period: Gilts -first day and sows-second day

Number of services per sow: 2 services at an interval of 12-14 hours

Period of oestrous cycle: 18-24 days (Average 21 days)

Occurrence of heat after weaning: 2-10 days

Gestation period: 114 days

Selecting Breeding Gilt: Selection of Breeding Boar;

It is extremely important to select good boar since it contributes half the quality of the herd. Areas to be considered while selecting breeding boar:

  1. Boar to have sound feet with good full hams, uniform curve at the back and of good length
  2. Boar to have at least 12 nicely placed rudimentary teats so as to pass
  3. Boar to be selected from sows, which wean 8-10 or more piglets per litter and are known to be good mothers
  4. Boar to be selected from the herd which is having normal sex organs, active, healthy and strong
  5. Selection to be done before castration i.e at 4 weeks. Select biggest from the litter
  6. Boar must be at least 8 months old at first service

Selecting Breeding Gilt: Heat detection-Commons signs of heat:

1st stage: Early heat signs

  1. General restlesness
  2. Vulva turns red and is swollen
  3. White mucus discharge

2nd stage: Service period signs

  1. Real oestrus lasts for 40-6- hours
  2. Vulva becomes less red and swollen
  3. Slimy mucus discharge
  4. Tendency to mount and be mounted by others
  5. The sow or gilt will stand still when pressure is applied to her back (can accept a mans weight sitting on her). Thus the right stage to send her to the boar

3rd stage: post oestrus-period signs

  1. The sow/gilt will not stand still when pressure is applied on her back
  2. The swelling of the vulva disappears

Selecting Breeding Gilt: How to induce heat- recommended practices;

After farrowing, a sow may be slow to come into heat. Here are a few methods  to induce heat:

  1. Gently stroke the sow’s vagina with a freshly cut papaya stalk every morning for 3-5 days
  2. Spray the sow’s pen with boar urine every morning 3-5 days
  3. Grind 1kg of fresh or dried lotus(semen nelumbinis) seeds. Mix with 20kg of dry feed. Feed to the sow twice a day for 5-7 days
  4. Bring the sow to the boar, or place the sow  in a pen next to the boar
  5. Put the sow with the boar for a short period everyday when the heat is expected
  6. Always take the sow to the boar. This is less upsetting for him
  7. Put the sow and boar together just before feeding
  8. During her 24-hour pick heat period allow the boar to serve twice, with an interval of about 12-14 hour intervals between services. Do not mate animals during the hot time of the day.
  9. If the sow doesn’t conceive, she will return on heat again, in about 3 weeks time.
  10. Ten days before serving, give the sow 1-2kg of feed per day. Continue this for one week after service
  11. During the last month of pregnancy, give 0.5kg extra feed per day but decrease this gradually one week before farrowing. provide plenty of water to help prevent congested gut during farrowing.
  12. Each boar should be kept in its own pen to avoid fighting. For mating, the sow is taken to the boar

Selecting Breeding Gilt: Stimulating regular heat:

  1. Remove the sow from the piglets early(at 4-6 weeks of age) and all at once
  2. Take the sow to a house with dry sows
  3. Put the sow close to a boar, in a way that makes direct contact (hear, see, smell) possible
  4. The sow should not be given any feed on the day of weaning
  5. The next day feed about 4kg/day. This is called flushing and should be done for a maximum of 10 days or until the service takes place.
  6. Put the sows in groups (stress stimulates heat)
  7. If there are heat problems, change the type of feed for a few days.
  8. Maintain a good climate; see to it that there is sufficient light in the house

Selecting Breeding Gilt: When sow is in gestation:

  1. After 21 days of serving she does not show heat signs
  2. Echo scan pregnancy detection 23-35 days, positive results

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