Artificial Insemination in Swine

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					Artificial
Insemination
in Swine


  Genetic Progress Through
   Artificial Insemination
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                                                                             as using boars that rank only in the top 20%
              Artificial Insemination                                        of the breed. By careful selection of boars
                      in Swine                                               through AI, producers can also greatly in-
                   Genetic Progress Through                                  crease the genetic variability available for
                                                                             making change within their herds. Particu-
                      Artificial Insemination
                                                                             larly in a closed herd setting, AI offers the
                                                                             most economically sound method of main-
              Artificial Insemination (AI) provides                          taining genetic variability in a positive
        unique genetic opportunities that allow                              direction.
        progressive purebred breeders and commer-                                  Artificial insemination offers many
        cial producers to access the very best or most                       advantages over other methods of introduc-
        advanced genetic material available in the                           ing genetic material into a closed-herd
        industry today. Most reputable genetic com-                          setting. First, by using AI, a breeder should
        panies put forth an effort to make available                         select the most productive sows under his
        sires that rank in the top 1%-2% of their                            environmental conditions for mating. This
        respective breeds for economically important                         practice should help to ensure the adaptabil-
        swine production traits. Many of these sires                         ity of pigs sired by AI sires. But, more impor-
        are progeny-proven with very high accuracies                         tant, by using AI, a breeder can introduce a
        for the various traits. By using progeny-                            variety of genetic material for less cost and
        proven sires that rank at the top of their                           be assured of using proven sires with high
        breeds, a producer can eliminate most of the                         accuracy values that rank at or near the very
        guesswork or gamble involved in selecting                            top of their respective breeds.                                                           3
        sires.                                                                     For several years, the primary mode of
              From a genetic progress standpoint,                            genetic progress in the dairy industry has
        using truly elite sires allows for much more                         been to use progeny-proven bulls through
        rapid genetic progress than just using what                          artificial insemination. AI has allowed the
        many producers, particularly commercial                              U.S. dairy industry to make the fastest ge-
        producers, consider superior-performing                              netic progress of any country in the world.
        boars. The rate of genetic progress is a                             The same methods of genetic evaluation used
        function of the heritability of the trait(s), the                    by the dairy industry are now available in the
        intensity of selection and the genetic variabil-                     swine industry. Such genetic evaluation
        ity for the trait(s) involved. The manner in                         systems offer breeders the opportunity for a
        which heritability may be increased is by                            much more rapid rate of genetic progress,
        using appropriately accurate records, particu-                       particularly for lowly heritable traits such as
        larly by using proven sires with high accu-                          number born and litter weight.
        racy for EPD (Expected Progeny Differences)
        values. The intensity value is simply a func-                        Artificial Insemination in Swine
        tion of the percentage of animals in the                                   In practicing the concept of AI, basically
        population that are used for breeding pur-                           one thing is being done. The procedure for
        poses.                                                               presenting the ovum with the sperm cell for
              The rate of genetic progress is a direct                       fertilization becomes nonnatural, or “artifi-
        function of selection intensity, so both pure-                       cial,” instead of natural. Thus, the variations
        bred and commercial producers should                                 and limitations of natural service are replaced
        attempt to maintain intensity values that are                        by an artificial procedure which, although not
        as high as possible. The simplest manner of                          perfect, opens the door to a world of advan-
        keeping sire selection intensity at a maximum                        tages over natural service. Artificial insemi-
        is to use the very best sires available within                       nation requires optimum management for
        individual breeds through AI. By using sires                         optimum results. These10 basic points are
        that rank in the top 1%-2% of a breed, ge-                           essential.
        netic progress will be almost twice as rapid
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                                                                   1       Be knowledgeable.
                                                                            Know that AI is easy. You don’t
                                                                                                                        ever, usually gilts, may express symptoms
                                                                                                                        two to three days before standing heat.
                                                                  necessarily have to attend an AI clinic to                  As the end of the heat period ap-
                                                                  learn to AI sows. Clinics are, however,               proaches, swelling and redness of the vulva
                                                                  informative and helpful.                              subside. Sows and gilts resume their aggres-
                                                                        Know AI offers some advantages over             sive nature experienced just before standing
                                                                  natural mating. Know what advantages you              heat. No longer will sows stand firmly
                                                                  hope to obtain, and set some goals. This will         whenever back pressure is applied.
                                                                  motivate you to do a better job.                            It is very helpful to have a mature boar
                                                                        Know liquid semen is alive. It is thou-         in the pen when observing heat. The boar’s
                                                                  sands of tiny, living organisms. They are very        sight, sound and smell affect the females.
                                                                  sensitive to vibrations, light and temperature        These females respond to the boar; and heat,
                                                                  change. They are so sensitive that, if exposed        if present, will be more obvious.
                                                                  to these environmental factors, their lives are             Research has indicated the effects of
                                                                  shortened or terminated. Never shake bottles          having a boar in with gilts are much better
                                                                  of semen. Handle them gently. Maintain                than having a boar in an adjacent pen. A
                                                                  semen at a steady temperature recommended             higher percentage of gilts will cycle at a
                                                                  by the supplier. Always protect semen from            younger age.
                                                                  light, especially sunlight.


                          4
                                                                        Know liquid semen offers several
                                                                  advantages over frozen semen. These advan-
                                                                  tages include quality of sperm, less sophisti-
                                                                                                                           3        Be gentle.
                                                                                                                              A A sow’s trust of humans can be
                                                                                                                        easily replaced by fear of humans. This
                                                                  cated storage equipment, ease of preparing
                                                                                                                        places a barrier between hog and human.
                                                                  semen for breeding and better conception
                                                                                                                        This should never be. Hogs are intelligent.
                                                                  rates.
                                                                                                                        They are the 10th most intelligent of all
                                                                        Know that AI is routinely practiced with
                                                                                                                        warm-blooded species and are more intelli-
                                                                  high conception rates and large litter sizes in
                                                                                                                        gent than dogs. A good herdsman will work
                                                                  many herds around the world. It can be done.
                                                                                                                        with his sows. If you understand a sow, she
                                                                                                                        will understand you. Insemination will be
                                                                   2       Be observant.
                                                                           Pay strict attention, and be watchful.
                                                                                                                        easier, and conception rates should be higher.
                                                                                                                              Some research done in Australia showed
                                                                  Be careful and quick in observing, and be             pleasantly handled gilts attaining 87.5%
                                                                  mindful. Be keen. These qualities cannot be           conception while unpleasantly handled gilts
                                                                  ignored if success is to be realized. No matter       attained only 33.3% conception. Also, the
                                                                  what you are trying to accomplish, the fol-           pleasantly handled group reached puberty 20
                                                                  lowing hold true: If not watchful, you will           days earlier than the unpleasantly handled
                                                                  miss it. If not mindful, you will not know            group.
                                                                  what to do with it. If not keen, it may be too
                                                                  late.
                                                                        All prospects to be bred should be
                                                                  observed for signs of standing heat twice
                                                                                                                          4        Be patient.
                                                                                                                                 Patience is the ability to idle your
                                                                  daily. Some of the symptoms of onset of heat          motor when you feel like stripping your
                                                                  are restlessness, loss of appetite, booing,           gears. Things happen in the AI process that
                                                                  trying to ride other sows, reddening and              will probably make you feel like stripping
                                                                  swelling of the vulva, and a clear discharge          your gears. You must realize that, as the
                                                                  from the vulva. All symptoms may not                  inseminator, you are not the boar himself.
                                                                  appear on all animals. Usually, sows will             Neither do you possess his features, which
                                                                  express signs of standing heat within 12              cause gilts or sows to become very receptive
                                                                  hours after symptoms appear. Some, how-               to the breeding process. You must also
                                                                                                                        realize it’s very important for the sow to
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        know she is being bred. Consequently, for                             than about 34 hours if not fertilized. Sperm
        best results in AI, all the stimulating features                      live 24-48 hours in the female tract, and they
        of the boar should be offered to the sow                              may take 4-6 hours to reach the oviduct after
        before and during insemination. This can be                           insemination.
        accomplished in a very practical manner.                                    Although there is a chance of concep-
                1. Put the female to be bred beside a                         tion when inseminating anytime during the
        boar with only a see-through gate between.                            standing heat, timeliness of mating(s) within
        The boar will aggressively pace the edge of                           this period will increase conception rate and
        the pen. He will talk and give off odors. This                        litter size. If you want control of optimum
        will satisfy the gilt’s need for the stimulating                      breeding time, you will check for heat every
        features of sight, sound and smell.                                   12 hours (twice daily). Gilts and sows should
                2. Place your hand firmly on the gilt’s                       be bred 12-24 hours after they are found in
        or sow’s back. She will immediately stop and                          standing heat. A second breeding should
        freeze if she is in standing heat. She is ready                       follow 12 hours later.
        to be inseminated.
                Patience is just as important in pre-
        paring the female for insemination as it is in                            6                 Be clean.
                                                                                        It’s that simple. Be clean. In every
        the insemination procedure. Experience will                           facet of the AI procedure, you must be clean
        be your best teacher. If you don’t display a lot                      or performance may be hindered.                           5
        of patience, your experience won’t be very                                   Use clean equipment. The best approach
        long and you won’t learn very much.                                   is to use new disposable equipment. It en-
                                                                              hances optimum sanitation and saves time. If

          5        Be timely.
                 Gilts and sows have a valuable
                                                                              plastic bottles are reused, they should be
                                                                              thoroughly rinsed and boiled for 15 minutes
        feature that is very helpful in deciding when                         between sows. Never breed more than one
        to breed. They will accept a boar for only a                          sow with a rubber spirette without cleaning
        two- or three-day period around the time of                           it. If a disposable rod is used, breed one sow
        ovulation. Any time a gilt or sow is mated                            and throw the rod away. This prevents the
        during her heat period, there is a chance for                         chance of spreading harmful organisms from
        conception. Length of heat period in gilts is                         a problem sow to sows with healthy repro-
        usually every 20-21 days if conception has                            ductive tracts. Never lay a spirette or dispos-
        not taken place.                                                      able breeding rod in dust or dirt or use it to
              The gilt or sow ovulates at 30-36 hours                         handle sows. Keep them in a clean container,
        after she first stands. The ova live no more                          and remove when ready to inseminate.


          Insemination Time - Liquid Semen
                                                                       When Female First Stands

          Hours 50          40       30        20       10         0        10             20          30       40   50   60
                             Vulva reddens, swells      Honking         Standing Heat Period
                             and subsides.              Stages          Approx. 2 1/2 days.
                             Approx. 4 days.                                                    e
                                                       Agressive
                                                                                           urv          Ovulation
                                                       Behavior
                                                                                       tyC              Period
                                                                                 rtili
                                                                             Fe
                           Optimum Insemination Time                         First Service Second Service
          Heat detection
          It is very improtant to check heat twice a day so inseminations can be performed at highest fertility period within
          standing heat. Standing heat is expressed in the position of the sow. When back pressure is applied, she will stand
          solidly and make her ears erect.
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                                                                      Use clean technique. Always carry some                7. Attach semen bottle to the breeding
                                                                paper towels with you to the breeding pen.            rod, and raise base of bottle to upright posi-
                                                                Wipe off vulva before inserting breeding rod.         tion. Apply gentle pressure to bottle by
                                                                Be sure not to take dirt in with the rod when
                                                                entering the sow. Dirt in the reproductive
                                                                tract can hinder conception rate and embryo
                                                                survival.


                                                                 7       Be accurate.
                                                                        Accuracy of entry and semen place-
                                                                ment are areas in which the qualified insemi-
                                                                nator can definitely excel the capabilities of
                                                                the boar.

                                                                     Steps to follow in insemination:                1. Turn slowly counter-clockwise while inserting.

                                                                      1. Make sure sow has been in heat at                                                 Cervix Ovaries
                                                                least 12 hours.                                      Inseminating                Rectum
                                                                                                                     Rod
               6                                                     2. Implement ”Be Patient“ steps.
                                                                                                                                         Vulva        Vagina
                                                                     3. Remove dirt and fecal matter from                                         Bladder           Horns of
                                                                vulva with dry paper towel.                                                                         Uterus
                                                                                                                     2. Remove tip from semen bottle and attach.
                                                                      4. Remove breeding rod from clean
                                                                protector, and apply nonspermacidal lubrica-                                               Cervix      Ovaries
                                                                tion. Apply a very small amount 1 inch from          Inseminating              Rectum
                                                                end.                                                 Rod

                                                                                                                                       Vulva        Vagina
                                                                     5. Insert the breeding rod angled                                          Bladder
                                                                slightly upward to avoid entering the bladder.       Semen Bottle
                                                                Follow the same angle as the slope of the            3. Inseminate.
                                                                rump.
                                                                                                                     Semen Bottle

                                                                      6. Insert rod with steady pressure while                                                      Ovaries
                                                                turning it counterclockwise (if using threaded                                            Cervix
                                                                rod). This will help threaded end to enter                                    Rectum
                                                                cervix. After passing through two or three          Inseminating
                                                                cervical rings, the rod will tighten up as you      Rod               Vulva        Vagina
                                                                try to turn it. The rod is now in inseminating                                 Bladder    Horns of Uterus
                                                                position. If you’re using a foam-tipped rod,
                                                                                                                     4. Remove bottle from rod. Remove rod from
                                                                follow the same procedure without turning            sow by turning clockwise and tugging gently.
                                                                the rod. Correct placement can be determined
                                                                by gently tugging on the rod to see if the                                                 Cervix Ovaries
                                                                                                                     Inseminating                Rectum
                                                                female is gripping it. If rod is secured by
                                                                                                                     Rod
                                                                female, placement is probably correct.
                                                                                                                                         Vulva       Vagina
                                                                                                                                                 Bladder Horns of Uterus
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        squeezing to remove locked air from breed-                          Semen Care and Insemination
        ing rod.                                                            Procedure Storage
               8. At this point, semen should flow with                          Temperature is important and relevant to
        little or no pressure exerted.                                      sperm life. Store semen at 60-65 degrees F or
                                                                            15.6-18 degrees C. Leave semen in shipping
             9. Make sure the sow is being stimu-                           container, and place in ideal temperature
        lated during insemination. Gently rubbing her                       zone.
        underline may help her receptiveness. This
        will promote uterine contractions, helping to                       Handling
        move the semen from the cervix to the                                     Handle semen gently. Once daily, semen
        oviducts for fertilization of the ovum.                             in storage should be rotated gently back and
                                                                            forth until sperm resuspend in the bottle for a
              10. Do not rush the insemination. Think                       uniform liquid consistency. Correctly handled
        in terms of how long it takes a boar to service                     semen should be motile for 7-10 days, with
        a female.                                                           some mortality occurring daily.


         8       Be thorough.
                Be careful, when the bottle becomes
                                                                            Timing
                                                                                 Insemination must be preceded with
        empty, not to allow any air to enter the
        cervix. It’s better to leave a little semen in the
                                                                            careful heat-checking to determine when the                                             7
                                                                            female first stands. Inseminate the first
        rod than to risk air entering. If air enters, it                    service 12-24 hours after first stand and the
        will push semen out of the sow. When fin-                           second service 12-18 hours later.
        ished inseminating, slowly remove the
        breeding rod.
                                                                            Insemination
                                                                                 To inseminate, lubricate the breeding
        9        Be persistent.
               Persistence will determine your
                                                                            rod with a nonspermacidal lubricant and
                                                                            insert it into the cervix of the female. Angle
        success. If you decided that AI offers certain                      the rod upward while inserting to avoid
        advantages in your operation, don’t give up.                        entering the bladder. Snip the tip off the
        Make it work.                                                       bottle, attach bottle to the rod and inseminate
                                                                            slowly.
      10         Be complete.
                 To be complete means to have all the
        necessary parts. It’s important that no parts
        are left out. Otherwise, the result could be
        less than what might have been achieved.
              One necessary part needed for AI on the
        swine farm is a microscope. Whether you’re
        purchasing semen or collecting on-farm,
        semen can be evaluated and monitored.
              Another part that is essential is to keep
        good breeding records. Record natural
        matings and AI matings. Monitor conception
        rates and litter sizes of each.
              The final, and most important, part
        needed to become successful in AI is experi-
        ence.
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                                                                Training Boars for Semen                              Collection Dummy
                                                                Collection                                                  Collection dummies can be portable and
                                                                       The alternative to purchasing semen is         stationary floor or wall mounted. Construc-
                                                                collecting it from boars on the farm. The             tion:
                                                                most effective and efficient way to do this is
                                                                to teach boars to mount and be collected                   1) Any article or material that somewhat
                                                                from a collection dummy. Two things must              resembles a sow can be used to construct a
                                                                be accomplished early in the training period          dummy.
                                                                if boars are to be trained successfully: 1)
                                                                boars must be forced to focus their attention              2) Wood or steel are most often used.
                                                                on the dummy upon entering the collection             An economical dummy can be constructed
                                                                pen, and 2) boars must associate the collec-          using 2 x 4s or 2 x 6s.
                                                                tion area and process with a pleasurable
                                                                experience. The first goal is accomplished by              3) Another alternative is one-half of a
                                                                the physical characteristics of the collection        hot water tank for the body of the dummy.
                                                                pen, and the second goal depends on the
                                                                manner in which boars interact with people                 4) Approximate dimensions of the body
                                                                during the training period.                           should be 3 1/2 to 5 feet long and 10 to 14
 8                                                                     The primary stimuli for initiation of the      inches wide. Height needs to range from
                                                                mounting reflex in boars is an immobile               1 1/2 to 2 1/2 feet.
                                                                object that resembles the size of another pig.
                                                                Therefore, a collection pen that is clean and               5) The height of the dummy should be
                                                                free of other extraneous items forces boars to        adjustable to accommodate different boars. It
                                                                focus their attention on the collection dummy         is beneficial to have an adjustment that can
                                                                and supplies visual stimulation necessary for         be easily accomplished by one person. This is
                                                                a successful mount. Maybe even more impor-            especially important when training younger
                                                                tant, a collection dummy with a strong swine          boars and collecting mature boars from the
                                                                odor supplies the necessary olfactory cues.           same dummy.
                                                                It’s interesting to note that sexually naive
                                                                boars have faster recognition and reaction                 6) The top portion of the dummy should
                                                                times to dummies covered with boar odor               be padded with burlap bags, foam rubber or
                                                                than those covered with female secretions.            other material and then covered with canvas,
                                                                Urine and saliva from a mature boar or                carpet, leather or rubber.
                                                                commercial products can be used to make the
                                                                collection dummy smell like a boar. Another                 7) Commercial dummies can be pur-
                                                                important point to remember is that a young           chased through many swine genetic compa-
                                                                boar’s attention span is limited. Mounting            nies.
                                                                activity usually occurs within the first five to
                                                                seven minutes of the training session. Conse-
                                                                quently, if mounting or an interest in the
                                                                collection dummy has not occurred by this
                                                                time, then the probability that it will during
                                                                that training session is unlikely. In this
                                                                situation, it’s probably best to remove the
                                                                boar from the collection pen and try again
                                                                later.
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                                                                                                                                         ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
                Boars that associate pain or fear with                      Boar Collection
         the collection pen or process are difficult to                           Once the boar has mounted, approach
         train. In addition, unpleasant experiences                         him with ease. If you are right handed, ease
         during collection can reduce the sexual                            down on his right side. If you are left handed,
         activity of trained AI boars. Avoidance of                         ease down on his left side. This approach
         rough handling and loud noises during the                          enables you to use your strong hand to collect
         training process is critical. At times, young                      with and frees the other hand to help free the
         boars will mount a dummy upon introduc-                            sheath if it catches on the dummy or to hold
         tion into the collection area and, after                           your collection container. Try not to get
         mounting, may routinely drop off the                               anxious; relax and don’t worry about getting
         dummy when attempts are made to collect                            out the collection container until the boar is
         them from their right or left side. In these                       extended and ready to ejaculate.
         situations, remaining directly behind the                                If the boar has mounted but has not
         boar and reaching forward to apply pressure                        started to thrust, gently massage sheath area
         to the tip of the penis may be necessary.                          back and forth (head to tail) until he starts.
         Once an erection occurs, the breeding                              This is especially important for young boars
         technician usually can shift around to the                         who have had no exposure to breeding and
         side and continue collecting without causing                       are not quite sure what happens next.
         the boar to dismount.                                                    Once the boar has mounted and has
                Young, aggressive boars that are sexu-                                                                                   9
                                                                            started thrusting, squeeze out all of the
         ally naive are the easiest animals to train.                       excess sheath fluid. This is extremely impor-
         This does not mean that older, sexually                            tant. This fluid contains bacteria, dirt and
         experienced males cannot be taught to                              potential disease problems. You don’t want
         mount and be collected from a dummy, but                           any of these in your semen collection. Any
         the training interval is usually much longer                       excess that is not expelled can leak out and
         and the success rate lower compared to their                       run down the penis into the collection ther-
         younger, more inexperienced counterparts.                          mos. Or, if a boar moves closer to the dummy
         An inverse relationship exists between the                         while you are collecting, the excess fluid can
         age of the boar at the initiation of the train-                    be forced out. If any does get into the collec-
         ing period and the success rate. When                              tion, you should dispose of the collection and
         training is initiated at less than 10 months of                    not use it.
         age, a success rate of 90% is not uncommon.                              To maximize the strength in your arm
         Furthermore, the most young boars can be                           and hand, use a palms-down and closed-fist
         trained to mount and be collected within the                       approach. Using a clean, bare hand is easier
         first three to four weeks after the initial                        in grasping the penis; but once you’ve gained
         exposure to the dummy. In contrast, if the                         confidence in collecting, you should use
         training period begins when boars are                              rubber gloves to provide a sterile collection
         between 10 and 18 months old, the success                          and to prevent any spreading of disease from
         rate normally drops to 70% or lower.                               boar to boar. When you approach the boar’s
                As a last resort, move a female in                          penis, remember to use your hand grip in
         standing heat into the collection pen, and                         attempting to simulate a sow’s vagina and
         collect the boar in the pen after he mounts                        cervix.
         the sow. If the boar mounts and is collected                             Start with back pressure and a gentle
         from the female then, within 24 hours,                             grip. The key is to grasp the curls at the end
         attempts should be made to get the boar to                         of the penis in such a way (across the curls
         mount the dummy.                                                   -like nuts and bolts) to stop them rotating as
                                  ○○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○



                                                  if he was locked into the cervix. When this is
                                                                                                             Processing Fresh Semen
                                                  accomplished, he will simultaneously thrust                      After collection of semen, it is necessary
                                                  out to extend, and you will gently pull to                 to evaluate the ejaculate to determine how
                                                  accommodate him in this process. Never                     many doses can be made. First, the volume
                                                  allow your grip to relax enough to allow him               and sperm concentration need to be deter-
                                                  to rotate his curl once he is extended. This               mined. The number of doses is influenced by
                                                  means to him that he is not locked into the                the number of doses actually needed and the
                                                  cervix, and the whole process will have to                 number of sperm cells contained in the
                                                  start over.                                                ejaculate. Other factors to consider include
                                                        If while you’re attempting to firmly grip            conception data on the boar and physical
                                                  the boar’s penis he begins to back off the                 appearance (morphology) of the sperm cells.
                                                  dummy, let go. He should respond by moving                 A common recommendation is a minimum of
                                                  back up on the dummy. If he does dismount,                 5 billion to 6 billion sperm per dose for best
                                                  he may not want to remount. He will tire                   results with high quality collections. It is also
                                                                                                             recommended to have 80-100 milliliters (ml)
10                                                more quickly if he continually mounts and
                                                                                                             total volume per insemination dose to obtain
                                                  dismounts.
                                                        Once you have his penis extended and                 maximum conception rate and litter size.
                                                  he has started to ejaculate clear, gel-like
                                                  fluid, reach for your collection thermos. Do               Volume
                                                  not collect any of this first clear or watery                   One common way to determine volume
                                                  fraction of ejaculate. A creamy, white or                  of ejaculate is simply to place the semen
                                                  sperm-rich fraction will follow. Collect this              collection into a clean (clean with distilled
                                                  portion since it contains the most concen-                 water) graduated cylinder or beaker.
                                                  trated amount of sperm. There are usually
                                                  breed differences in ejaculate volume and
                                                  concentration. Yorkshires generally ejaculate
                                                                                                             Concentration
                                                  a larger volume and lower concentration,                        There are several ways to determine the
                                                  Durocs ejaculate smaller volume and higher                 concentration of sperm in a collection. Visual
                                                  concentration, and Hampshires and other                    appraisal is simple, inexpensive, commonly
                                                  breeds are usually somewhere in between.                   used, but is also the most inaccurate. This
                                                        The boar will generally go through two               table can be used to determine dilution rate
                                                  to three cycles during ejaculation, taking five            following visual appraisal for concentration.
                                                  to 15 minutes to complete the process. As
                                                  you train the boar, it is very important to                Guidelines for Semen Extension
                                                  attempt to have him go through several                     Semen Appearance       Usual Range of      Dilution
                                                  cycles if you want the maximum semen                       or Concentration       Semen Volume        Ratio for
                                                  produced during each collection. His penis                                                            80-85 ml
                                                  will usually relax when he is finished. Try to                                                        per
                                                  help him develop good habits during the                                                               Insemin.
                                                  collection process. Bad habits are hard to                                                            Semen:
                                                  break. Use a positive approach when han-                                                              Extender
                                                  dling your boar. Treat him with respect and                Creamy                 50-150 mls            1:7 to
                                                  have patience, and you will benefit from a                                                              1:12
                                                  successful AI program.                                     Milky                  150-250 mls           1:4 to
                                                                                                                                                          1:7
                                                                                                             As Skim Milk           250 mls or more       1:2 to
                                                                                                                                                          1:4
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○




                                                                                                                                          ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
               This table is intended as a general                           methods, calculate total billion sperm in the
         guideline and must be adapted to suit your                          ejaculate. Use this formula:
         breeding program and needs. There are many
         variables including age of boar, frequency of                       Volume (ml) X concentration per ml =
         collection, exposure to light, genetic fertility                                                Total Sperm
         of the boar as well as disease and other
         fertility problems that affect the number and                             Total sperm is usually expressed in
         quality of sperm produced. With the visual                          terms of billions or 109. Collection will range
         method, 10-15 doses can usually be safely                           anywhere from 10 billion to 200 billion
         made per collection if the boar produces a                          sperm. Normal range for rested boars is 40
         volume within the usual ranges for the                              billion to 100 billion. Before adding ex-
         creamy, milk or skim milk classifications.                          tender, its temperature should be matched to
         For example, dilute the semen with extender                         the temperature of the semen. It is best to
         and distilled water to a total volume of                            warm the extender to approximately 95
         800-1200 mls. Commercial extender is                                degrees F before collecting the boar. After                      11
         available through any swine genetic com-                            the collection, raise or lower the temperature
         pany. If the boar is less than 10 months old or                     of the extender to match the semen. Don’t
         collected more than once or twice a week, he                        adjust the semen temperature. The extender
         may produce a lower volume than listed as                           can then be added to the semen. During this
         the usual range. In this case the number of                         entire process, the semen should be exposed
         doses may need to be reduced to six to 10                           to as little light as possible.
         (480-800 mls total extended volume).                                      When possible, sperm motility and
               You may also use a hemacytometer. The                         morphology should be checked on a warm
         hemacytometer is a special slide with a grid                        slide after dilution to ensure that the sperm
         engraved on it. It also requires a 400 power                        have not been damaged during extending. In
         microscope and a unopette. A unopette                               addition to forward motility, you should
         enables you to get a precise mixture of semen                       check for the presence of bent tails or other
         and diluent that can be placed on the hemacy-                       abnormalities in the appearance of the sperm.
         tometer and hand counted. Four fields on the                        With motility of less than 80% to 85% or
         grid are counted to obtain an average sperm                         more than 5% to 10% abnormalities, concep-
         count of the diluted sample. A dilution                             tion rate will be lower unless sperm concen-
         formula can then be used to determine an                            tration is adjusted above the 5 billion to 6
         accurate concentration per ml of the original                       billion recommended per dose.
         collection.                                                               After semen has been extended, checked
               The most precise way to measure                               for quality and poured into bottles, it is ready
         concentration is with a spectrophotometer. A                        to use or store. If you wish to store the
         measured sample of semen is placed in 3 ml                          semen, it should be slowly cooled to 65
         of saline solution and run through the spec-                        degrees F and stored at that temperature.
         trophotometer. Because the spectrophotom-                           Semen should be gently mixed twice daily by
         eter is specially calibrated, it is highly accu-                    inverting the storage bottles. Depending on
         rate. It is also the most expensive of the three                    the quality of the particular boar’s semen and
         options and is not practical for swine produc-                      the type of extender used, it should remain
         ers to use on the farm.                                             viable for three to seven days.
               Using the volume and concentration
         obtained by one of the previously mentioned
                                                        ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

                                                                       Recommended Equipment                                      to include in a selection program as well as
                                                                                                                                  consider the method of measuring those
                                                                       1. Water bath
                                                                                                                                  traits. Records range from within-herd
                                                                       2. Collection dummy                                        individual performance records to sophisti-
                                                                       3. Light microscope (400 power)                            cated, mixed-model analyses used to estimate
                                                                       4. Liquid semen storage unit                               breeding values. In addition, test station
                                                                                                                                  records are available on some sires that may
                                                                       Lab Supplies                                               be considered for use. Estimated Progeny
                                                                                                                                  Differences are superior to individual perfor-
                                                                       1. Extender
                                                                                                                                  mance records as estimates of genetic value,
                                                                       2. 100 ml plastic bottles w/cap                            particularly for those traits low in heritability.
                                                                       3. Collection container (thermos)                                “EPD” is defined as Expected Progeny
                                                                       4. Plastic collection bags                                 Difference and is the predicted performance
                                                                                                                                  of future offspring. An EPD is expressed as a
                                                                       5. Cheesecloth or gauze squares
                                                                                                                                  deviation from the mean of a base group of
                                                                       6. Glass thermometer                                       animals. EPDs, when available, are normally
                                                                       7. 1,000 ml beakers                                        presented on four important performance
                                                                       8. Microscope slides                                       traits (Number Born Alive, 21-day Litter
                                                                                                                                  Weight, Days to 230 and Backfat Depth). The
                                                                       9. Graduated cylinders
12                                                                                                                                unit of each EPD is the same as the unit of
                                                                       10. Disposable collection gloves                           the trait itself. Positive EPD values are
                                                                                                                                  desirable for the reproductive traits because
                                                                  Conclusion                                                      the objective is to increase number born alive
                                                                        Once you’ve perfected the technical                       and 21-day litter weights. Conversely, nega-
                                                                  aspects of basic semen handling and estrous                     tive EPD values are desirable for the terminal
                                                                  detection procedures, it may be possible to                     traits because the objective is to reduce days
                                                                  make small adjustments in some of these                         to 230 and backfat. EPDs are usually pre-
                                                                  skills and enhance the efficiency and effec-                    sented from one of three genetic evaluation
                                                                  tiveness of the entire AI program. Several                      programs (STAGES, Herdsman or Canada).
                                                                  areas in which fine tuning might occur                                Although each program compares
                                                                  include scheduling semen deliveries, more                       animals within its own participating popula-
                                                                  predictable return to heat via hormonal                         tion of animals, each program uses similar
                                                                  therapy, training boars, processing sperm-rich                  evaluation concepts. Comparing EPD values
                                                                  and whole ejaculates, evaluating semen                          between different evaluation programs is not
                                                                  microscopically and administering                               recommended. EPDs simply give the ex-
                                                                  pre-breeding stimuli. The key to fine tuning                    pected average difference in progeny perfor-
                                                                  any AI program successfully is to understand                    mance when compared to the expected
                                                                  the rationale for making each adjustment and                    performance of progeny from an average
                                                                  the production situations in which a given                      boar of the breed with an EPD of 0 (or 100 in
                                                                  adjustment is likely to be beneficial.                          the case of an index).
                                                                                                                                        “Accuracy” is determined by the amount
                                                                  Genetic Evaluation in Swine                                     of information available to predict the EPD.
                                                                                                                                  The more data, the higher the accuracy.
                                                                        Swine breeders and commercial produc-                     Accuracy is not affected by the level of
                                                                  ers face a variety of performance measure-                      performance of the animal. Selection deci-
                                                                  ments to consider in making their selection                     sions should first be based on the value of the
                                                                  decisions. Producers must decide which traits                   EPD, then use accuracies to decide on ani-
                                                                                                                                  mals with similar EPDs.
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○




                                                                                                                                         ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
             Selection indexes (MLI and TSI) reflect
        economic values associated with the cost of
        production and the value of market hogs.
        Indexes are scaled so that the average animal
        has an index value of 100. The MLI (Mater-
        nal Line Index) uses the EPDs of growth,
        backfat, number born alive and 21-day litter
        weights and is to be used for maternal-line
        applications. The TSI (Terminal Sire Index)
        uses the EPDs of growth and backfat only
        and is to be used only for terminal-line
        applications. Here is an example of how
        EPDs, accuracies and indexes are usually
        presented by a genetic supplier.




                  Example Table of
                  EPDs, accuracies and EPD indexes
                                                                                                                                                   13
           Sire                  B.A       Acc.      21WT Acc.            Days     Acc.     B.F. Acc.          MLI      TSI

        9  Yorkshire

           Monarch               -0.13     63%       -1.16     65%        -4.16    75%      -0.08   80%       115.1    137.2
           Ulf 39-3               0.35     64%       6.40      66%        0.87     75%      -0.05   82%       113.4    110.5
           Lars 204-11           0.47      54%       4.49      56%        -5.35    76%      -0.13   79%       134.9    157.6
      10   Faultless 76-14
           Jeriko 2253z
                                 0.52
                                 -0.65
                                           53%
                                           66%
                                                     -0.70
                                                     -1.62
                                                               54%
                                                               68%
                                                                          -1.33
                                                                          -6.61
                                                                                   52%
                                                                                   67%
                                                                                            -0.03
                                                                                            -0.13
                                                                                                    55%
                                                                                                    78%
                                                                                                              114.8
                                                                                                              115.8
                                                                                                                       113.7
                                                                                                                       163.7
           Ulf 109-2             0.66      20%       2.21      20%        -4.70    82%      -0.07   84%       130.5    139.0

           Hampshire

           Raw Muscle 17-3 0.82            68%       1.50      68%        -5.80    80%      0.01    84%       141.8 123.2
           Masterpiece     0.04            82%       -1.90     82%        -0.40    91%      0.01    93%       98.4 97.7
           Jolly 52-7      -.20            58%       -1.70     58%        1.10     69%      -0.06   74%       90.7 119.7
           Svaart 2151b                                                   -1.80    70%      -0.03   77%             120.9
           Bravo           -0.00           20%       1.70       20%       -1.60    72%      0.02    79%       101.3 99.3
           Honeymooner     0.63            73%       -3.60      73%       -2.20    90%      -0.03   92%       124.9 122.8



        Chapter 6
        Leadership and Decision Making
                                            ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○



                                                                The Economic Value of Semen from Superior Sires
                                                                                      $29 Average Cost per Litter Using Natural Service
                                                                                                                  Yearly Boar Cost
                                                                    Feed - 1 ton x $130/ton ........................................................... $130
                                                                    Housing, labor, vet, etc. $1/day .............................................. $365
                                                                    Depreciation of boar cost/year ................................................ $375
                                                                    Total ........................................................................................ $870

                                                                              Estimated Advantage of Superior vs. Average Tested Boar
                                                                                               Average      Superior
                                                                                                 Boar          Boar        Difference
                                                                    Average Daily Gain (lb/day) 2.05           2.45            0.40
                                                                    Feed Efficiency (lb/cwt)    260.00        220.00          40.00
                                                                    Back Fat (in)                0.70          0.50            0.20

                                                                    $6.75 per litter added value due to Superior daily gain

                                                                    $8.46 per litter added value due to Superior feed efficiency
14
                                                                    $8.64 per litter added value due to Superior carcass

                                                                    $23.85 total added value of a Superior boar per litter sired

                                                                    $29.00 average breeding cost natural service

                                                                    $52.84 total value of Superior semen per litter

                                                                    * Plus added value of replacement gilts
○○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○




                                                                                                                                           ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
                                                   Insemination Record System

        Sow ID                      Date                       Date                       Date to                     Date
                                    1st Service                2nd Service                Farowing Crate              Due


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                                                      Artificial
                                                      Insemination
                                                      in Swine




Timothy G. Page, Ph.D., Swine Specialist

Visit our website: http://www.agctr.lsu.edu/wwwac

Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, William B. Richardson, Chancellor
Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, Jack L. Bagent, Vice Chancellor and Director

Pub. 2713 (500)7/98

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of Congress of May 8 and June
30,1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. The Louisiana
Cooperative Extension Service provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.