Before their first service, it is important that gilts are familiar with the routine of moving to the heat detection area and service pens where they should also be able to explore the area and meet the boars.
This will reduce stress, keep gilts calmer and help ensure strong standing reflexes during insemination. BPEX Work Instructions 13 and 14 on humanising and handling gilts have more information.
Be aware that gilts are notorious for taking a long time to inseminate, which can be due to stress. A good gilt familiarisation routine will help to reduce this along with calm, patient staff in the service area. Serving gilts in a small AI pen (typically 2m x 2m) with good boar contact will also increase the chances of a successful insemination. See Action for Productivity factsheets 29, 30 and 31 for more information on AI.
Good gilt management is the starting point of a productive breeding herd and will help improve the number of pigs weaned per sow per year, the aim of BPEX’s Breed+3 initiative.
at 19 Apr 2013, 12:47 PM