How to Breed Sows After Farrowing

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A sow's gestation period is 114 days.
A sow's gestation period is 114 days. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Breeding pigs has many different options, depending on the route you would like to take. As the pork industry has become industrialized, many hog farmers swapped over to confinement type production, where pigs are kept inside in small spaces for most of their lives. Sows on these farms are kept pregnant more than not, to keep production rates high. Other farmers have decided to stick to the traditional pasture methods, and only breed their sows twice a year.

Things You'll Need

  • Sow
  • Boar
  • Semen
  • Artificial insemination pipettes
  • Breeding pens

Decide how you are going to breed your sow. Do you have a boar that you are going to breed her to or are you ordering semen to artificially inseminate her? Have a plan laid out before she farrows so you can start to prepare.

Obtain a boar from or get semen from another farmer after your sow farrows. In about five weeks your sow will come into heat.

Wean the piglets four weeks after farrowing. The sow will start to dry up her milk and within five to 10 days she will be in heat. You will be able to tell because her vulva will become swollen and slightly red. Also she will brace and be willing to stand for a boar.

Breed the sow two times within 24 hours when she is in heat, either using a boar or artificial insemination pipette with semen. Hand breeding is the best way to introduce a boar to a sow when she is in heat because it is just the two of them, and you have control over when they breed. Pen breeding entails leaving a boar with a large group of sows for approximately a month hoping he breeds them all. With hand breeding or artificial insemination you will know the breed date.

Watch your sow over the next month. If she is not pregnant, within 21 days she will be back into heat and you can repeat the breeding process. If your sow is pregnant, she will not come back into heat, and will have a litter 114 days from the date you bred her.

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