AI or live cover

Breeding questions, sow talk, semen management, baby pig basics
Post Reply
Bigwhiskey
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:35 am

AI or live cover

Post by Bigwhiskey » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:53 am

Hello. My family has been raising pigs for close to 20 years. We have a great market on our butcher hogs. Our sons are in FFA and 4H and states showing pigs. Our pigs are great butcher pigs, not show pigs. We would like to start breeding showpigs for our boys. We have always live covered. Why don't more people live cover show pigs?

mjw1980
Showpig Specialist
Showpig Specialist
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:10 am

Re: AI or live cover

Post by mjw1980 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:31 am

With AI you can make your program what you want it to be for the price of a straw of semen. You don't have the feed and care costs associated with having a boar. If you have a gilt that needs better feet you can purchase the semen of the best structured boar out there. If you need more top you can do the same. It allows you to be versatile with your breeding.

Bigwhiskey
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:35 am

Re: AI or live cover

Post by Bigwhiskey » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:32 am

But some breeders do live cover? We would just be breeding for our kids and a small 4h group. We have the set up for housing and feeding a boar. Also, have heard that a lot of times you have to pull pigs from "show" sows and gilts. Is it because they are so tight in the back end?

User avatar
colored_pigs
Showpig Specialist
Showpig Specialist
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:00 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: AI or live cover

Post by colored_pigs » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:50 am

We do both! The comments about AI to improve herd genetics to make better babies is absolutely correct. Also good market show gilts are not generally built correctly to naturally breed. Tail settings are usually straight along back for a square built package. Which in turn pulls there vulvas higher and tips generally point out or could have slight upturn at tip. This angle makes it very difficult for a boar to penetrate and do his job by himself. Commercial sows when they were naturally bred generally had a somewhat sloping rear end compared to today's show pigs.

So ya got a good animal bred and now it's time to farrow. She most likely has average or bigger bone structure with a pelvic structure designed for big square hip, both conditions are not the most ideal to push little pigs through. To push really hard they curl (pull legs up to belly) if she already has a somewhat sloping rear end it still makes for a easier path for babies to travel compared to square rear ends. Assuming the big bones have not made a smaller internal pelvic opening.

When we live cover, we physically help and insure boar gets the job done. There not left together for few hrs to do it themselves in privacy. I have had sows hurt from boar getting frustrated and roughing them up. It's the worst job all year.

Of course you can find biggest squarest sow and breed her to the shortest boar and have babies while your out working to pay the bills. This is what we have learned in 7 yrs breeding in smaller operation (8 sows max). With all this said, Feed the female correctly makes for a huge difference.

Post Reply
cron