HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Breeding questions, sow talk, semen management, baby pig basics
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scottherbert
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HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:34 pm

I have 10 sows and a few new gilts. I do two crops of pigs a year, one for show season and another for market pigs. Last years show season breeding resulted in only half of the sows bred. The breeding for the summer market pigs was almost a complete bust! One older sow had a litter of 7, but only 2 alive.

I have started mycotoxin binders about 7 months ago. I admit to not having vaccinated with Farrowsure too consistently. Many were vaccinated, some were not. I just got a bottle of Farrowsure gold B and have started doing them. I also keep the barn at about 70 to 75 degrees. I feed quality feed, they are not crowded, and they are not stressed. Other than some stillborn, there are not any mummies. I have a boar and do A.I. as well. I will need to sell about half of them to buy feed.

Since show breeding is coming up soon, I am looking for any advice, other than to sell out. I have 3 gilts and one new (baby) boar coming up. 2 will be ready to breed this fall. Several older sows have been excellent breeders in the past, but all the rest on on the sale block.

Is there anything to give that I haven't? Anything I can do that I haven't? I have tried to do so much research my head is spinning. For right now the only hope I can think of is to try to get one of the older sows bred for some more replacement gilts and start over. Any other ideas?

Thanks.

scottherbert
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:10 pm

Add to above, All appeared bred over the summer, not cycling, even gaining weight. Most have passed their (assumed) due dates or they are coming up soon. None have been sick either. No PRRS in the area, so vet didn't recommend vaccinating against it.

Considering treating for cyctic ovaries, but ALL OF THEM???

JWH
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by JWH » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:20 pm

I would bet PRRS, been in the same boat, tested 2 sows and they were positive. get a blood test done on a couple. we started vaccinating 6 months ago and are much improved

scottherbert
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:57 am

Thanks JWH, I had suspected as much, but my vet was sure that there were no infections in our area. That said, I am sure there are plenty of people around here with pigs that don't get them tested.

I traced the problem back to the time I bought a new boar. Although I had him quarantined for 30 days, he showed no symptoms. He only produced one litter in a year and a half though!

I have some vaccine ordered.

Thanks

buckibri
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by buckibri » Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:30 pm

There are multiple possibilities for breeding issues.

1. Run 400 gram CTC in feed for at least 10 consecutive days. We experience periodic infertility and this cleans up any issues for me.
2. Vaccinate all twice with Farrowsure B. Again after every litter.
3. Keep boar penned from sows, no fence line contact. Make sure teaser boar is at least 9 mos old to really get the boar taint working
4 let teaser boar out at least once per day to have fence line contact and monitor standing heat.
5. Test for PRRS

If they dont cycle and stand for you over 30 days after this depopulate and start over after a good clean out cycle


If u show and bring home animals you have every disease in the barn, I don’t recall if you stated this is a practice.

scottherbert
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:44 am

Thank you for the advice buckibri! You stated that you use 400 grams of CTC added to feed, but how much feed? Per ton? Or is it 400 milligrams per pig? Since the powdered form of CTC is only available by prescription, would liquid (like LA 200) work if given orally?

None of my pigs go anywhere, however in the past buyers came back to the barn to select pigs. I stopped this practice last year, and now have pigs for sale in a separate area more easily accessed by vehicles.

My current boar is housed inside the barn for now, until I can get a separate house built for him. I do let him run the center aisle once a day.

I understand your statement about repopulating, and currently have about half my sows up for sale as butcher pigs. Unfortunately I am on fixed income and would be unable to replace them. I would be out of business. This is why I am hoping to get some replacement gilts from the next breeding. I do have 2 gilts that I will try to breed in September, and another that can be bred next February, but I have several excellent Hampshire sows that I am hoping will deliver replacement stock in January. This is my last hope.

I will be giving the antibiotics in the next week.

Thanks

buckibri
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by buckibri » Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:23 pm

CTC is fed at 400 gram per ton which is the highest labeled rate. You do have to have a VFD to use as it falls under the feed antibiotic mandate.

Feed your normal 4-5# head/day for 10 days.

Yes, you could inject LA 200 but would require multiple shots. A vet could guide you on that use.

My sows gestate outside so I deal with birds and potentially rodents periodically. I also believe that I likely get an occasional possum or coon walking by the sow lots. Those animals I believe are a good source for some reproductive disease.

Wish you well.

Curious on your location?

scottherbert
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:07 pm

I am in Southern Colorado. It's very dry here. Birds and mice are the primary culprits here.

Thank you for the concise information, it is very valuable! There are very few serious pig breeders around here, so information like yours really helps.

As I stated earlier, I have vaccinated for PRRS, some have recieved Farrowsure Gold B with all the rest to be revaccinated in a couple of weeks @ 2 weeks before breeding. I will be using Matrix with a PG 600 chaser just in case, and A.I.-ing. Many sows are for sale now, and if they don't settle, many more to come.

I have done so much online research, and I cannot think of anything else to try. Vets in the area are well versed in horses and cattle, but pigs and sheep? Nopity nope! Been doing this for over 10 years, and the success rate has plumetted in the last year and a half.

buckibri
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by buckibri » Tue Sep 01, 2020 4:39 pm

likely very isolated from other hog farms?

that would make the PRRS thought less intriguing but certainly still possible. Wish you luck.

scottherbert
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Re: HELP! Can't get pigs bred!

Post by scottherbert » Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:40 pm

Yes, in fact I do not know of any in the town, although I am sure there are some. Some in a town about 15 miles from here.

I bought a boar from there a few years ago, he sired one litter, although I put him in with all the sows at one time or another. That seems to be when the troubles started. Less and less females got bred. He died suddenly, and my other boar fathered a few until he died, also suddenly. I only have one of that boars sons now, and he has only sired one litter, last December. B een trying to breed all the sows since January, and not a one has settled, even the ones that produced well in the past.

Two sows had litters pulled right away, so that might have effected their cycling.

I have now vaccinated for PRRS and Farrowsure gold B, have some CTC on order, and will be starting Matrix at the end of the week. I will use PG 600 at the end of the Matrix. Honestly, I cannot think of anything else to do!

My best guess is Lepto, with no mummies and high stillborn count. I am in hopes that the CTC will settle it down, and the vaccinations will help. If I can get them bred, I will be retaining as many gilts as I can for replacements. Fingers crossed!

According to the research I have done, a lot of things can effect them (i.e., cystic ovaries,false pregnancies, as well as disease), but usually just a percentage, not all of them.

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