The Courtship Sequence in Pigs





























Aids in the detection of oestrus


Have the assistance of a boar, preferably a mature boar who is producing a large amount of phermonomes (scents) that stimulate the female.  He must be trained in the layout of the dry sow house/gestation area, but must not become too accustomed to the work, or he will only detect the sows which waste their feed

Oestrus detection should start three days after weaning and continue three time daily until served and twice daily for the entire duration of pregnancy

The boar should be presented to the head of the sow or gilt. Note that this is only stage one of the courtship sequence

House sows and gilts no closer than 1 metre from the boars.  Ideally the sow and gilts should not be able to see the boars until the time to mate

It is essential to have at least 20 minutes a day boar exposure to induce oestrus.  Constant exposure can be detrimental to the length of oestrus exhibited

Heat detection is easier if sows and gilts do not have boar stimuli (sight, sound or smell) for one hour prior to checking for oestrus.   Gilts only exhibit intense oestrus signs for periods of 7-10 minutes and may take 45 minutes before being able to re-exhibit oestrus

Use another unfamiliar boar if sows or gilts exhibit some of the signs of oestrus, but will not mate.  This is particularly important in a group of gilts where one is detected by one boar but several others in oestrus are missed by the stockperson’s enhusiasm for the gilt which exhibits first

Apply all the principles of stockmanship

Ears to detect a calling sow

Eyes to detect the restless, nervous sow, which is off her food, has a swollen vulva, which is slightly red.

Touch to exhibit back pressure test in the presence of the boar

The commonsense to be quietly patient in observing animals.