Confirming pregnancy is important and easier for those with access to ultrasound machines.
However, whether an ultrasound machine is available or not, record keeping is important. It is easier to tell whether a pig is pregnant or not, traditionally, by using farm records.
Remember, not all sows/gilts inseminated are always pregnant.
Some may repeat due to several reasons, including:
- Poor heat detection that leads to insemination past the conceptive time.
- Use of expired, spoiled or poorly processed semen.
- Reproductive diseases in gilts and sows.
- Infertility in gilts. It is important to record the date and time a particular sow is inseminated.
A smartphone or computer calendar is useful here, because one can set reminders. Start checking your gilts/ sows for repeated oestrus from the 18th day after previous insemination, until the 25th.
This is because some gilts come back into heat earlier and others later. The average oestrus cycle is 21 days. Inseminate all gilts/sows that come back into heat.
Repeat the counting for those that did not show heat signs and confirm them pregnant after passing their second cycle.
Do not depend on the size of the stomach; otherwise pseudo pregnancies are also common.
Gradually increase the gestating sow or gilt’s daily ration to a kilogramme or let them feed at will, if automatic feeders are available. Do not overfeed pregnant sows to avoid excessive fattening.