In my last post, I recapped the 4 things I did to ensure success in my breeding operation.
One of them is how long I pair my boars and sows, or breeding pairs, together to ensure conception.
The Meishan sow is very clear about her heat cycle when not with a boar. Pacing the fence line, squeezing through a spot to get closer and even squealing in the 3 day window are all normal.
So, I initially would wait for signs of heat, pair the boar and sow together and leave them for 3 days.
But, the sows weren't catching.
After working with my vet, I learned that I was missing ovulation with this approach.
I learned that I had to expand the time they were paired to cover at least 2 heat cycles, or about 45 days, because the sows eggs could have already dropped before signs of heat. Leaving me without a bred sow.
(Quick Reference: A Gilt or Sow cycles every 21 days.)
This altered my original set up from breeding pens that the pigs would come and go from to more of a pod type approach.
I now also have specific pastures that a specific boar lives in and I move the sows in and out after a couple of months, and often after an ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy.
This helped my confirmed pregnancy rate greatly.