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Bungee Serving

11 April 2013

Use of a bungee to hold in place the AI catheter and semen flat-pack is a tip that can save time and labour, according to Farm Case Study No. 20 from BPEX.


  • Time reduced by an hour a day
  • One member of staff can now serve alone
  • Sows get some stimulation by the bungee
  • Multiple sows can be served by one operator

Farm Facts

Name: Buddleford Estates
Location: Collumpton, Devon
Farm size and enterprise: 650 sows, indoor farrow-to-finish


Sows are served in a loose area in front of boar pens. The operator used to have to remain with each sow during service before the bungee system was introduced. In countries where sows are served in stalls this kind of leave-alone system with the AI attached overhead is very common. The bungee system enables a similar labour efficiency to be seen in a loose-housed serving environment.

Key to Success

  • The bungee ropes are cheap and easy to get hold of
  • The system is simple and easy to use; all staff can replicate the system, which ensures a stable service strategy all year round
  • It is important not to have the bungee too far up the back of the sow so the catheter remains rounded and not too angular
  • The unit does not use the bungee system on gilts, as after trialling it they found that gilts need extra attention during AI.

The System

  • Make the bungees easily accessible in the serving area
  • Provide snout-to-snout contact and check for standing heat as normal
  • Place the bungee around the sow, just in front of the back legs and clip together using the end hooks, roughly where the spine would be
  • Make sure the bungee lies behind all functional teats
  • Make sure the bungee is tight but not too tight that it causes discomfort
  • Insert catheter and attach flat pack as normal
  • Carefully attach the bungee hook to the flat pack through one of the pre-made holes in the top of the flat pack
  • With the sow still in front of the boar the insemination will happen as normal and the AI dose will be slowly drawn into the sow
  • The flat pack and bungee can remain in situ until the dedicated rest period is over, when you can dismantle in reverse
  • Alternatively, the bungee system can be removed after the AI has drained from the catheter and the sow can remain in front of the boar for the resting period.

April 2013

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