Herd fertility is critical to the success of any breeding pig enterprise. Artificial Insemination (AI) has now started to dominate the reproductive process on many Farms in the UK, Amongst other things, it brings superior sire Iine genetics onto the unit and across many females, which could not normally be achieved cost-effectively by natural matings. If operated correctly, it should also guarantee that each mating is carried out using viable sperm, something which cannot be guaranteed practically with a boar.
Writing this booklet is recognition that the industry has now put the fertility of its herds largely into the hands of the production staff that operates and controls the chain shown left. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The aim of this booklet is to ensure that the producer has checks which can be controlled and implemented to ensure that the best is achieved from every dose of semen. This booklet does not aim to go fully into all areas of production and reproduction as individual unit situations vary considerably. It should, however, guide producers in the correct direction for further information or guidance from individual industry experts.