Breeding Gilts

  • Gilts reach puberty around about 8-9 months old.
  • Estrus is the period when the gilt will accept the male pig for reproduction.
  • Estrus occurs roughly every 21 days (until they are bred) and lasts for about 2-3 days.

Getting gilts ready to breed.

There are a number of ways that may help to stimulate estrus;

  • Placing the gilts on full feed for 7-14 days prior to breeding helps to increase the ovulation rate.
  • Exposure to the boar can sometimes set off the gilts cycle.
  • Taking a gilt on a short journey can sometimes trigger the cycle.

How to tell if a gilt is ready to breed.

There are a number of signs that may indicate that the gilt is ready to breed;

  • Place pressure on the gilts back and she will just stand still.
  • Her ears prick up.
  • Tail may twitch.
  • Vulva will be swollen and reddish.
  • She may be restless and pacing up and down.
  • The gilt may bark more often than normal.

A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.

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