- 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.
[eshop_show_product id=’4144′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]
If you keep pigs or are thinking of keeping pigs then join the free farmingfriends pig forum for the latest chat, advice and questions about pigs and pig related issues.
If you would like to receive regular information about pigs then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.