Farming Friends

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How To Tell If A Gilt Or Sow Is Pregnant

When a boar and gilt are allowed to run together they will mate when the gilt comes into estrus, but how do you tell if mating has occurred?

Hello – I have two gilts and recently purchased a 1-yr old boar. My goal is to breed the gilts, of course. The gilts are of age and size to be bred and therefore I put the boar in with them. Short of placing a 24 hr spycam in their house, how can I tell if the gilts are bred? Being new to this, how can I determine a bred gilt other than waiting 3 months for obvious changes? Thank you, Linda

Hi Linda,

Thanks for visiting farmingfriends and leaving your question.

I have noticed that the boar makes a different sort of grunting noise when a gilt/sow is on heat. He seems to follow the gilt around and pushes at her side and sniffs her bottom!

Sometimes you can see that the boar has mounted the gilt as there are scratches on her side where the boars feet have been and there is sometimes a red mark on the gilts back where the boar has been rubbing against her. Also  the vulva may be red and her bottom may be wet with the boars semen.

Gilts usually come into cycle every 3 weeks.

So look out for signs of estrus and if it looks like the gilt is ready to be served by the boar again 3 weeks from the boar being put with the gilts then the gilt may not be pregnant.

I generally keep the boar with my sows for over 6 weeks so that they have gone through two cycles.

Hope this helps. What sort of pigs are they and do they have names? Let me know how you get on with them. My pigs, Cagney and Lacy are about to farrow.

Just to let you know I recently set up a forum which is free and this has a section on pigs.

Kind regards
Sara @ farmingfriends

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

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