Effective heat detection, accurate recording of estrous cycles, and subsequent, well-timed matings or inseminations are critical to achieving high reproductive rates in the breeding herd. High quality stimulation by the boar and heat detection of the sow requires a solid understanding of the natural mating process.

The boar's natural ability to stimulate sows and gilts through sight, sound, smell and touch must be understood if the breeding herd workforce is to develop the skills needed for success with artificial insemination.

The attached poster, published in English and Spanish, provides a pictorial display and descriptions of the boar's overtures as he stimulates sows or gilts and identifies those that are receptive to the mating process. The breeding herd staff must learn to work with the heat check boar to simulate the natural mating process in a more controlled environment.

This poster will serve as a valuable teaching tool to review the boar-sow/gilt interactions, the signs of solid, standing heat, and for timing of inseminations to optimize reproductive performance. Used effectively, this tool will serve as a template for heat detection, accurate recording and preparation for insemination to ultimately assist in improving farrowing rate,number born alive and improve sow lifetime productivity.

Poster content developed by Iowa Pork Industry Center and National Hog Farmer. Photos taken with cooperation from Iowa Select Farms, Iowa Falls, IA.