USING SERVISTIM WITH ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN PIG PRODUCTION
Two sprays of Servistim are applied to the sow’s snout instead of using the boar prescence. The sow reacts exactly the same to the back pressure test and flankfold reflex, as with a boar present.
Timing of Artificial Insemination
Correctly assessing the stage of estrus in a sow is essential for successful artificial insemination. In early estrus, the sow is vocal, restless, elevates her ears and grunts when Servistim is applied, but moves away on the back pressure and flankfold test. This stage shows she is coming into heat, but is not ready yet. In the afternoon or by the next day she should be in progressing heat, where she is quieter, allows other sows to jump her, and shows interest in the ‘boar in a bottle’ by standing still on the back pressure test and moving her tail out of the way. This stage is marked as time 0 and would be the optimal time for natural mating. But with artificial insemination, 12 hours should be allowed to pass before the first artificial insemination is applied. This would then be at peak heat when the sow can be touched with NO ‘boar in a bottle’. The second artificial insemination is done after 24 hours. With gilts the first insemination is 12 hours after time 0, while the second is also 12 hours after time zero.
During Artificial Insemination
Servistim helps to decreases semen losses occurring during artificial insemination by improving the positive reaction of the reproductive tract to the semen. In other words, it works as a stimulus.
Speeding Up Onset of Estrus after Weaning
After weaning, Servistim can be used on day 3, 2 sprays on the snout in the morning and 2 sprays in the afternoon. This can be repeated each day until the stages of estrus are reached. A maximum of 3 days’ application is needed.
Benefits of Servistim Use on Gilts
Gilts can be encouraged to come on heat faster using Servistim applications – 2 sprays on the snout in the morning and 2 sprays in the afternoon. Additionally, if a group of gilts are treated with the Servistim spray, their estruses will fall into synchronisation.
Practising this for 4 days only, will synchronise the whole group and is extremely useful for future breeding cycles. Further, the boar odour in Servistim has a calming effect on gilts, helping to smooth the path to the first artificial insemination. Servistim can also play an important role to reduce the aggressive behaviour of pre-pubertal pigs.