Recommendations for successful Artificial Insemination

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Curtis Boos, Technical Expert specialized in insemination, gives step by step details and advices for successful Artificial Insemination.


Curtis Boos


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At this 1500 head sow farm, there are two technicians that inseminate sows One is cleaning the vulva and introducing the AI catheter, or AI rod, into the cervix; the other is connecting the rod to the dose of semen and hanging it on an elastic band. This method allows for self-insemination.

Cleaning the sows vulva

Cleaning the vulva before inserting the AI rod is necessary. You do not want to push dirt or manure into the reproductive tract and risk causing an infection. Use a non-spermicidal-disinfecting wipe like this technician or water with a mild soap when cleaning the vulva.

The OB-gel used at mating is also non-spermicidal.

Inserting the AI catheter

The technician has applied a small amount of OB-Gel to the tip of the AI rod for lubrication as he inserts the rod. Do not to apply too much Gel. Insert the AI rod at an upward angle of around 45° to avoid tearing the urethral flap while inserting the rod.

The tip of this rod is round and you only push the rod in. Be careful with AI rods with tips designed like a boar penis. Once inserted, gently pull and rotate the rod to make sure there is resistance from the cervix.


The semen may be hooked up to a dose of semen for self-insemination and allows you to briefly walk away. Always keep a close eye on the sows being inseminated to watch for problems.

Stimulating the sow

Some sows may require stimulation such as, back pressure, grabbing the flank, or rubbing the underline. This helps the sow take in semen during the breeding process, especially gilts. Do not forced the semen in, but allow it to be drawn in with the sow’s uterine contractions.

Boar placement during insemination

Place boars directly in front of the sow while breeding but no more than 1 or 2 meters away.

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