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Determining the pregnancy of a pig at home is not an easy task, however, knowing some techniques and tricks in this area, it can be dealt with without resorting to laboratory methods, as well as conducting ultrasound.
Signs of a pregnant sow
It is possible to determine that a pig is in a state of pregnancy just a few days after conception: experienced farmers cope with this task quite quickly.
Important! The main sign of a pig's pregnancy is the complete absence of sexual desire and sexual desire, i.e., the cessation of estrus in an individual. The sow either does not react in any way to the appearance of the male or even shows signs of aggression towards him.
The main signs of a pregnant sow are:
- rapid weight gain for animals;
- apathetic behavior: the animal, basically, lies or sleeps, it has signs of so-called toxicosis, interest in food decreases, or, conversely, the appetite increases sharply and poor sleep is observed;
- from the genital organs of the pig, a secretion of a curd consistency occurs;
- in a pig, a sharp increase in size and swelling of the nipples can be observed: thereby, her body prepares herself for feeding future offspring;
- within the prescribed period of time (after about 3 - 3.5 weeks), the period of sexual heat does not return.
How soon the gestation of the pig will be established depends on how soon the animal will be transferred to special conditions of detention, the basic principles of its nutrition will be changed and vitamins and minerals will be added to the diet. All these actions will directly affect both the prenatal state of the pups and the determination of the milk production of the sow.
How to know if a pig is pregnant or not
There are several main ways in which you can find out if a pig is pregnant or not, at home. All these techniques can be conditionally subdivided into 2 large subgroups.
Methods for determining pregnancy at home (those that do not require special knowledge and skills and are carried out without specialized equipment):
- palpation method;
- rectal method;
- reflexological method (a method of checking the presence or absence of sexual desire in a pig).
Specialized methods (carried out, as a rule, in laboratory conditions using special means):
- Burkina method (sow urine);
- laboratory research method (vaginal biopsy or blood test for the content of the pregnancy hormone - progesterone);
How to determine early pregnancy in a pig
Already on the 5th day after conception, it is possible, according to certain signs, to find out at home that the pig is pregnant.
If you closely observe the pig, you can identify the main signs at an early date. To find out if a pig is pregnant or not, the following features will help:
- a sharp change in the behavior of the pig and the onset of a period of "indifference" to everything around;
- poor sleep is characteristic precisely for the early stages of pregnancy;
- lack of interest in the food offered, or, on the contrary, increased interest in food;
- curd discharge from the genitals of the animal.
The ability to determine the pregnancy of a pig at an early stage will allow the farmer to correctly respond to the "special position" of the animal and place it in special conditions (for example, change the diet for the subsequent high milk yield in the sow). This is necessary due to the fact that the very first days of a pig's pregnancy are most dangerous with the threat of miscarriage and loss of offspring.
How to determine the pregnancy of pigs by the belly
The palpation method is quite reliable, but its big drawback is that it can be applied only from the 3rd month of gestation of the animal. By this time, breeders usually already know what condition the pig is in and have determined it in other ways. However, this method takes place, and its essence lies in the following actions:
- The animal is placed on its left side.
- The pig is calmed (by scratching and stroking its tummy).
- Feeling (palpation) is carried out in the area of the last two nipples in the lower abdomen.
Important! This method is always carried out on an empty stomach of the pig (it cannot be fed for about 12 hours), therefore it is more advisable to use it in the morning before breakfast.
How to tell if a pig is pregnant with the rectal method
Rectal examination can be applied only 30 days after mating. Only a veterinarian or other person with special knowledge and skills should carry out this procedure and determine the pregnancy of a pig in this way. The research methodology is as follows:
- The sow must be securely fixed.
- The veterinarian inserts a gloved hand, lubricated with petroleum jelly or oil, into the rectum of an individual and probes 3 arteries: sub-air; uterine; genitourinary.
Moreover, if the middle uterine artery vibrates and is enlarged, we can safely state the presence of pregnancy in a pig.
Important! The longer the gestation period, the more pronounced all 3 arteries vibrate and the more they are enlarged in size.
An experienced veterinarian, conducting a rectal examination, can not only determine that a pig is pregnant, but also establish a due date. In this case, an important rule should be observed: if the veterinarian failed to fix the vibration of the middle uterine artery, then a re-examination can be carried out no earlier than 3 weeks later.
How to determine whether a pig is covered or not by the presence or absence of heat
When using this method to determine the pregnancy of a pig, one cannot be 100% sure of the veracity of the results. But its big plus, nevertheless, is that you can use it to try to find out about the pregnancy of an individual already 3 weeks after the mating.
The essence of this technique is that a male individual is brought to the sow, which was supposedly inseminated about 20 days ago, every couple of hours.
Depending on the reaction of the pig to the boar, a conclusion is made about its position:
- if the female shows interest in the inseminator, revives when it appears and is ready to mate, she is not pregnant;
- if the female does not pay attention to the male individual or is quite hostile towards him, with a 95% probability we can talk about the conception that has occurred.
How to know if a pig is pregnant using the Burkina test
The method is quite complicated in its implementation in practice, but it guarantees the accuracy of the result obtained with a probability of 98%. The sequence of actions in this case should be as follows:
- Sow urine is collected.
- Then the collected liquid is filtered.
- A couple of drops of hydrochloric acid, an aqueous solution of phenylhydrazyl hydrochloric acid, 3% hydrogen peroxide are added to the urine.
- All ingredients are boiled and then cooled.
If the pig is pregnant, then its urine will turn brown-red, and if the individual is not pregnant, then the urine will remain yellow and will not change its color.
How to find out if a pig is pregnant by laboratory tests
It is not possible to determine the pregnancy of a pig at home with 100% probability, no matter how realistic all the methods look in the photo and video. Of course, there are various laboratory studies that can be used to establish the fact of fertilization, but their use is not always possible due to:
- their inaccessibility (far from all the settlements of our country there is such a possibility);
- high price category (this type of service is provided on a paid basis and is very expensive);
- time consuming.
The main laboratory methods for determining the gestation of animals are:
- Serological method. It means that blood is taken from the sow and the concentration of the pregnancy hormone progesterone is determined in its composition. It is worth conducting the test after 22 days after the alleged fertilization. In this case, the analysis guarantees the veracity of the result obtained with 100% probability;
- Vaginal biopsy. This method is based on the fact that a sample of secretions and tissues is taken from the genital organs of the pig. In the laboratory, these biomaterials are examined under a microscope and a conclusion is made about the presence or absence of an "interesting position" in an individual.
To find out if a pig is pregnant or not, an ultrasound will help. This method of determining pregnancy is most often found in large pig breeding complexes. It is recommended to carry out it no earlier than 20 days after mating. At the same time, if you follow all the rules for conducting such a study with a gestational age of more than 30 days, then ultrasound guarantees the reliability of the result obtained with a probability of 95%.
Depending on the equipment used, ultrasound determines the pregnancy of an individual:
- by fetal heartbeat;
- by the presence of fluid in the uterus.
During the study, the animal can stand or lie: the main thing is that its posture is motionless.
False pregnancy of pigs
In pigs, like in some other animals, such a physiological phenomenon as false pregnancy can be observed. It can arise for a number of factors, ranging from hormonal disruption in the body of a female individual to improper living conditions. At the same time, the signs of false pregnancy in pigs almost completely coincide with the signs of real pregnancy:
- cessation of estrus;
- increase in body weight;
- decreased appetite.
The easiest way to understand whether an animal has a false pregnancy or not is to bring a boar to the sow and observe its behavior: a pregnant female will not allow an inseminator to approach her.
How long does a pig pregnancy last?
Every experienced pig breeder and farmer will say that a pig's pregnancy usually lasts 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days (i.e., on average, it is about 114 - 116 days). However, in practice, this is not always the case, and the duration of pregnancy depends on a number of accompanying factors:
- Season of the year. If farrowing occurs in the winter season, then, as a rule, it will occur a little earlier than the due date, and if during the summer period of time, then the pregnant sow is likely to pass the due date;
- The age of the individual. In young individuals, the gestation period lasts slightly less than in adults;
- The number of pups in the litter. The fewer piglets a sow carries, the longer she will walk with them;
- Breed of animal. For example, a Vietnamese pig will give birth faster than any other species. Her gestation period lasts 110 days.
Determining the pregnancy of a pig at home is a rather difficult task, but not only the course of the pregnancy itself, but also the state of health of the animal as a whole depends on how well and in a timely manner it is performed. It is possible to establish the pregnancy of an individual by a number of signs using several different methods. At the same time, it will be important to comply with all the recommendations for their use, so as not to harm the sow and unborn offspring.