Making Pigs Pregnant

Schweine "decken"

A sow being artificially inseminated

Around four months before piglets are to be born, a sow is made pregnant. What a boar used to do is done today by a pig breeder himself. Artificial insemination is done by using sperm from a special breeding unit.

This means that the mother of X11 and X15, the two pigs, whose lives we will be following, was also made pregnant in this way. This took place on the same farm that the two piglets will be kept on. This is not always the case; more and more farms opt to specialise in order to earn more money.

So, nowadays there are farms which only breed pigs. They keep large numbers of sows and produce as many piglets for the industry as they can. After a four month pregnancy a sow gives birth to a litter of piglets. They are allowed to stay with her for around three weeks, then they will be separated from her and put into rearing pens. This rearing often happens at another farm where the piglet increases in weight by around 22 kg. When young pigs weigh 30 kg they are moved to yet a further farm where they are reared until they reach slaughtering weight of around 120 kg. Farms like the one on which X11 and X15 will be kept are closed farms where all the above mentioned stages take place on one farm.

Just a few days after having her piglets taken away from her, the mother sow will be artificially inseminated again: Pig breeding is only profitable when the sows can produce litters more than twice a year. And that’s only possible if the piglets are removed from the mother straight after the minimum time required by law and she is made pregnant again as soon as possible. This kind of life as a breeding machine is not something that the sows can manage to do for long, so, they don’t live to be very old.

Category: BIRTH  |  Tags: , ,

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