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Canadian Swine Breeders Association
Canadian Swine Breeders Association Canadian Swine Breeders Association
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Artificial Insemination
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Artificial Insemination

The competitiveness of pig production in Canada depends directly on the best possible breeding programs and excellent management.

Artificial insemination (AI) offers the best of both worlds: it gives the producer the possibility to use the best boars while decreasing the amount of time spent breeding sows, thus allowing more effective use of the producer's time. With a decrease in the number of boars on the farm, more space and food become available for sows without additional investments.

Canadian AI centres provide semen of excellent quality from among the best boars available on the market. These boars are regularly evaluated for their EBVs on the National Swine Evaluation program. Results from Agriculture Canada show that between 1988 and 1992, AI sired progeny had less backfat and a lower age at slaughter than non-AI sired progeny.

AI improves the genetic evaluation of the boars making their EBVs more reliable. It has also been demonstrated that AI cuts more than half the average time required to mate a sow or a gilt. As well, it reduces the manipulations of the boars, which can sometimes be dangerous for the animal handler. Mating with AI is often easier on gilts and young sows that might be intimidated, especially by large boars.

The semen itself must be treated as any other perishable product. Soon after collection, semen quality starts decreasing. Insemination centres prepare the semen in such a way that an excellent quality can be maintained for a few days. The most important rules to follow for semen preservation are:

1. Semen should be kept at 16 to 18 degrees Celsius until used.
2. Avoid any temperature variation during preservation.
3. Gently agitate the samples once or twice daily to prevent the sperm cells from accumulating at the bottom.

In these conditions, semen can usually be kept for 2-4 days without a major drop in insemination results.

No matter how good the semen is, no matter how well it is preserved, a sow can only conceive if she is inseminated at the right time. It is of utmost importance to have proper techniques of heat detection. Most new AI users improve their results in the first three months after introducing AI into the herd, mainly because they get better at detecting sows in heat. The best indicator of heat is the immobilization of the sow to back pressure.

AI Centres

International Genetics PEI Ltd.
Box 43
Mt. Stewart, PE C0A 1T0
Tel: (902) 659-2883
Fax: (902) 659-2627

OSI Swine A.I. Centre
P.O. Box 400
Innerkip, ON N0J 1M0
Tel: (519) 469-3010
Fax: (519) 469-8692

CIPQ inc. (Roxton) 2100
Rang 6
Roxton Falls, PQ J0H 1T0
Tel: (418) 889-9748
Fax: (418) 889-8210

CIPQ inc.(St-Lambert)
1485, rang St-Aime
Saint-Lambert, PQ G0S 2WO
Tel: (418) 889-9748
Fax: (418) 889-8210

Magnum Swine Genetics
Box 1514 Fort Macleod, AB T0L 0Z0
Toll free: 1-888-553-4844
Tel: (403) 553-4844
Fax: (403) 553-4845

Artificial Insemination Equipment

I.M.V. Canada/GENCOR Agri-Products
R.R.#5, Guelph, Ontario N1H 6J2
Tel: (888) 821-2150 Fax: (519) 763-6582
Sharon Harrison, Commercial Co-ordinator

Insemination Technics and Supplies International,
R.R. # 3, Princeton, Ontario N0J 1V0
Tel: (519) 458-4856 Fax: (519) 458-8224
Western Representative: Albert Eringfeld, (403) 944-2575

S.E.C. Repro
86, Roy, Ange-Gardien de Rouville, Québec, J0E 1E0
Tel: (514)293-0156 Fax: (514)293-0157

Minitube Canada,
P.O. Box 24031, Woodstock, Ontario, N4S 8Y4
Tel: (800-500-7978) or (519) 537-7722 Fax: (519) 537-7455
Penny Jensen, General Manager