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Pig Farm Perspective by Bruce the brainy pig
WHERE are we at with post-cervical artificial insemination?
Is the uptake increas- ing?
What sort of produc- tion results should we expect?
These are all questions that have been raised regularly of late, particu- larly in herds looking to maximise efficiencies as much as possible.
While PCAI has been researched and around in the US since the late- 1980s, it has only been in the past five or so years that uptake has in- creased significantly in both Australia and the US.
Currently it is esti- mated that over 600,000 sows are mated using PCAI techniques on US farms.
What is PCAI and how is it different to
traditional AI? Traditional AI in pigs
involves semen being de- posited at the start of the cervix.
From here, the se- men must make its way through the cervix, as- sisted by sow contrac- tions, where it passes into the uterus for ferti- lisation.
PCAI on the other hand, involves the use of a smaller catheter within the traditional AI catheter, allowing semen to be deposited directly where it needs to be – the uterus.
While heat detection with teaser boars is still a critical component of PCAI, boars should not be present near the sows when mating takes place.
In fact, it is important that the boars have been away from the sows for a minimum of 30-45
minutes before mating, otherwise the sow’s cer- vical contractions stimu- lated by the boar will make it impossible to pass the smaller AI cath- eter through the cervix into the uterus, risking trauma to the sow.
In a practical sense, on farm this tends to in- volve heat detection with a boar first thing in the morning.
Any sows identified as being on heat are marked, and the boars are put away and staff can have morning smoko.
After smoko, the boars have been away from the sows for a sufficient amount of time, and the sows can be mated.
The PCAI process is not too dissimilar to that of traditional AI.
As the small catheter is being passed into the uterus itself, it is criti-
cal that a high standard of hygiene is maintained to prevent uterine infec- tions and discharges, particularly ensuring the vulva is clean and free from debris and that lu- bricant is clean and not contaminated.
The process involves locking the larger cath- eter into the cervix as with traditional AI, and after waiting about 30 seconds the sow’s cer- vix relaxes, allowing the smaller catheter to be passed directly into the uterus.
Different to traditional AI, PCAI allows for the semen to be squeezed in, as there is no risk of backflow out of the uterus.
As such, PCAI can of- ten reduce mating times by five or more minutes per sow, as there is no need to wait for the sow
to draw up the semen herself.
This allows for staff to spend more time in other areas (such as focusing on other critical areas in- cluding day one pig care) and also gives time for the more experienced/ successful breeders to breed more sows.
Will it affect my pro- duction?
Research available sug- gests equivalent results in reproduction on most farms, however anecdo- tally a number of farms have reported significant increases in breeding herd production figures, culminating in increased farrowing rates and in- creased total born.
While it may not be for everyone, there is poten- tial in Australia to further increase on-farm efficien- cies through implementa- tion of PCAI.
Aussie Pumps’ GMP semi-trash pumps are the ideal solution for piggery operators using organic effluent for greener paddocks.
Piggery effluent pump
PIGGERY effluent is a valuable source for pro- viding organic fertiliser.
One challenge is provid- ing enough flow and pres- sure to clear the stalls.
Moving the effluent with compressible solids, straw and other waste material is another challenge.
Aussie Pumps has come out with a range of 3” high- pressure semi-trash pumps that can provide both high pressure and the ability to handle large volumes of contaminated water.
The G3TMK delivers flows of up to 1100l/pm and heads as high as 54m.
Best of all, the pumps self-prime from depths as low as 6m.
Aussie Pumps’ Neil Bennet said, “We have in- terviewed piggery opera- tors who seem reconciled to having to repair pumps on a regular basis.”
“That is generally be- cause the pumps they are using are either too small or can’t handle the solids requirements of the job.
“Long-column sump pumps, traditionally used in this application, often suffer from bearing dam- age.
“That results in shaft os- cillation with the result that the pump needs to be pulled out for repair.”
Bennett stressed that the self-priming pump mount- ed above the sump can be easily repaired without re- moval from the pit.
The Aussie semi-trash pumps are designed with big open impellers, and
construction is heavy-du- ty cast iron.
There is even a 316 stainless steel option.
A non-clog style impel- ler means passing of com- pressible solids is easy.
The front-mounted clean- out port means clearing clogs without having to undo pipework or hoses.
The big 3” pumps come with silicon carbide me- chanical seals with alumi- na counterface and nitrile rubber seals as standard.
A tungsten carbide Vi- ton is also available.
All pumps feature a 316 stainless steel motor shaft and a stainless steel wear plate fitted to protect from erosion or body wear.
The big pumps start with 3” port units of 4kW and go all the way up to 15kW 4” versions.
They will handle up to 2300l/pm and can pro- duce heads up to 30m around 50psi.
Aussie Pumps says the best news for piggery op- erators is the low prices for a top-quality product.
All GMP pumps are made to ISO 9001 quality standards and warranted to be free of defects for three years.
“Even the Australian Army uses Aussie GMP semi-trash pumps for some of its tough applica- tions,” Bennett said.
Further information including a comprehen- sive data pack is avail- able from Aussie Pumps or authorised distributors throughout Australia.
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Australian Pork Newspaper, June 2018 – Page 17
Matt Henry
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