Mahak Singh, R. Talimoa Mollier, Ph. Romen Sharma, D.J. Rajkhowa
ICAR-ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Nagaland Centre, Medziphema
Pig has been a vital component of Naga’s farming system and plays a significant role in their livelihoods. In spite of this and being one of the highest consumption states of pork in the country, every year an average of 10,000 tons of pork are imported by the State to meet its domestic demand. Moreover, the pig population in Nagaland has declined in the last decade mainly due to traditional production system. Local farmers are facing daunting challenges in the form lack of availability of quality piglets and low cost feeds, inaccessible to timely information and services, and diseases of epidemic and endemic nature. Of these constraints, the availability of superior germplasm stands out. Artificial insemination (AI) of swine is a proven technology which can solve the challenges of unavailability of quality piglets. Compare to natural mating, AI is easy and effective in introducing superior genes into sow herds, with a minimal risk of disease at a minimal cost. The technology is very popular among the farmers of intensive pig production.
Advantages of Artificial Insemination in pig
The advantages of AI are
1. No need of keeping male pig at farm for breeding purpose
2. Semen of superior and crossbreed or exotic breed male can be used for insemination for getting quality piglet
3. Easy to do- Farmer can do it easily
4. Cheaper than natural breeding
5. Give more number of piglets
6. Semen pack can be taken to far flung area
Requirement for AI
AI kits: Two sets of AI kits are required and are consist of catheter and packed semen of superior breeds like Hampshire, Ghungroo and large black
Readymade AI kits can be available at ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Nagaland Centre, Medziphema, Nagaland at a minimal rate of Rs. 150/ set.
When semen doses are to be transported, special precautions should be taken to avoid temperature fluctuations. Storage of diluted semen is done at 17°C. Depending on the composition of the extender, semen can be stored for 2 to 3 days in short-term extenders and up to five days or longer in long-term extenders.
Trainings on AI are regularly organised at ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Nagaland Centre, Medziphema, Nagaland, for farmers, departmental officials, rural youths to impart the skills and knowledge of AI in pig.
The success AI depends on accurate heat detection hence signs of heat are to be carefully observed. Timely AI gives good litter size. In many cases, heat is often missed or misdiagnosed because the signs are overlooked.
Detect heat period
Purchase two sets of AI kits-
Perform AI twice(12 hrs interval) within 3-4 days of purchased of AI kits
Get more quality piglets of superior breed
Signs of estrus/heat in pig
Some of the signs of heat in pig are: swelling and redness subsides of Vulva, sticky discharge from vulva, clitoris are red and protruding, upright tail whilst standing and flicks up and down, poor appetite, pricked ears, stand with arched back, glazed eyes, trembling, attracted to stockperson, seek boar contact, stand rigid if mounted and very vocal sound with repeated grunts or long growls.
After detection of heat, two sets of AI should be purchased, which can be available at ICAR Nagaland Centre, Medziphema at a minimal rate. Artificial insemination should be done on the second day of heat and repeat it after 12 hours to get maximum number of piglets.
While performing AI, maintaining sanitation and hygiene is of utmost important during artificial insemination to avoid infection. Peri-anal area should be thoroughly washed and cleaned before AI with disinfectant (povidine iodine or Potassium permagnet solution). The upper two third portion of catheter should not be touched with hand, as this portion of the catheter will be in direct contact with pig reproductive tract.
For insemination gently insert the AI catheter in the vulva at an upward slanting angle of about 30° and push forward in anti clockwise rotator motion. While inserting the catheter, the sow may show some resistance, in such situation, apply gentle pressure on the catheter until it get lock in cervix. Once the AI catheter is locked in cervix, squeeze the semen package slowly and gently to pass the semen into the genital tract with gravitational force. While doing AI, care should be taken to press the semen pack slowly and avoid the back flow of the semen. Usually, it takes five to seven minutes for releasing the complete semen into the sow’s uterus. Retract the catheter slowly by rotating in clock wise direction. After AI, massage of udder and vulva is recommended for better distribution of semen throughout the sow uterus. The AI process should be repeated after 12 hours after the first AI. Following the insemination, the sow should be observed for next 21 days for occurrence of signs of heat. Non-returning of next heat is considered to be as sign of pregnant.
The technical skills for performing AI are simple and easy. Farmers can do the AI by themselves.
Adoption of this proven technology will improve the piggery sector of the state. Creating awareness and dissemination of this technology should be done in a convergence mode involving different stakeholders. Setting up of satellite pig AI centre at every main town will go a long way in catering the needs of the piggery farmers.