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    Early Gestation Building 

    In this building on the pig unit:

    • Sows are weaned into this building in pens of up to eight sows, and stay until they're moved into the late gestation building next door, at nine weeks of gestation.
    • They are in similar pens to the late gestation building, with a straw pen and free-access stalls, and they stay with the same sows until they re-enter the forrowing room.
    • Five to seven days after weaning sows will come to heat, and will be artifically inseminated (AI'd)
    • The sows are taken to the service stalls and a boar is put in front of them. Any sows that stand (completely motionless to back pressure) are AI'd, and then again 24 hours later if they are still standing.
    • The semen is bought from the breeding company and has to be kept in a special chiller at 17°C. The semen is viable for about five days as it is mixed with a diluent solution containing nutrients to preserve it.
    • Four weeks after AI the sows are scanned using an ultrasound scanner to determine if they are pregnant. Our conception rate is over 90%.

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