Relationships Among Daily Breeding Demands, Breeding Technician Performance and Fertility of Sows on Swine Operations Using A.I.

North Carolina State University Swine Reproduction Research from 1998-2000. The use of A.I. on swine farms in the U.S. has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. As a result, the influence of breeding technicians on the overall fertility of a breeding herd has also increased. While differences in farrowing rates and number of pigs born alive from sow whose mating were supervised by different technicians has been well documented (Flowers, 1998), few studies have been designed to address possible reasons for these differences in an objective manner. It is possible that a portion of the variation commonly observed among the performance of breeding technicians is related to the number of consecutive matings that they are required to administer during daily breeding periods. It is not uncommon for breeding technicians on swine operations to supervise the matings of 50 or more sows over a 4 to 5 hour period. Since the mechanics of performing an A.I. mating are repetitive, it is reasonable to speculate that the precision with which they are performed probably diminishes with time. If this does occur, then a simultaneous decrease in the reproductive performance of sows would also be expected. Consequently, the objective of this study was to determine the relationships among daily breeding demands, individual breeding technicians and sow fertility.