Heat stress can have a major impact on sow performance and longevity and sows may feel heat stressed at temperatures lower than one might think. As temperatures surpass 70º F, depending upon humidity, sows can start to experience adverse effects from heat stress, such as reduced feed intake. Changes in the ration can help sows continue to consume the nutrients they need to maintain performance and body condition levels.
Poster copy and cutlines by Colin Johnson and Dale Miller, Photos by Dennis Wolf, Designed by Jim Bauer
In the natural mating environment, the boar has free access to the sow or gilt, which allows him to stimulate her with sight, sound, smell and touch. The boar’s role is to elicit a standing response whether she is artificially inseminated or bred by natural service. Early in the stimulation process, the boar secretes pheromones (a chemical secretion; scent), which stimulates the release of oxytocin in the estrus female. The oxytocin release causes surging contractions in the female’s uterus, which aids insemen transport, and strong muscle contractions expressed as a standing reflex.
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