Artificial Insemination Training Program for Smallholder Pig Farms in Gauteng Province, South Africa

  •  Richard Netshirovha Thivhilaheli    
  •  Mammikele Tsatsimpe    
  •  Thabo Muller    
  •  Fhulufhelo Vincent Ramukhithi    
  •  Masindi Lotus Mphaphathi    
  •  Gogamatsamang Makgothi    
  •  Ronald Sylvester Thomas    


The aim of this study was to facilitate artificial insemination training to enhance sustainable pig production within the developing smallholder pig production sector in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Eighteen smallholder pig farmers with requisite structures (pig house, pens), pigs (large white, landrace duroc or South African indigenous) and management (feeding, cleaning and record keeping) capacity were trained on routine pig management and artificial insemination procedures in a “learning by doing” on-farm supervised programme administered by Agricultural Research Council, Animal Production pig training team. Following estrus detection, 96 sows were artificially inseminated and 31 naturally served (NS). Farrowing rates (FR), total born (TB) and born alive (BA) piglets were recorded. The occurrence ccurrence of mummified fetuses (0.019 vs. 0.022%) and weak piglets (0.038 vs. 0.049%) did not differ between artificially inseminated sows and naturally mated sows. Born alive, birth weight and weaning weight were higher for artificial inseminated sows. The average litter size was 15± and 13±, birth weight 1.98±0.79 kg and 1.48±0.58 kg and weaning weight 9.89±0.87 kg and 7.23±0.71 kg for the AI and NS litters, respectively. Farmer demographic factors (age, gender and educational level) had no effect on farrowing rate, total born and piglets born alive. Therefore, implementation of artificial insemination techniques and pig production training was feasible under a smallholder pig production system.

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