Ultrasound scanning sows for pregnancy is of major financial benefit when managing a pig farm. The ability to identify pregnant sows from non-pregnant sows allows for good reproductive management to reduce the number of non-productive days.
It’s just as important to be able to identify non-pregnant sows when carrying out an ultrasound scan for two reasons;
- Non-pregnant sows can either be culled or targeted for breeding on their next cycle.
- Decreasing pregnancy rates can be a very early indication of disease on farm, sometimes as much as 12 weeks before there are any clinical signs, allowing action to be taken much earlier.
When to scan pigs for pregnancy
Pigs can be scanned for pregnancy with the Duo-Scan:Go 19 days after insemination but it’s much more effective to scan them at 28 days.
When pregnant, an ultrasound scan of a sow will show multiple fluid filled pockets within the uterus. Fluid is shown as black on an ultrasound scan and the uterus is white so they are easily identified.
Scanning sows at 28 days has two key benefits;
- It’s much easier to scan a sow for pregnancy at 28 days as the fluid filled pockets in the uterus are larger and more visible, especially if the person scanning is not experienced. This is especially true if the pigs are loose and moving around as there’s a limited amount of contact time with the ultrasound probe on the pig before the pig moves.
- The most vulnerable stage of a pig pregnancy is at 21 days, the point of implantation. If you scan at 19 days the pig may not be pregnant a week later so an additional scan check is not needed to ensure the pregnancy has survived this period.
Scanning after 6 weeks is difficult due to the lack of amniotic fluid surrounding the pregnancy as it develops. Amniotic fluid appears black on an ultrasound scan and gives natural contrast to the eye to help identify pregnancies.
Why scan pigs with a Duo-Scan:Go
The Duo-Scan:Go is designed and manufactured by IMV imaging in Scotland, UK.
IMV imaging have been manufacturing animal ultrasound for over 35 years and the Duo-Scan:Go was designed specifically for scanning pigs. Lightweight, ergonomic, waterproof and with a rugged casing the Duo-Scan:Go is built to withstand the harshest conditions, making your life easier on farm.
The Duo-Scan:Go is;
Interested in getting your hands on the most durable and biosecure pig scanners in the world? Head over here for more info on the Duo-Scan:Go!
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This article was first published in International Pig Topics.