My piglet’s size and growth have decreased over the last 10 years in my swine operation. Even though I replaced my boars from buying from other hog producers, the situation has not changed. It would take another 2-3 weeks to reach the roasting-size weight which translate to more feed to buy and less space and pens to use in my farm. Family income has reduced. The Guam Department of Agriculture has not brought live boars from the past 30 years. The University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service through a grant, conducted an artificial insemination program in 1995-2000. Frozen semen was brought in. The crossbreds were used as parent stocks. The program was not sustained after funds were all spent. The genetic quality of the local hog population slowly eroded up to this time. Transport of liquid/fresh boar semen is now possible from Iowa to Guam via Federal Express in 5 days. Liquid or fresh semen can lasts from 7-9 days. I believe that this methodology can accelerate the quality and improvement of the genetic make-up of my hog population. This is a “user-friendly” technique for producers since it will not require thawing of semen, preparing and storing semen extenders and maintaining liquid nitrogen tanks. Workshops and demonstrations will be conducted to hog producers. They will be educated on early weaning and taking care of their sows’ body condition to ensure an early return of estrus. My aim will be to synchronize estrus of 10 sows and gilts every time an order is made. Grant activities will be posted at websites and Facebook accounts of the Guam Northern and Southern Water and Soil Districts, Green Valor and the University of Guam Extension and Outreach.
List of Objectives (10%) 1. A continuity in upgrading genetic make-up of the general swine population on Guam by the use of fresh / liquid semen to prevent ill effects of inbreeding. 2. To educate hog producers on estrus synchronization. 3. To educate hog producers on sow care and body maintenance through early weaning, proper nutrition and good records. 4. To train hog producers conduct artificial insemination in their farm. Timeline: 6 mos. 9 mos. 12 mos. 15 mos. 24 mos.
We have so far only identified the breeders that we are going to use in the project. The sows were identified in one farm with plastic ear tags on both ears with identical numbers. That is to make sure the identification will not be lost if sows accidentally “chew” or dislodge the tags. The interval period between the time of weaning of piglets and the return of estrus of the sows were observed, established and recorded. The average numbers of days (interval period) is between 7-10 days . This observation and data will determine when to make the order and on time arrival of the fresh boar semen from Iowa to Guam. Other swine farms will also be added this year.
Insemination materials and supplies have been pre-ordered and still being mailed to Guam. Shipping permits and other importation documents that are required by the Guam Department of Agriculture will be worked out.
This project is still in its 6 months of implementation since the funds were released. No results yet as of this time.
Educational & Outreach Activities
Workshops on swine breeding management and actual artificial breeding demonstrations are scheduled for April, May and June. Other swine breeders will be encouraged to participate in this genetic upgrading project.
No educational materials have been produced yet but workshop materials will be prepared for the upcoming outreach presentations in the months to come.
Increase knowledge in artificial animal breeding.
Improvement in skills in determining estrus cycles of sows
Higher awareness of better technology in animal reproduction. That genetic materials can now be available in any parts of the world.
This project just started and are still in our preparatory stages.