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Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:18 pm
by Tom
Hello,

We have just picked up a new 4 year old boar to breed with our three sows (2 years old). He has settled in to his own pen nicely but today we introduced our first sow to him and they didn't hit it off all that well! There was lots of pushing and a little biting and in short the sow has asserted herself over him! He now seems a little sheepish and makes himself scarce when she goes over to him. They have plenty of space but we are concerned that they may not settle down. She is not in season at the moment so we thought that they could "get to know each other" before getting down to business! :wink:

We are keeping a close eye on them but does anyone have any advice as to whether they will settle down? We had planned to rotate our three sows in with him and leave them to their own devices for a couple of months each.

Any advice gratefully received!
thanks,
Tom

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:40 pm
by simon
Pigs will sort out a pecking order when you introduce them so its not unusual and they should settle after a couple of days.
Sometimes she might dominate too much and he'll be too scared to server her. If this happens separate them and only let him in to serve her when shes on heat.

If you've got 3 sows make sure you spread out and plan your litters.

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:11 pm
by wendy scu
i wuld never introduce a boar and sow unless the sow is in season. if she bullies him too much he will lose interest altogether. i would seperate them and reintroduce when she is in season.

i have heard of a case recently where a boar was loaned out with his tusks still on. he was put in with two sows who were not in season and the end result was two badly slashed sows and a huge vet bill.

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:19 pm
by Tom
Thank you both for the advice.

By way of an update, we took the sow out of the boar pen after about a day as neither of them seemed particularly happy with each other.

She then came into season and we took her to him, keeping her outside of the pen at first. The first time she still seemed quite aggressive towards him so we put her back with her sisters but on the second visit a couple of days later she seemed more interested and less aggressive. We put her in with the boar then and there was a bit of scuffling over food but nowhere near like the last time.

She has been in for a day now and they seem to be getting on much better, even going into the ark together whereas before the boar was hiding from her. Fingers crossed he'll woo her now!

We are just wondering now whether we should take her out when she is no longer in season? Is she likely to become aggressive again or are we past that?

We had planned to leave her in for a couple of months with him, then rotate in one of the other sows when they are ready.

Many thanks for your help,
Tom

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:41 pm
by simon
Personally I leave any sow I want to get in-pig with the boar all the time unless they fight - which tends to be if the sow is the eldest.
Other people keep the boar separate and they only see the sow for a few minutes morning and night when shes on heat - its easier to confirm that shes been served.
I suppose theres a variety of combinations, you do whats right for you and your pigs.

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:10 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
Hi there,

I leave my sows/gilts in with the boar until they are about 2 to 3 weeks off farrowing. The presence of a boar helps to maintain the pregnancy particularly in the first few weeks so there is merit in doing this if it works for you. It is generally quite easy to spot if they've been served even if your boar is discreet like mine are :lol:

I agree with Simon though that you have to do what's best for you as we all do it differently. The big bonus of doing as you suggested and rotating your girls with your boar means your boar has company most of the time which has to be good for his soul :lol:

Good luck and I hope you soon have an in pig gilt/sow, let us know how you get on :D

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:13 pm
by The Rushbury Pig
forgot to say, I would take out the gilt/sow who is in pig and in with the boar before putting another one in as this is guaranteed to cause a fight and you don't want your pregnant gilt/sow fighting hard :(

I suspect that's what you meant from your first post though but just checking :wink:

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:44 am
by Tom
Thanks again for the advice.

The last post reminded about when we took the sow out of the boar pen the first time. She had only been in with the boar for a day or so and there definately wasn't any "action" so to speak but when she went back in with her two sisters, they became aggressive with her and chased her around quite a bit. They settled down after about a day but we were quite suprised with their reaction to her. As you suggested this isn't really ideal especially if she is "in pig" and I imagine their reaction will only get worse with the longer time spent away.

Is this normal behaviour or are ours sows particularly highly strung?! :?

thanks,
Tom

Re: Introducing a new boar to sows

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:41 pm
by wendy scu
its normal behaviour - they smell so different when they come back from the boar. if the weather's right you can give them all a bath but it usually stops after the first initial tussel.

:roll: