Gender Sexing Coming To Hog Barns

Gender sexing will soon be commercially available through semen processing, Phil Burke of Minitube Canada told the annual meeting of Ontario Swine Improvement Inc. here recently.

He said his company has achieved good results with an additive, then processing.

That approach has shifted the gender balance from 51 per cent females, 49 per cent males to a ratio of 85:15. It could be females a farmer wants, or it could be males.

“It’ll never be 100 per cent” for pigs, Burke said, because it’s a matter of litters, not a single offspring such as cattle.

He said a farmer who’s in the business of producing gilts for the herd replacement market could increase the number of females born by three or four per litter.

He said Minitube’s research team in Wisconsin made two advances that were ”chance discoveries” that improved results.

He said the company won’t have semen sexing technology ready for the market this year, but it will be ready next year.

He said Ontario Swine Improvement Inc. has bought into the technology, had most of the equipment required already in place and will be able to start semen sexing when Minitube begins marketing its additive.

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