Port Blair, July 1: Artificial insemination in Andaman local pigs was tried by scientists of Animal Science Division, ICAR-CIARI which succeeded to first report on birth of piglets in these islands. The technique is well established and being practiced commonly in cow and she buffaloes.

In pigs, majority of artificial insemination had been done in North-East India and few in other parts of India. This technique has several advantages including improvement of genotypes, enhancement of reproductive efficiency and control over sexually transmitted diseases.

Usually semen from a superior male pig is collected and used to inseminate female pigs after assessment of semen quality and adding protective media to increase semen volume. Birth of these piglets was achieved by insemination of local female pig with the semen collected from local male pig, both maintained at ICAR-CIARI pig farm. First of all, a group of male pigs were trained to  response  for semen ejaculation and semen from superior male pig was collected using gloved hand technique. Sample from collected semen was evaluated for sperm motility, total sperm and live sperm count in addition to semen volume, pH etc for its quality determination.

Ready to use protective media was mixed with semen to increase semen volume up to desired number of sperms per millilitre. A female pig in heat was inseminated twice with extended semen at an interval of 24 hr. The female pig gave  birth to 4 piglets after completion of 112 days of pregnancy period.

The team of scientists included Dr. S. K. Ravi, Dr. Perumal P., Dr. A. K. De, Dr. D. Bhattacharya, Dr. R. R. Alyethodi and Dr. Jai Sunder under the guidance of Dr. A. Kundu, HOD, Animal Science Division, with the supervision of Dr. B. A. Jerard, Director, ICAR-CIARI. Inbreeding i.e. breeding within the genetically related pigs is major problem which may results to birth of piglets with defects (e.g. hernia, blindness), less number of piglets per birth (litter size), poor growth, low milk yield and poor mothering ability.

This issue is prevalent in these islands because of transport difficulties, availability of less number of superior male pigs and repeated use of same male pig to breed herds mate and nearby female pigs. Cross breeding i.e. breeding between genetically unrelated/far related pigs is the solution to keep away from these problems.

The team aimed to inseminate the pigs at farmer’s door with the semen of superior male distant related pigs to enhance pig production and income to the island farmers. The work is supported by ICAR-All India Coordinated Research Project on Pig.