Advantages and disadvantages of aritificial insemination of pigs

The success of a pig breeding business is dependent on herd fertility.

Purchase of semen from an AI centre or semen collection on farm enables owners and managers of piggeries to breed their animals through artificial insemination (AI). Artificial insemination provides herd owners and managers with the opportunity to introduce superior genes from top performing boars into the herd.


  • Semen from several breeds and from a range of top performing boars (that have been tested) is available from AI centres.
  • Superior sire line genetics (i.e. the genetic influence of good boars) can be spread more widely across the herd.
  • Compared with bringing in live pigs, AI is a safe, and cost-effective method of introducing new genes into pig herds, especially into herds classified as specific pathogen-free, minimal disease or high-health status
  • It may be used during temporary shortages of boars due to death, lameness or refusal to work decreases the number of boars in the herd that are fit for service.


  • Semen is temperature sensitive and lower than average results can occur when chilled semen is stored for longer than 72 hours.
  • Disappointing results can occur when AI is poorly timed or performed incorrectly due to operator fatigue.
  • Delays in the transport of semen between the collection centre and the pig breeding facility will have an adverse effect on success rate.