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Swine Veterinary Services of Michigan, 60 Veteran's Drive, #7, Holland, MI 49423; E-mail:

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Kober J. Real time ultrasound analysis worksheet. J Swine Health Prod. 2003;11(3):147.

Practice tip

Non refereed

Real time ultrasound analysis worksheet

In many sow herds, real time ultra-sound (RTU) is used to determine pregnancy 25 to 35 days post mating. The benefits of finding non-pregnant sows as soon as possible are well known. After completing RTU in a breeding group, we know how many females of the original group are pregnant. That information can then be used to forecast the number of sows to farrow in subsequent groups.

When the pregnancy rate by RTU is not what we expect, managers often look to computer records for trends emerging in the open sows. While computer records show which subgroups are not meeting targets (eg, sows, gilts, late cycling sows), it often takes several reports and extra time to retrieve this information. Several of my clients use an "RTU analysis worksheet" (Figure 1) to quickly assess which particular subgroup may be at fault for the lower-than-target pregnancy rate.

Columns 3 to 5 of the worksheet represent categories for females that are not pregnant: return to heat, RTU-negative, and died/culled. The first seven rows of the worksheet represent subgroups of the females mated in a group: weaned sows, gilts, lates (after 7 days), returns, RTU-negatives, NIPs (not in pig), and aborts.

We use this worksheet to determine which group did not meet the pregnancy rate target for the week (column 8), but we also look back at previous sheets to see if there is an ongoing problem with a particular subgroup. Sometimes the manager or breeding crew does not have access to computer records, so this worksheet gives them a quick way to identify trends or problems. In one herd, a cumulative worksheet is kept so that long term trends or problems may be identified.

This RTU analysis worksheet may easily be adapted to a computer if there is a spreadsheet program available on the farm. The worksheet has proven quite valuable as a quick reference, so that workers can see how they are doing, and as a way to identify an area that may need to be changed.

James Kober, DVM, MS, Diplomate ABVP

Practice tip submissions needed

Practice tip articles provide a forum for swine practitioners to share techniques and insights into veterinary practice that help make their work more efficient or effective. Please support your colleagues and association by submitting your ideas to Practice Tips Editor Dr James Kober at Journal editors will assist you in formatting your manuscript.