Swine Veterinary Services of Michigan, 60 Veteran's Drive, #7, Holland, MI 49423;
This article is available online at
Kober J. Real time ultrasound analysis worksheet.
J Swine Health Prod. 2003;11(3):147.
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
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