Telling if a sow is pregnant or not can be more difficult than people think. In some pigs, unless you are confident with palpation, you will only know for sure when the teats drop. This in itself only happens within 48 hours of giving birth.
On larger farms where pigs may not be so used to handling, it can often be difficult for farmers or veterinarians to touch the animals and perform thorough pregnancy checks. Ultrasound is a fantastic tool for confirming pregnancy in pigs, but setting up the equipment beside a sow and scanning along her flank is not always the safest course of action.
The MSU3 handheld ultrasound machine offers an ingenious solution to this problem. Small and compact, it can be attached to your wrist, with the probe held in your other hand. For pigs that you can safely enter the pen with, you can scan them ‘on the go’ – you don’t need to set up a large monitor anywhere, because you have it secured to your wrist. For pigs that are put into crushes for scanning, you can easily slide your hand in between the bars to scan.
The MSU3 is very cost-effective because it utilises mechanical sector technology, which is considered outdated by today’s standards. Yet, the MSU3 is itself the third generation in the highly successful MSU series (it only launched in 2018) and is in fact a very advanced and high quality machine. At 3.5MHz, it also so happens that it is at the perfect frequency for fast, accurate pregnancy detection in pigs. It can penetrate their thick skin without issue, providing an unequivocal pregnancy diagnosis within seconds.
Suitable for veterinarians or pig owners, click here to learn more about the MSU3 ultrasound machine.
Above: A more conventional type of portable ultrasound machine, such as the Scan Pad pictured here, can be difficult with some farm setups.