A well-balanced feed strategy is critical to the quantity and quality of boar semen – and the future of the herd.
Boars are the smallest, perhaps most overlooked group in pig production. Yet their semen has a critical influence on the overall performance of the herd, including the size of the individual litter. Genetics, housing conditions, semen collection management and, particularly, the feed rank among the key factors that ensure semen volume and quality.
In an optimum feeding strategy, the amount and composition of the feed must account for the needs of the boar at each life stage. The objective is to ensure boar activity and libido and, subsequently, the development and motility of the sperm.
During the growing period, boars have similar nutrient needs to gilts, which means feeding can be ad libitum feeding from 30 to 60kg. Up to a weight of 105kg, feed should be limited to 2.9 kg a day to prevent unwanted lean meat growth and improve leg strength. From then on, daily feed should be regulated according to body condition. The optimal daily gain level is 750-800 g from 30 to 140 kg of weight.