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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effects of feeding regimen on weight gain, semen characteristics, libido, and lameness in 170- to 250-kilogram Duroc boars1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 94 No. 11, p. 4666-4676
    Received: July 09, 2016
    Accepted: Aug 22, 2016
    Published: October 27, 2016

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. C. Wang*,
  2. J. L. Li†‡,
  3. H. K. Wei*,
  4. Y. F. Zhou*,
  5. J. J. Tan,
  6. H. Q. Sun,
  7. S. W. Jiang 2†§ and
  8. J. Peng 2
  1. * Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
     Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education & Key Lab of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
     YangXiang Joint Stock Company, Guigang 537000, China
    § The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Wuhan 430070, China


A 2-period field trial was conducted to determine the effects of feeding regimen on weight gain, semen characteristics, libido, and lameness in 170- to 200-kg (period 1) and 200- to 250-kg (period 2) boars. Sixty-one Duroc boars were allotted to 1 of 3 dietary treatments and 15 g/d fish oil was also provided for each experimental boar, to maintain the n-6:n-3 intake ratio at approximately 6.1:1. The energy intakes of the 3 treatment groups were controlled by basing the feed intake on a corn–soybean meal-based diet (3.11 Mcal/kg of ME) to create: 1) low energy intake group (L, n = 20, 7.3 Mcal/d of ME), 2) medium energy intake group (M, n = 20, 7.7 Mcal/d of ME), and 3) high energy intake group (H, n = 21, 8.3 Mcal/d of ME) in period 1. Feed intake was then increased to 7.6, 8.2, and 8.6 Mcal/d of ME for the 3 groups, respectively, in period 2. During the 28-wk experimental period, boar weight gain, testis volume, semen characteristics, libido, toe measurements, claw lesions, and lameness were examined, and the number of boars culled in each group was recorded to calculate the culling rate. Although there were no differences in testis volume, sperm concentration, and motility, the percentage of abnormal sperm, the percentage of claw lesions, and claw lesion scores differed among treatments (P > 0.05), and ADG was significantly increased with the increase of energy intake between the 2 periods (P < 0.05). The M and H boars had significantly greater total sperm number and functional sperm number than the L boars (P < 0.05), while no significant difference was observed between the M and H groups (P > 0.05). Nonetheless, the H boars took more time to mount the collection dummy and produce an ejaculate and, in particular, showed a greater percentage of lameness than the L and M boars (P < 0.05). Therefore, the medium energy intake regimen (energy intakes of 7.7 and 8.2 Mcal/d of ME with ADG of 454.5 and 375.3 g/d in 2 periods, respectively) improved the total sperm number and functional sperm number, and meanwhile decreased the occurrence of lameness in 170- to 250-kg Duroc boars.

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