Estimates of Breeding Value for Boar Semen Traits

North Carolina State University Swine Genetics Research from 2003. Currently, boars selected for commercial use as AI sires are evaluated on grow-finish performance and carcass characteristics. If AI sires were also evaluated and selected on semen production, it may be possible to reduce the number of boars required to service sows, thereby improving the productivity and profitability of the boar stud. The objective of this study was to evaluate breeding value estimates for semen traits in the boar: total sperm cells (TSC), total concentration (TC), volume collected (SV), number of extended doses (ND), and acceptance rate of ejaculates (AR). Semen collection records and performance data for 843 boars and two generations of pedigree data were provided by NPD USA. Breeding values were predicted from five four-trait and one five-trait animal models using MTDFREML. Breeding value estimates for the various semen traits would indicate that there is an opportunity to select for genetically superior boars that would produce ejaculates that are more acceptable and would yield more extended doses. The range in breeding values shows that from best to worst there is an 18% difference in acceptance rate and nearly 22 more extended doses per ejaculate.