Publish Date: March 25, 2010
Boars have a profound influence on the swine breeding program. Not only do they provide a source of genetic improvement, but they also affect farrowing rate and litter size. Although nutrition of the boar is often given the least amount of attention compared to pigs in other phases of production, it serves as an important factor in determining reproductive performance of the breeding herd and overall animal well-being. Nutrient status influences libido (sex drive), structural soundness and longevity, sperm production, and semen quality. Factors affecting nutrient requirements include age and stage of maturity, body condition, environmental conditions, and ejaculation frequency. Many farms feed boars the sow gestation diet(s), but this feeding program may neglect some of the unique nutrient requirements that must be accounted for to optimize breeding herd performance in working boars. Scientific research regarding the nutrition of boars is lacking. Therefore, feeding strategies used in the pork industry and those presented in this paper are based on a minimal amount of research.
Publish Date: June 3, 2006
Correct use of selection concepts is essential if genetic improvement is to proceed at a rapid rate. Therefore, seedstock breeders and commercial pork producers need to fully understand the principles of selection which directly influence the amount of genetic improvement made per year. This fact sheet explains the primary concepts necessary to gain an understanding of genetic improvement. Then it discusses the effect of applying selection concepts on genetic improvement.