Effect of housing conditions, management procedures and traits of the external male reproductive tract on the sexual behaviour of natural mating boars

Hodel, C.; Nathues, H.; Grahofer, A. (2021). Effect of housing conditions, management procedures and traits of the external male reproductive tract on the sexual behaviour of natural mating boars. Theriogenology, 167, pp. 44-50. Elsevier 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2021.03.003

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Although artificial insemination in pig production is widespread, many farms rely on natural mating (NM). For NM to be successful, adequate sexual behaviour and a sufficient libido level in boars is crucial for appropriate reproductive performance. Therefore, this observational study evaluated the libido level of 59 boars of different breeds used for NM by a scoring system ranging from 0 (no libido) to a maximum of 23 points (perfect libido) and analysed their general and andrological health as well as housing and management factors influencing the libido. The boars showed a mean libido score of 16.7 (SD ± 2.3). Crossbreed (median: 17.5, min: 14.0, max: 21.0) (p < 0.01) and Landrace (median: 17.5, min: 17.0, max: 21.0) (p < 0.05) boars showed significantly higher libido scores compared to Piétrain boars (median: 14.0, min: 13.0, max: 17.0). A non-slippery mating area was found to be positively associated with libido (p < 0.05), whereas disorders such as lameness showed a negative correlation (p < 0.01). In winter, significantly higher libido values (median: 17.0, min: 14.0, max: 21.0) were recorded compared to spring (median: 16.0, min: 11.0, max: 21.0) (p < 0.05). In addition, high number of supports by farmers during natural mating and frequency of use for NM and for stimulation of artificially inseminated sows did not negatively influence the libido score. No significant correlation between the satisfaction of the farmer about the libido level of the boars and the evaluated libido score was detected. This is the first study investigating the effect of housing conditions and management procedures on the libido of boars used for NM under field conditions. The findings may therefore help to establish a successful mating management for herds applying NM on a regular basis. A systematic evaluation of the libido score is needed to detected boars with low libido levels, because it is often overlooked by the farmers. Moreover, genetics, general health condition and flooring in mating areas turned out to be critical parameters that influence the libido score of boars used for NM and therefore should be considered when examining natural mating on farm.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Swine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)

UniBE Contributor:

Hodel, Carmela; Nathues, Heiko and Grahofer, Alexander

Subjects:

500 Science
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1879-3231

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Nathalie Viviane Zollinger

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2021 12:05

Last Modified:

08 Apr 2021 12:14

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.theriogenology.2021.03.003

PubMed ID:

33744771

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154373

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154373

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