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Feeding boars for improved longevity and lifetime productivity

Feeding boars for improved longevity and lifetime productivity

Correct feeding of DanBred boars is your first step towards obtaining maximum productivity.


A DanBred boar is not just any terminal sire, it represents an extraordinary genetic potential for reproductive performance to be released in the sow herd. Correct feeding of DanBred boars is crucial to secure long-term production of high-quality doses, hence, ensuring high productivity and maximum performance.

Careful attention to feeding for optimised boar performance

Optimising the boar performance requires careful attention to feeding. Supplying the productive AI boars with a balanced diet has a positive impact on longevity, semen quality, and semen production. The goal is to maintain calm and uniform boars, promoting a long career at the AI station, where culling is justified because of declining breeding index or advanced age.


From 2020 to 2022, an extensive study, led by the research institute SEGES Innovation together with DanBred and one of the world’s largest AI companies, Hatting Agro, examined the optimal feeding of AI boars. The study tested the impact of different levels of protein, lysine, and energy in feed, along with varying feeding strategies within quarantines and at the AI stations. The recorded outcome included analyses of semen concentration, backfat levels, weight gain, and uniformity.


The findings revealed that the protein level in the feed has a significant influence on weight gain and backfat levels, which had a positive impact on boar longevity. Maintaining a high energy level in the feed is crucial for achieving the desired backfat. Interestingly, the fibre content does not directly affect the measured parameters. Additionally, reducing protein and lysine levels had no adverse effects on semen concentration, as illustrated in Table 1. Furthermore, feeding boars more than once a day was found to result in calmer boars that are easier to handle (Sørensen, 2022).

Support semen quality and reproductive performance with correct protein levels

Historically, boars have been fed high levels of crude protein, as this was believed to assure semen quality.

However, several studies have shown that it takes extremely low levels of crude protein (<7 % crude protein) before reproduction performance is affected (Kemp et al 1988; Louise et al 1994; Ren et al 2015, Madsen et al 2001). Hence, the very high levels of crude protein for boars have no positive effect on neither semen concentration nor semen quality.

The DanBred experts adjust the nutrient recommendations for DanBred breeding stock on an ongoing basis to secure feeding for optimal reproductive performance. Sørensen (2022) has shown that following DanBred’s recommended nutrient levels for AI boars will lead to thicker backfat and the boars produce a higher volume of semen (See table 1).


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