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Fertility of pubertal boars fed dietary copper

Author: 
Adu, O. A.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Thirty-two male large white weanling pigs of 8-9 weeks of age averaging 7.49 + 0.36kg were used to evaluate the effect of dietary copper on fertility of pubertal boars. The animals were randomly assigned in a Completely Randomized Design to 4 diets containing 0.2, 100, 200 and 300ppm Cu/kg. The control, diets 1, 2 and 3 respectively, in a 6-month feeding trial such that each treatment had 8 animals. The feeding trial was divided into 3 physiological phases [weanling (starter), pre-pubertal (grower) and pubertal (finisher)]. At the end of the feeding trial, 4 boars selected at random from each treatment, were each mated to 2 gilts (i.e. 1 boar to 2 gilts) following the gilts’ synchronization to determine the fertility rate of the boars. The mated gilts were sacrificed at the end of the 1st trimester and their uteri cut open longitudinally to check for conception, count the number of embryos therein and the embryo survival rate determined. The results showed significant (P>0.05) difference on all fertility parameters assessed except the foetal crown rump length and the conception rate which was 75% for diet 3 and 100% for other diets. The study revealed that male weanling pigs for breeding could be fed dietary copper of between 100-300ppm for better reproductive performance.

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