Effect of boar exposure at time of insemination on factors influencing fertility in gilts

K. L. Willenburg, G. M. Miller, S. L. Rodriguez-Zas, R. V. Knox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of boar exposure during artificial insemination (AI) on semen backflow, fertilization, and embryo quality was evaluated. Gilts (∼170 d) were induced into estrus with PG600, and ovulation was synchronized using hCG 72 h later. Estrus detection was initiated after PG600 and continued at 12-h intervals. At estrus, gilts were allotted to receive boar exposure (BE, n = 20) or no boar exposure (NBE, n = 20) during AI. Gilts receiving NBE were identified to be in estrus prior to AI and the boar was then removed for 1 h, whereas gilts in the BE group received 15 min of exposure during AI. Insemination occurred in crates at 12 and 24 h after onset of estrus with 3 × 10 9 sperm/80 mL. Backflow was collected continuously with samples taken at time 0, (during AI), and at 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 4, and 8 h after first and second AI. The effect of treatment was evaluated for time of insemination (min), backflow (mL), and sperm in backflow samples. Oviducts were flushed 2 d after first AI to evaluate the effect of treatment on fertilization rate, accessory sperm numbers on embryos (scored 1 to 5), and embryo quality. There was no effect of first or second AI; therefore, data were pooled. Average duration of AI was 3.7 ± 0.2 min and was not influenced by BE (P < 0.10). However, during the initial stage of AI, BE reduced the volume of semen (18.6 vs 32.4 ± 3 mL) and the number of sperm lost (0.8 vs 1.3 ± 0.15 × 10 9 sperm) compared to NBE (P < 0.05). There was a treatment x time effect (P < 0.05) for volume of backflow. By 45 min, the BE gilts lost more volume (9.0 vs 3.6 mL) compared to the NBE group, but sperm loss did not differ. Between 1 and 8 h after AI, neither volume nor sperm loss was influenced by treatment. By 8 h, total leakage (65 vs 63 mL) and total sperm loss (1.6 × 10 9 vs 1.8 × 10 9 sperm) were not influenced by BE (P > 0.10). However, more accessory sperm (P < 0.01) were found on embryos for the NBE (≥11 sperm/embryo) compared to BE embryos (≤10 sperm/embryo). Despite this observation, percentages of fertilized embryos (99.5 ± 0.5 %) and number of embryos (11.5 ± 0.1) were not different (P > 0.10). In conclusion, AI in the presence of a mature boar did not affect total semen leakage, sperm loss, fertilized embryos, or embryo quality. The importance of boar exposure during insemination was evident from less leakage during insemination, but had no effect on fertility; this suggests that the elimination of boar exposure during AI may not be deleterious to reproductive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Artificial Insemination
  • Boars
  • Fertilization
  • Gilts
  • Pigs
  • Semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of boar exposure at time of insemination on factors influencing fertility in gilts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this