We need no new research, just a compilation of existing work and careful interpretation
When I was a student, swine nutrition textbooks did not have a chapter dedicated to breeding boar nutrition. Now, breeding boars are 50% of the genetics we have on a farm, but we were taught that any good sow gestation diet is good enough for them. And, indeed, that was correct, and no boar ever complained. However, at that time, there was one boar per 20-25 females and mating was done mostly the natural way.
Fast forward, and genetics (boars especially) are now super expensive because they carry loads of genetic progress. Turnover is often too rapid to take advantage of new advances in genetics. These precious boars are now more delicate and require special management and care. Plus, with artificial insemination done on most farms worldwide, there is no need to have as many boars as before. A single ejaculation can provide 20-30 doses of semen.
So, why does boar nutrition still receive so little attention? With so few boars around, it does not pay to invest in research for feeding these new boars a modern diet. But, luckily, research is already done and we need no new research, just a compilation of existing work and careful interpretation.
In the past year, I developed a boar stud feed that has very little volume in terms of sales as there are not as many boars around as before. Nevertheless, by using excellent raw materials, fresh products and the right additives, we had several successes that more than made up for the extra cost. My customer is happy because this is considered a “key” product that gives them entrance to farms they could not enter.
In one case, a farmer decided to keep a boar from going to the slaughterhouse after feeding him a proper (modern) feed. In another testimonial, doses from each ejaculation increased from 22 to 29, and the list goes on. They ask me what the secret of success is, and I keep saying there is no secret. Everything is out there; you just need to know where to look for the right type of information.