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The Boar

(246) The boar is the most important animal on the farm and good management is essential to maintain health and maximise normal reproductive function. When the young boar first enters the farm allow him to make physical but not intimate contact with female pigs. He certainly must not be bullied by sows. Unless this physical contact takes place there is a risk of low sexual behaviour with poor matings, and poor shortened ejaculations. Such animals are often slow to mount and serve with reduced conception, farrowing rates and litter sizes. The same principles apply to the mature boar, he should have constant contact with females. If you find a boar is becoming less interested at mating time, change the environment into a more stimulating one by moving him to another pen (assuming there are no problems of health). Lameness, stiffness, or difficulty in rising are often pointers to early arthritis, foot lesions or leg weakness and veterinary advice and treatment can often prevent 2 or 3 months of lowered fertility. When the young boar first arrives on the farm always manage him carefully, without any aggression and be extremely patient during the first two or three matings. The boar pen should be a minimum of 9.3sq.m. and for best results provide him with a solid well bedded floor of either shavings, peat or straw. He is then less likely to develop arthritis, callous formation and become stiff and lame.

The floor surface in the mating pen is important. It should be smooth, non slippery and well drained with no projections of aggregate. The pen should be pressure-washed and disinfected at least once a month. If the floor surface becomes slippery the judicious use of dry sand can be a short term solution. Do not use too much however because it can have abrasive effects on the prepuce and penis. (Sandy soil is a major cause of the penis bleeding in outdoor boars).

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