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Trial report 918: Effect on fertility of sperm motility in pooled Duroc semen

Semen doses with pooled semen from three Duroc boars, all with good sperm motility, had the same fertilizing capacity as doses with pooled semen from three boars with poor sperm motility and from three boars with good sperm motility.


Sperm with reduced motility has reduced fertilizing capacity. If low-motile Duroc sperm is mixed with high-motile sperm, the fertilizing capacity of that dose is equal to semen doses exclusively containing high-motile Duroc sperm. With doses that only contained low-motile sperm, the number of total born piglets per litter dropped by minimum 0.5.

Duroc boars were selected on the basis of the percentage of motile sperm assessed with SpermVision CASA system version 3.0, and divided into three groups:

Group 1:  Semen with high motility. 
Group 2: Semen with low motility. 
Group 3:  Equal share of semen from groups 1 & 2. 

4,528 LY sows from three Danish sow farms were randomly allocated to the three groups and inseminated with semen from the selected boars.

Farrowing rates were identical in all three groups, but the number of total born piglets differed significantly between the groups (P=0.0001). The number of total born piglets was identical in groups 1 and 3, whereas in group 2 it was minimum 0.5 lower than in groups 1 and 3.

Danish commercial semen consists of semen from up to ten different Duroc boars. The outcome of this trial demonstrates that this procedure guarantees a good fertility of the semen dose in relation to sperm motility.

Financial support

The trial was financially supported by the Pig Levy Fund and the EU and the Rural District Programme under the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. Project ID: DSP 09/10/50; file: 3663-D-10-00461.


Updated: 23.11.2011


Marie Louise Petersen

Project manager

Tel.: +45 3339 4391