Title page for ETD etd-11142010-212902

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Speight, Susan Michelle
Author's Email Address sspeight@vt.edu
URN etd-11142010-212902
Title Growth Performance, Carcass Traits, and Reproductive Characteristics in Boars Fed Diets Supplemented With an Organic Source of Selenium
Degree PhD
Department Animal and Poultry Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Estienne, Mark J. Committee Chair
Harper, Allen F. Committee Member
Jiang, Honglin Committee Member
Knight, James W. Committee Member
Swecker, William S. Jr. Committee Member
  • boar
  • carcass
  • fertility
  • growth
  • selenium
  • semen
Date of Defense 2010-08-11
Availability unrestricted
The objectives of this study were to assess growth and reproductive performance of boars fed a diet supplemented with organic selenium (Se). Crossbred boars received one of three treatments: I. basal diet with no supplemental Se, II. basal diet supplemented with 0.3 ppm organic Se (Sel-Plex), and, III. basal diet supplemented with 0.3 ppm sodium selenite. Nursery (n = 13 pens/treatment) boar performance was not affected (P > 0.1) by diet and only grow-finish (n = 11 pens/treatment) G:F was greater (P < 0.06) for Sel-Plex (0.378) compared with selenite (0.368) or control (0.363) boars. At 15-mo of age semen was collected from boars (n = 10/treatment) over 5-d. Semen quality declined over time, but the negative impact day had on sperm motility was less pronounced with Sel-Plex boars. Effects of treatment x day were detected for progressively motile (P = 0.02) and rapidly moving (P = 0.03) spermatozoa, sperm path velocity (VAP; P = 0.05), and average velocity (VSL; P = 0.05). At 17-mo of age, semen was collected from boars (n = 10/treatment), extended and stored over 10-d. Although semen quality decreased over time, sperm from Sel-Plex boars resisted the negative effects of day on sperm motility and pH. Effects of treatment x day were detected for percent motile spermatozoa (P < 0.01), static spermatozoa (P < 0.01), VAP (P = 0.06), amplitude of head displacement (ALH; P = 0.02), straightness (P = 0.01), and pH (P < 0.01). At 23-mo of age, semen was collected (day 0) from boars (n = 6/treatment), extended, stored and evaluated at d 1 and 8 using in vitro fertilization. Dietary Se treatment failed to affect (P < 0.05) in vitro fertilizing rates of boars. In summary, dietary supplementation with Sel-Plex enhanced G:F in grow/finish boars. Dietary Sel-Plex supplementation may decrease the effects that stressors, such as intensive semen collection or semen storage, have on boar sperm characteristics such as sperm motility. The mechanisms for these responses remain to be elucidated.
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