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J Anim Sci. 2013 Apr;91(4):1758-64. doi: 10.2527/jas.2012-5289. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Pasture dry matter consumption in European wild boars (Sus scrofa L.) as affected by herbage allowance.

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  • 1Institute of Animal Production, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, 5090000, Chile.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of herbage allowance on pasture DM consumption by growing European wild boar. An additional objective was to evaluate the influence of pasture consumption on supplemental diet intake and BW gain. A previously sown grass-clover pasture was managed by cutting to obtain an herbage mass equivalent to 1,500 kg/ha DM. Areas of pasture were limited by fencing to obtain 3 different herbage allowances whereas the pasture was removed in other areas. Forty-eight purebred European wild boars (initial age of 120 d and initial BW of 14.4 kg) were grouped in pairs and each pair was randomly allotted to 1 of 4 treatments (6 pairs per treatment): no pasture (4 m(2); pasture removed), low (5.33 m(2); 400 g/d pasture DM available/wild boar), medium (8 m(2); 600 g/d pasture DM available/wild boar), and high (16 m(2); 1,200 g/d pasture DM available/wild boar). The treatment areas were moved daily with a 7-d rotation. For a 28-d period, wild boars entered their treatment areas from 0830 to 1630 h, after which they had free access to a supplemental diet for 1 h. Pasture consumption was estimated daily by cutting pasture samples pre- and postgrazing. Supplemental diet consumption was determined daily (feed offered minus remaining feed). Animals were weighed weekly. Pasture consumption differed (P < 0.001) among wild boars receiving different treatments, with cumulative consumptions of 3.0 and 3.9 kg DM/wild boar over 28 d for low and medium herbage allowances, respectively (P < 0.09), and 6.4 kg DM/wild boar over 28 d for high herbage allowance, with the latter consumption being greater (P < 0.001) than the consumption recorded with the decreased herbage allowance treatments. The supplemental diet consumption tended (P = 0.16) to be less in wild boars with greater herbage allowance. European wild boars with access to pasture had greater (8.48 vs. 6.27 kg; P = 0.002) BW gain than those without access to pasture. In conclusion, pasture consumption by European wild boars can be enhanced by increasing herbage allowance and greater BW gains can be achieved in wild boars with access to pasture compared with those with no pasture access.

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