R. Bras. Zootec.. 01/Jul/2016;45(07):365-71.
Semen quality and reproductive performance of boars kept in pens containing conventional coffee husk as a floor covering
The objective of this study was to evaluate the putative effects of the use of coffee husk as floor covering on boar semen quality. Sixteen boars were divided into two groups. The first group was held in a conventional system with a compact floor. The second group was kept on a compact floor covered with coffee pods. The experimental period was 60 days. Levels of caffeine and chlorogenic acid in the insemination doses (ID) before and after 96 h of storage at 15 °C and the reproductive performance (litter size and rate of return to estrus) of these doses after their utilization in a standard artificial insemination protocol were evaluated. The ID from the animals kept in pens containing the coffee pods contained 25.4±8.7 µg/mL of caffeine, whereas no significant amounts of chlorogenic acid were detected. Semen from boars housed with coffee husk showed a significant increase in malondialdehyde levels, which indicates a significant increase in cell membrane peroxidation, after 96 h of storage. There were no significant differences in the other evaluated semen quality parameters when analyzed among groups. Likewise, there was no significant influence of coffee hulls on either the rate of return to estrus or the litter size of inseminated females. The use of coffee husks as floor covering worsens the quality of fresh semen and that of insemination doses stored for 96 h but not the quality of semen immediately diluted; therefore, coffee husks may be used only on farms that use semen immediately processed after collection without affecting the reproductive parameters of breeding stock.