Performance, carcass and meat quality in pigs

Doctoral thesis OPEN
Heyer, Anke (2004)
  • Subject: Agris categories are used [ZZZ placeholder]

In this thesis, influences of conventional and organic rearing systems, breed crosses and feeding regimens on performance, carcass and technological and sensory meat quality traits in pigs were investigated. In two studies, a seasonal outdoor rearing system was investigated. Maternal performance of once-bred gilts was studied and their carcass and meat quality was compared with maiden indoor reared gilts. In a third study, the outdoor-born progeny was raised indoors and outdoors; performance, carcass and meat quality of these growing/finishing pigs were compared. In a fourth study, indoor and outdoor rearing systems of growing/finishing pigs, born indoors, including different feeding regimens (strategic/ad libitum/restrictive), diets (diluted/undiluted; conventional/organic) and breed crosses (LW*L/LW*D) were investigated. In a fifth study, effects of extra maternal feed supply during early gestation on sow and progeny performance, carcass and meat quality were studied. The studies showed that once-bred gilts were suitable for a seasonal outdoor rearing system and produced carcasses of adequate quality. LW*L once-bred gilts had more piglets at weaning, whereas LW*D progeny had higher growth rate. For the progeny, outdoor pigs had higher growth rate when fed ad libitum but grew slower during the second restricted phase. Technological quality was similar. In the fourth study, indoor pigs fed an organic diet grew faster than outdoor pigs. Strategic feeding increased daily weight gain, compared with an exclusively diluted diet. Extra maternal feeding increased litter size per sow, but not per gilt. A negative effect on progeny growth rate was found, whereas carcass and technological quality was unaffected. In this thesis, the results indicate that pig production parameters are not only affected by housing system (indoor/outdoor) but by the entire rearing system, including breed cross, feeding regimen, diet composition, final weight and age.
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