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Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 59  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 142 - 149

Influence of feeding regime, sex and fasting time prior to slaughter on growth rate, carcass characteristics, ultimate pH and skin damage of pigs

H. Sterten, T. Froystein, A. S. Ekker and N. P. Kjos    

Abstract: Effects of feeding regime and sex on growth performance and carcass characteristics of pigs and of various fasting times and lairage times prior to slaughter on ultimate pH (pHu) of the neck and loin muscle, degree of gut fill and skin damage were investigated. Two hundred and seventy pigs were used involving two sexes (gilts and castrates), two feeding regimes (restricted and ad libitum) and four fasting treatments. The castrates grew faster and produced fatter carcasses than gilts, while restricted feeding tended to improve feed efficiency and led to leaner carcasses compared to ad libitum feeding. Prolonged pre-slaughter fasting period and lairage time led to reduction of the weight of the gastrointestinal tract and higher extent of fighting and skin damage. pHu in the neck muscle was indicative for the extent of fighting and skin damages, and might be a parameter for selecting raw material for dry-cured hams.

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