Influence of rearing conditions on performance, behavioral, and physiological responses of pigs to preslaughter handling, carcass traits, and meat quality.
Journal of Animal Science. 2006-09-01; 84(9): 2436-2447
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1. J Anim Sci. 2006 Sep;84(9):2436-47.
Influence of rearing conditions on performance, behavioral, and physiological
responses of pigs to preslaughter handling, carcass traits, and meat quality.
Lebret B(1), Meunier-Salaün MC, Foury A, Mormède P, Dransfield E, Dourmad JY.
(1)Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, UMR SENAH, 35590 Saint-Gilles,
A total of 120 crossbred [synthetic line x (Large White x Landrace)] pigs
(castrated males and females) were used to evaluate the influence of rearing
conditions for growing-finishing pigs on growth performance, carcass, stress
reactions at slaughter, and meat eating quality. At approximately 35 kg of live
weight (LW), littermates were allocated to either a conventional (fully slatted
floor, 0.65 m2/pig, considered as control, CON) or an alternative (sawdust
bedding with free access to an outdoor area, 2.4 m2/pig, OUT) system, until
slaughter at approximately 110 kg of LW. Pigs had free access to standard growing
and finishing diets. The trials were conducted in spring, summer, and winter,
with each season involving 2 pens of 10 pigs in each system. Compared with the
CON, the OUT pigs exhibited a greater growth rate (+10%, P < 0.001) due to their
greater feed intake (+0.23 kg/d, P < 0.01), resulting in a greater body weight at
slaughter (+7 kg, P < 0.001). The OUT pigs had thicker backfat (+2.4 mm, P <
0.01) and lower lean meat content (- 2.0% points, P 0.10) influence the behavioral activities of pigs
during lairage at the slaughterhouse, or the urinary levels of catecholamines and
cortisol, and plasma levels of ACTH, cortisol, lactate, creatine kinase, and FFA
immediately after slaughter. The OUT pigs had similar (P > 0.10) pH values 30 min
postmortem (pH1) in the LM, biceps femoris (BF), and semimembranosus (SM)
muscles, similar ultimate pH (pHu) in LM, but lower pHu in SM (- 0.07 unit, P 0.07). Intramuscular fat content was greater in the LM (+17%, P =
0.001), BF (+14%, P = 0.004), and SM (+17%, P = 0.003) of the OUT pigs. Outdoor
rearing during summer and winter improved meat juiciness, whereas odor, flavor,
and tenderness were unaffected (P > 0.10). Influence of rearing conditions on all
the other traits studied did not depend on the season.
PMID: 16908648 [Indexed for MEDLINE]