Evaluation of specific populations of commercial ...

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Title Evaluation of specific populations of commercial pigs produced in Quebec for feed performance, carcass yield and lean meat colour
Author(s) K. Larry Hammell, J. P. Laforest, J. J. Dufour
Journal Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Date 1995
Volume 75
Issue 4
Start page 517
End page 524
Abstract Data from approximately 850 commercial pigs tested in 12 trials, from 1987 to 1990 at the Beaumont test station in Quebec were used to determine the effect of growth rate and body composition on growth performance, carcass yield and lean meat colour. Pigs were housed four to a pen and were fed commercial diets. Feed intake and growth rate were measured during the test, and carcass measurements were taken at slaughter and at 24 or 72 h following slaughter. The different groups of pigs were defined according to a 2 x 2 factorial, with one factor being the growth rate [fast growth (FG) or slow growth (SG)] and the second factor being the body composition of the carcass [fat (F) or lean (L)]. The FG commercial pigs reach market weight at a younger age with lower overall feed consumption and generally a better feed conversion than SG pigs. Furthermore, FG pigs have more backfat, longer carcasses and a slightly darker meat. The L commercial pigs had similar growth performances with a better lean meat yield than the F commercial pigs. Growth variables and composition of the carcass had little effect on the meat characteristics measured. The proportion of barrows compared to gilts was higher in the FG and F groups than in the SG and L groups, which could account for some of the differences observed between groups. However, the rate of growth and the type of body composition affected the growth and feed consumption performances as well as the carcass yield in a similar way for both sexes. Overall, less than 3% and less than 2% of the pigs produced meat with a colour standard of 1 (extremely pale) or 5 (extremely dark), respectively. The SG-L group had a slightly higher proportion of pigs with a pale meat colour compared to the other groups.
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