The carcasses of 20 Landrace, 20 Hampshire and 20 Duroc Jersey barrows were dissected in order to study the influence of the breed on tissue weight distribution.
After weaning, at 56 days of age, the animals were allocated to individual pens and fed a standard diet containing 18% crude protein and 13 MJ ME/kg, until they reached their designated slaughter weight.
The Landrace and Hampshire pigs were slaughtered between 60 and 115 kg and the Duroc Jersey ones between 40 and 115 kg live weight. The right half carcasses were completely dissected using strictly anatomical criteria. Individual muscles were classified into eight anatomical groups (Carden & Goenaga, 1977).
The results were examined by covariance analyses utilizing the allometric equation. Carcass tissue composition was studied using the weight of the dissected side as covariate. When muscle: bone ratio was examined, the weight of total side muscle was used as the independent variable. The growth of different parts of a tissue relative to the corresponding whole tissue was studied.
Concerning carcass composition, there were significant breed differences in muscle and fat contents and in the muscle:bone ratio.
Breed differences were found in muscle distribution. The 6 values of muscle groups 1 (proximal hind limb), 2 (distal hind limb), 6 (distal forelimb) and 7 (muscles connecting forelimb to thorax) were statistically different as were the adjusted means of groups 3 (spinal column), 5 (proximal forelimb) and 8 (muscles connecting forelimb to neck and intrinsic muscles of neck and thorax).
Significant differences were also found in bone weight distribution. Slope values of the tarsals, os coxae, scapula and sternum were statistically different. Adjusted means of tibia-fibula, sacrum, spinal column, radius-ulna, carpals and ribs were also significantly different.
Finally, there were breed effects in the distribution of fat, the relative weight of subcutaneous and of intermuscular fat being statistically different.