Genes from the Chinese Meishan pig have the potential to enhance reproductive performance of European pigs (Bidanel, 1989; Haley and Lee, 1990). In order to allow prediction of the impact of Meishan genes In a range of alternative improvement programmes all traits of economic importance must be evaluated and genetic crossbreeding effects estimated. This paper reports the results of a crossbreeding study of meat and carcass quality traits recorded at the last rib position.
Animals were purebred Meishan (MS) and Large White (LW) pigs, and reciprocal F1 crosses: Meishan ♂ x Large White ♀ (MS x LW) and Large White ♂ x Meishan ♀ (LW x MS). The animals were born In first and second parity litters at the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research, Edinburgh and performance tested at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. The trial was performed in two replicates of equal size, each corresponding to a single parity, with a total of 273 animals. In both replicates, females and entire males of all four genotypes were tested (approximately equal numbers of each genotype and sex). Animals were housed indoors in like sex and genotype groups of six (three pairs of full sibs). Tests started at pen mean of approximately 35 kg of weight and ended at pen mean of approximately 70 kg. Animals were fed ad libitum on a commercial ration (195 g/kg crude protein, 13.2 MJ digestible energy/kg).