Three field trials were undertaken to determine the influence of feeding sugar solutions to pigs immediately prior to slaughter on carcass yield, liver weight and muscle quality. In the first, which involved 168 pigs of 85 to 95 kg live weight, provision of a glucose syrup solution in lairage (4 h) followed by water (12 h), compared with water-only (16 h) increased carcass yield (3%) and liver weight (27%) and reduced muscle ultimate pH (0·1 to 0·4 unit). When water was not made available after consumption of the sugar there was no response in carcass yield. In the second trial conducted with 169 pigs of 110 to 125 kg live weight, and involving the same treatments as in Trial I, except that sugar was provided for a longer period (6 h), corresponding responses in carcass yield, liver weight and muscle ultimate pH were +2·7%, +24% and a decrease of 0·2 to 0·3 units. In both trials responses to sugar feeding were less when compared with pigs slaughtered shortly after arrival at the abattoir. In the final trial, which also involved heavy pigs (88), access to a glucose syrup solution (9 h), but not a sucrose one, followed by water (8 h), relative to water-only in lairage, improved carcass yield (1·1%). Liver weight was increased with glucose (34·2%) and markedly so with sucrose (49·7%) and both sugars reduced muscle ultimate pH (0·1 to 0·6 units).