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Immunocastrated male pigs: effect of 4 v. 6 weeks time post second injection on performance, carcass quality and meat quality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2016

M. Aluwé*
Affiliation:
Animal Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Scheldeweg 68, 9090 Melle, Belgium
I. Degezelle
Affiliation:
VIVES University College, Doorniksesteenweg 145, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
L. Depuydt
Affiliation:
VIVES University College, Doorniksesteenweg 145, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
D. Fremaut
Affiliation:
University of Ghent, Valentin Vaerwyckweg 1, 9000 Gent, Belgium
A. Van den Broeke
Affiliation:
Animal Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Scheldeweg 68, 9090 Melle, Belgium
S. Millet
Affiliation:
Animal Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Scheldeweg 68, 9090 Melle, Belgium
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Abstract

Immunocastration or vaccination against boar taint can be used as alternative for surgical castration of male piglets. The vaccine is administrated twice. After the second vaccination (V2), the pigs behave like barrows instead of boars and their feed intake increases which may result in a lower lean meat percentage. The timing of V2 is therefore crucial to find the right balance between the advantages of entire males and barrows. In this study, we evaluated the effect of time post second injection within the advised time frame (4 v. 6 weeks before slaughter) on behaviour, performance, carcass and meat quality of immunocastrated male pigs. In total, 180 animals (hybrid sow×Piétrain): 60 gilts, 60 male pigs vaccinated 6 weeks before slaughter (IM-6) and 60 male pigs vaccinated 4 weeks before slaughter (IM-4), all slaughtered at comparable slaughter weights. After 20 weeks of age, IM-6 showed more inactive behaviour at the expense of playing and aggressive behaviour. Daily feed intake (DFI), daily gain (DG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) did not differ significantly between IM-6 and IM-4. Gilts had a lower DFI and DG in the late finishing phase and a higher FCR overall compared with both IM groups. Gilts showed a higher lean meat content compared with both IM groups. Earlier vaccination increased dressing percentage, which could partly be explained by the lower weight of the gastrointestinal tract, but not by testes weight. Meat quality traits and palatability did not differ significantly between IM-6 and IM-4. Vaccination of immunocastrates at 6 compared with 4 weeks before slaughter improved the calmness in the stable and the dressing percentage, while maintaining performance and carcass characteristics.

Type
Research Article
Information
animal , Volume 10 , Issue 9 , September 2016 , pp. 1466 - 1473
Copyright
© The Animal Consortium 2016 

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References

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