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Effects of ractopamine administration and castration method on the response to preslaughter stress and carcass and meat quality in pigs of two Piétrain genotypes.

TitleEffects of ractopamine administration and castration method on the response to preslaughter stress and carcass and meat quality in pigs of two Piétrain genotypes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRocha, LM, Bridi, AM, Foury, A, Mormède, P, Weschenfelder, AV, Devillers, N, Bertoloni, W, Faucitano, L
JournalJ Anim Sci
Volume91
Issue8
Pagination3965-77
Date Published2013 Aug
ISSN1525-3163
KeywordsAnimals, Behavior, Animal, Body Composition, Body Temperature, Genotype, Male, Meat, Orchiectomy, Phenethylamines, Stress, Physiological, Swine
Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of ractopamine supplementation, castration method, and their interaction on the behavioral and physiological response to preslaughter stress and carcass and meat quality of 2 Piétrain genotypes. A total of 1,488 male pigs (115 ± 5 kg BW) were distributed according to a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. The first factor was ractopamine supplementation with 2 groups of pigs (376 and 380 pigs each) receiving 7.5 mg/kg of ractopamine (RAC) or not (NRAC) in their diet during the last 28 d of the finishing period. The second factor was castration method, with 744 surgical castrates (SC) and 744 immunized males (IM), and the third factor was the genotype with 2 crossbreeds containing 50% (genotype A, GA; n = 744) or 25% (genotype B, GB; n = 744) Piétrain genetics. Surgical castration took place at 2 d of age, whereas immunization against gonadotropin-releasing factor (GnRF) was performed through 2 subcutaneous injections of GnRF analog (Improvest, 2 mL) at 10 and 4 wk before slaughter. At loading more vocal stimulation was needed by the handler to drive GB pigs forward through the farm alley (P = 0.01) and RAC-fed GB pigs through the ramp (P = 0.02). Feeding RAC to IM increased the number of fights in lairage compared with SC (P = 0.03). Feeding RAC shortened fighting bouts compared with NRAC pigs (P = 0.05). The SC-GA pigs showed a greater gastrointestinal tract temperature during unloading (P = 0.05) and lairage time (P = 0.03). Blood creatine kinase (CK) concentrations were greater (P = 0.04) in SC compared with IM, and no difference was found in the concentrations of stress hormones in urine collected postmortem. Dressing yield was greater (P = 0.01) in RAC and SC-GB pigs. Carcasses from RAC pigs and IM were leaner than those from NRAC and SC pigs (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively). Feeding RAC to IM increased drip loss in the LM (P = 0.05). Warner-Bratzler shear force values were slightly greater in the LM from RAC-GB pigs and from IM compared with SC (P = 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively) and in the semimembranosus muscle of RAC pigs (P = 0.006). In conclusion, immunization against GnRF more than the use of Piétrain genotypes appears to be a viable alternative to the use of ractopamine, as it seems to promote production of lean carcasses without compromising animal welfare and pork quality.

DOI10.2527/jas.2012-6058
Alternate JournalJ. Anim. Sci.
PubMed ID23658339