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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Leg health, growth and carcass characteristics in growing-finishing pigs of two different genotypes reared on Swedish organic farms

Wallenbeck, Anna; Eliasson, Christina; Lundeheim, Nils; Nilsson, Katja

Abstract

Increased prevalence of joint abnormalities at slaughter among pigs from organically certified herds in Sweden has been reported. Most of these abnormalities are caused by osteochondrosis, which has a genetic background. Thus, we investigated whether changing the sire breed from the commonly used Hampshire to the commercially available sire breed Duroc affected joint health and growth rate. We studied 766 commercially reared growing-finishing pigs from insemination of the mother sow until slaughter. The pigs were raised at four commercial organic farms (integrated or externally integrated, and had 40–160 sows in production)and slaughtered at one slaughter plant. We found no significant difference between the offspring of the two sire breeds regarding back conformation, leg conformation, swollen joints, locomotion or lameness at 13 or 24 weeks of age, or regarding joint abnormalities at slaughter. This indicates that clinical leg health will not be improved by changing sire breed. However, the Hampshire-sired pigs had higher daily growth rate(P< 0.008), allowing earlier slaughter.

Keywords

Breed; Outdoor production; Growth rate; Leg health; Organic production; Pasture; Pig

Published in

Organic Agriculture
2020, volume: 10, pages: 97-103

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health
Eliasson, Christina
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13165-019-00260-8

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/103033