Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Production results and technological meat quality for pigs in indoor and outdoor rearing systems

Stern S, Heyer A, Andersson HK, Rydhmer L, Lundstrom K


The objective of the study was to compare production results and technological meat quality for pigs born outdoors and reared indoors or outdoors during the summer period. A total of 279 pigs was reared in a large pen on deep litter, or outdoors. Daily weight gain and lean meat percentage were higher for pigs outdoors than indoors during year one (864 vs. 841g; 56.9 vs. 55.9%), but were similar for year two (859 vs. 844g; 55.9 vs. 55.6%). Outdoor pigs grew faster when fed ad libitum , but slower during the second phase when restricted, with inferior feed conversion. Most technological meat quality traits (surface and internal reflectance, marbling, pH BF , filter paper wetness, cooking loss and maximal Warner-Bratzler shear force) were similar between rearing systems, whereas pH LD was higher indoors. Total work of Warner-Bratzler shear force was lower in outdoor reared pigs. Maternal sire breed (Duroc or Landrace) and sex (castrate or gilt) did not notably affect meat quality traits. RN genotype had a stronger impact on meat quality than rearing system. It can be concluded from the similarities in production results and meat quality in both systems, that both indoor and outdoor rearing are good alternatives for summer rearing of pigs


carcass traits; growth; organic production; pork; swine

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2003, Volume: 53, number: 4, pages: 166-174