Articles | Volume 48, issue 1
10 Oct 2005
 | 10 Oct 2005

Fattening, carcass and meat quality traits of hybrid pigs as influenced by MHS genotype and feeding systems

G. Kusec, U. Baulain, M. Henning, P. Köhler, and E. Kallweit

Abstract. Within the scope of a growth study fattening, carcass and meat quality traits of MHS gene carriers (Nn) and homozygous negative (NN) castrated male pigs (n=96) kept under two different feeding systems were investigated. The experimental group was intensively fed during the whole fattening period (age 10 to 26 weeks). According to feeding recommendations for barrows, the control group was also fed intensively from 10th to 17th week (growth phase) while feed was restricted from 18th to 26th week (finishing phase). As expected, feeding system affected fattening performance significantly. Intensively fed pigs showed a higher daily feed intake in the finishing phase and in the complete fattening period while no differences could be found in the growth phase. Daily gain was higher in the intensive group than in control during the finishing phase and complete fattening period (Δ = 285 g and Δ = 125 g, resp). Feed conversion ratio was superior in restricted feeding: intensively fed pigs took 230 g more feed/kg live weight. NN pigs had a higher feed intake and higher daily gain than Nn genotypes. Carcass quality was also influenced by feeding system: pigs of the experimental group which were on average 14.4 kg heavier than those of the control group had clearly more backfat and percentage of lean was significantly lower. A significant effect of MHS genotype on leanness was not observed. Within intensive feeding system Nn pigs tended to be leaner than NN pigs. In meat quality significant differences between feeding groups were found only for electrical conductivity and for intramuscular fat. For both traits higher values were measured in the experimental group. But meat quality was clearly affected by MHS genotype: in gene carriers significantly lower pH1 values and higher conductivity after 24 h were found in loin and ham. In tendency, intensively fed NN genotypes had a higher intramuscular fat content than intensively fed Nn pigs.