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      A review of heavy weight market pigs: status of knowledge and future needs assessment 1

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          Abstract

          Marketing weight is an important economic variable that impacts the productivity and profitability of finishing pig production. Marketing weight has been increasing worldwide over the past decades driven by the dilution of fixed production cost over more weight per pig and the improvement of genetic selection of lean-type pigs. This review was aimed to summarize current knowledge and assess the future research needs on producing finishing pigs with marketing weight greater than 130 kg. Based on a thorough literature review, increasing marketing weight affected overall pig growth; in particular, cumulative average daily gain (ADG) decreased by 4.0 g, average daily feed intake (ADFI) increased by 78.1 g, and gain-to-feed ratio (G:F) decreased by 0.011 for every 10 kg increase of marketing weight. Increasing marketing weight by 10 kg increased carcass yield by 0.41% units, backfat by 1.8 mm, longissimus muscle (LM) area by 1.9 cm 2, carcass length by 2.2 cm, and belly yield by 0.32% units, but decreased percentage of fat-free-lean by 0.78 units and decreased loin, shoulder, and ham yields by 0.13, 0.16, and 0.17% units, respectively. Studies that investigated the effects of marketing weight on pork quality observed decreased pH by 0.02 and 0.01 at 45 min and 24 h postmortem, respectively, and increased a* value by 0.28 per 10 kg marketing weight increase. Heavier market pigs had increased concentrations of saturated fatty acids and intramuscular fat. However, studies reported conflicting results for L* and b* values, drip loss, Warner-Bratzler shear force, and sensory properties of pigs in response to increasing marketing weight. A limited amount of research has been conducted to estimate nutrient requirements for pigs greater than 140 kg. Increased weight and size of heavy pigs can create challenges to farm and packer facilities and equipment. Discussions and recommendations are provided concerning the adjustments for floor and feeder space, barn design, ventilation, disease control, transportation, and carcass processing needed for increasing marketing weight. In conclusion, increasing marketing weight creates both opportunities and challenges to current finishing pig production, and future research is needed to provide nutritional and management guidelines and improve feed efficiency and meat quality of heavy weight market pigs.

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          Most cited references75

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          Correlations among selected pork quality traits.

          Establishing relationships among specific quality traits is important if significant progress toward developing improved pork quality is to be realized. As part of a study to examine the individual effects of genes on meat quality traits in pigs, a three-generation resource family was developed. Two Berkshire sires and nine Yorkshire dams were used to produce nine F1 litters. Sixty-five matings were made from the F1 litters to produce four sets of F2 offspring, for a total of 525 F2 animals used in the study. These F2 animals were slaughtered at a commercial facility upon reaching approximately 110 kg. Carcass composition traits, pH measurements, and subjective quality scores were made at 24 h postmortem. Loin samples (n = 525) were collected at 48 h postmortem, and meat quality traits were evaluated. These traits included pH (48 h), Hunter L-values, drip loss, glycolytic potential, ratio of type IIa/IIb myosin heavy chains (IIa/IIb), total lipid, instrumental measures of tenderness using the Star Probe attachment of the Instron, cook loss measurements, and sensory evaluations. Significant phenotypic correlations were found between many carcass, instrumental, and biochemical measurements, and sensory quality traits. Star Probe measurements were significantly correlated with drip loss (0.29), glycolytic potential (0.30), pH (-0.29), total lipid (-0.14), and Hunter L-values (0.28). Drip loss was significantly correlated with glycolytic potential (0.36), pH (-0.28), IIa/IIb (-0.10), and Hunter L-values (0.33). Hunter L-values were also significantly correlated with total lipid (0.33) and IIa/ IIb (-0.11). Sensory tenderness, flavor, and off-flavor scores were significantly correlated with drip loss, pH, and glycolytic potential measurements. Marbling score, total lipid, and drip loss were not significantly correlated with sensory juiciness scores, but cooking loss was. Marbling and total lipid were significantly correlated with firmness scores (0.37 and 0.31, respectively). Taken together, the data in this study suggest that changes in some meat quality traits can affect many other meat quality attributes. The correlations yield information that could aid in directing future studies aimed at understanding the underlying biological mechanisms behind the development of many quality traits.
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            The effects of gender and slaughter weight on the growth performance, carcass traits, and meat quality characteristics of heavy pigs.

            Crossbred pigs (n = 192) from Piétrain x Large White sires mated to Landrace x Large White dams, with a mean BW of 75 +/- 1.3 kg, were used to investigate the effects of gender and slaughter weight (SW) on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality. Pens of pigs (eight pigs/pen) were assigned randomly to one of six treatments arranged in a 2 x 3 factorial design with two genders (barrows or gilts) and three SW (116, 124, or 133 kg). Each treatment was replicated four times. Over the entire trial, barrows had higher (P 0.10) effect on the moisture and lipid content of the longissimus muscle (LM), nor did gender affect (P > 0.10) LM color, myoglobin content, or thaw loss percentage. However, the LM from barrows had lower (P 0.10) different among SW; however, pigs slaughtered at 116 and 124 kg had higher (P 0.10) affected by SW. The LM from pigs slaughtered at 133 kg was darker (lower L* values; P < 0.001), redder (higher a* value; P < 0.01), and had more (P < 0.001) myoglobin than the LM of pigs slaughtered at 116 and 124 kg. Barrows and gilts of this particular crossbreed can be used to produce acceptable quality fresh pork when slaughtered at 116 kg; however, increasing SW to 124 kg, or more, decreased live pig performance and carcass leanness without any additional benefits to pork quality attributes.
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              Application of broken-line analysis to assess floor space requirements of nursery and grower-finisher pigs expressed on an allometric basis.

              Few issues in swine production are as complex as floor space allowances. One method for pork producers to calculate floor space allowance (A) is to convert BW into a 2-dimensional concept yielding an expression of A = k * BW(0.667). Data on ADG, ADFI, and G:F were obtained from published peer-reviewed studies. Five data sets were created: A = grower-finisher pigs, fully slatted floors, and consistent group size; B = grower-finisher pigs and fully slatted floors (group size did not need to be consistent); C = grower-finisher pigs, partially slatted floors, and consistent group size; D = grower-finisher pigs, partially slatted floors (group size did not need to be consistent); and E = nursery pigs, fully slatted or woven wire floors (group size did not need to be consistent). Each data set was analyzed using a broken-line analysis and a linear regression. For the broken-line analyses, the critical k value, below which a decrease in ADG occurred, varied from 0.0317 to 0.0348. In all cases the effect of space allowance on ADG was significant (P 0.10); however, none of the linear regressions explained a significant proportion of the variation in ADG. The slopes for the nonplateau portion of the broken-line analyses based on percent values varied among data sets. For every 0.001 decrease in k (approximately 3% of the critical k value), ADG decreased by 0.56 to 1.41%, with an average value of 0.98% for the 5%-based analyses. The use of an allometric approach to express space allowance and broken-line analysis to establish space requirements seem to be useful tools for pig production. The critical k value at which crowding becomes detrimental to the growth of the pig is similar in full- and partial-slat systems and in nursery and grower-finisher stages. The critical point for crowding determined in these analyses approximated current recommendations to ensure the welfare of pigs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Transl Anim Sci
                Transl Anim Sci
                tas
                Translational Animal Science
                Oxford University Press
                2573-2102
                February 2017
                01 February 2017
                01 February 2017
                : 1
                : 1
                : 1-15
                Affiliations
                [* ]Department of Animal Science, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506
                []Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506
                Author notes
                [2 ]Corresponding author: jderouch@ 123456ksu.edu
                Article
                2016-0004
                10.2527/tas2016.0004
                7235466
                32704624
                3cfbdc81-3930-4a84-9e9f-0e11f4ed962f

                This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)

                Page count
                Pages: 15
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: National Pork Board 10.13039/100008370
                Categories
                Review Article

                carcass quality,growth,heavy pig,marketing weight,meat quality

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