Feasibility of Increasing the Slaughter Weight of Finishing Pigs

  • Park, Byung-Chul (Sunjin Co., Ltd.) ;
  • Lee, C.-Young (Regional Animal Industry Center, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2011.03.14
  • Accepted : 2011.05.06
  • Published : 2011.06.30


The present review was aimed to assess the feasibility of increasing the slaughter weight (SW) of finishing pigs. Growth performance, including ADG, ADFI and gain:feed, does not change significantly with increasing SW between 110 and $135{\pm}5kg$ in lean-genotype pigs, whereas in non-lean pigs, ADG and gain:feed decrease with increasing SW within the similar range of BW. Backfat thickness (BFT) and marbling of the carcass, which are greater in barrows than in gilts, increase with the increase of SW. The SW could be increased by using a low-energy diet and thereby reducing the rate of fat deposition per weight gain. The yield of the belly increases with the increase of SW, which may be economically significant in Korea. However, yields of some other primal cuts do not change so much as to affect the carcass value. The redness and fat content of the muscle increase slightly with the increase of SW whereas moisture content is minimally influenced by SW. Muscular protein content rarely changes, but sometimes increases slightly, with increasing SW. Other physicochemical characteristics, including lightness, pH, drip loss, and cooking loss of the muscle, are barely influenced by SW. Marbling of fresh loin and ham increases with increasing SW. Sensory characteristics of fresh loin, ham, and belly, including color, aroma, off-flavor, drip, and acceptability, are not influenced significantly by SW. The eating quality of cooked pork also has almost no relation to SW. In conclusion, it is thought that the current SW for moderately lean barrows and gilts can be raised up to 125 and 135 kg, respectively, with BFT at these weights predicted to be approximately 24 mm near the last rib, without compromising the meat quality.


Finishing pig;Growth;Slaughter weight;Carcass;Meat quality


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