Animal welfare and pork quality of intact male pigs in organic farming according to genotype - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2023

Animal welfare and pork quality of intact male pigs in organic farming according to genotype


In organic pig farming, genotype was tested as a lever to improve welfare and pork quality traits (tenderness, processing ability) of intact males while controlling the risk for boar taint. A total of 81 organic intact males from two genotypes: Large White x Duroc (D, n=47) or Large White x Piétrain NN (P, non-carrier of the n allele, n=34) were involved in two batches, each including one group of pigs per genotype. Each group was reared in a pen from the same building on deep straw bedding (1.3 m²/pig) with free outdoor access (1.0 m²/pig) from 27 to 125 kg live weight. All pigs received ad libitum the same organic growing and finishing diets and had free access to hay (rack). Overall, health and welfare indicators in live pigs (mortality, lameness, skin scratches and tail lesions) showed few problems, but mortality, severe lameness or number of skin scratches were lower in D than P pigs. On carcasses, the number of skin scratches was lower in D than P pigs (P<0.05). Average growth rate, feed intake and feed efficiency (per pen) were similar in both genotypes. Carcass weight was similar but lean meat content was lower (P<0.001) in D than P pigs. Compared to P, loin (Longissimus) meat from D pigs had lower drip loss and lightness (P<0.05), higher lipid content (P<0.001) and tended to have lower shear force (P<0.10). Backfat androstenone was higher in D than P pigs (P<0.01) but skatole did not differ. Even if not significant, the risk of rejection by consumers of tainted carcasses was higher for D (17.4%) than P (8.8%) pigs. Androstenone content increased with slaughter weight (P<0.02) but not skatole. Altogether, raising D instead of P intact males in organic farming seemed favorable for welfare and some pork quality traits (technological, color, texture) but impaired carcass value. The higher boar taint risk could be reduced by decreasing slaughter weight. Solutions can thus be proposed to better satisfy the needs of farmers and stakeholders according to their priorities for organic pork. The project PPILOW has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N°816172.
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hal-04210243 , version 1 (18-09-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04210243 , version 1


Bénédicte Lebret, Stéphane Ferchaud, Alexandre Poissonnet, Armelle Prunier. Animal welfare and pork quality of intact male pigs in organic farming according to genotype. 74. Annual meeting of the european federation of animal science (EAAP), EAAP, Aug 2023, Lyon, France. pp.735. ⟨hal-04210243⟩
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