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Addendum published on 2 April 2021, see Animals 2021, 11(4), 996.
Article

Early Immunocastration of Pigs: From Farming to Meat Quality

1
Institute of Organic Farming, Johann Heinrich von Thuenen Institute, Trenthorst 32, 23847 Westerau, Germany
2
Department of Animal Sciences, University of Goettingen, Kellnerweg 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2021, 11(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020298
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 13 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 25 January 2021
Immunocastration of boars to prevent boar taint in meat is usually performed during the fattening phase of pigs, which is sometimes impractical for pig fatteners. The aim of this study was to test the practicability of the immunization of suckling pigs against boar taint and to assess its influence on production performance and animal welfare in the fattening phase. The fattening and slaughtering performance as well as animal behavior and welfare did not differ between the standard and the earlier immunization. However, reliable avoidance of boar taint was not given for all animals when immunization was conducted very early at the piglet stage.
The study aimed to test a very early immunization of pigs to prevent boar taint with regard to its practicability and influence on production performance, its reliability in ensuring good meat and fat quality, and animal welfare. Immunization was already conducted at piglet production stage and could be easily integrated into routine vaccination (week 3) and weaning practices (week 7). The fattening and slaughter performance of the animals was not affected by the immunization regime and was within the usual range. In addition, there were no abnormalities in animal behavior and the prevalence of injuries caused by aggressive interactions. All animals were classified as infertile on the basis of the histological examination of the testicles. However, the testosterone levels measured at slaughter were significantly higher in animals of the early immunization regime than in animals subjected to the standard immunization regime. Androstenone and skatole levels as the main components of boar taint were, on average, higher and varied to a greater extent in early immunized animals. Furthermore, the comparison of the immunization scheme did not result in significant differences for meat quality and for fatty acid composition. View Full-Text
Keywords: meat production; performance; boar taint; animal welfare; fatty acid composition meat production; performance; boar taint; animal welfare; fatty acid composition
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MDPI and ACS Style

Werner, D.; Baldinger, L.; Bussemas, R.; Büttner, S.; Weißmann, F.; Ciulu, M.; Mörlein, J.; Mörlein, D. Early Immunocastration of Pigs: From Farming to Meat Quality. Animals 2021, 11, 298. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020298

AMA Style

Werner D, Baldinger L, Bussemas R, Büttner S, Weißmann F, Ciulu M, Mörlein J, Mörlein D. Early Immunocastration of Pigs: From Farming to Meat Quality. Animals. 2021; 11(2):298. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020298

Chicago/Turabian Style

Werner, Daniela, Lisa Baldinger, Ralf Bussemas, Sinje Büttner, Friedrich Weißmann, Marco Ciulu, Johanna Mörlein, and Daniel Mörlein. 2021. "Early Immunocastration of Pigs: From Farming to Meat Quality" Animals 11, no. 2: 298. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11020298

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