Evaluation of Coated Biochar as an Intestinal Binding Agent for Skatole and Indole in Male Intact Finishing Pigs
Institute for Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hanover, Germany
German Institute for Food Technologies (DIL e.V), Quakenbrück, Prof.-von-Klitzing-Straße 7, D-49610 Quakenbrück, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Li
Received: 3 February 2021 / Revised: 4 March 2021 / Accepted: 6 March 2021 / Published: 10 March 2021
Public awareness of animal welfare in livestock farming continues to grow all over the world, especially in Central Europe as well as in Australia and Northern America. Consequently, the ban on piglet castration without anaesthesia comes into force in Germany and France in 2021 and other European countries such as Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden have taken legislative actions against piglet castration without pain relief earlier. Hence, alternatives have to be established that prevent the occurrence of boar taint in male pigs. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of dietary biochar on boar taint compounds (skatole and indole) in faeces and plasma as well as on performance parameters. The biochar was added to the feed whether two or four weeks before slaughter. Animals that received biochar during the last two weeks before slaughter had lower skatole concentrations in faeces at the end of the trial than at the beginning, whereas these results could not be confirmed when animals received biochar for four weeks. Nevertheless, the faeces was drier when animals were fed biochar and performance was not affected. Results indicate that more research is necessary to better understand the nonspecific adsorption capacity of biochar.