Centered on Swine

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Comparison of Alternatives for the Control and Detection of Boar Taint in Market Hogs

Posted in: Centered on Swine, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by student on August 3, 2018

Author: Brian Sullivan, Brianna Sullivan and Laurence Maignel

Reference: Centred on Swine Fall 2018, Volume 24, Number 2

Summary: Castration is a common practice in production, however there is an increased interest in raising non-castrated males. This interest is rooted in animal welfare concerns as well as the increased growth efficiency associated with intact males.

Boar taint results from the accumulation of androstenone and skatole in the adipose tissues. One of the objectives of this study was to evaluate the ability to reduce levels of androstenone and skatole in fatty tissues of Canadian hogs through utilizing selection based on genetic markers.

Another objective of this study was to compare the performance and carcass attributes of intact males with other sex groups (ie. barrows and gilts).

The last objective of this study was to develop a means to detect boar taint in commercial packing plants.

In conclusion this study verified the advantages of raising an intact males with regards to growth performance when compared to both females and castrated males. Genetic selection displayed the potential to select for males with naturally low levels of androstenone and skatole avoiding issues of boar taint. However, more research is needed as well as the impact of management and environment needs to be considered.

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