Impact of Piglet Birth Weight on Growout Performance and Carcass Quality
Reduced birth weight has consequences including changes in proportions of primary and secondary muscle fibres. This may effect adult muscle composition and eating quality of the meat. Reduced birth weight is related to increased litter size. By increasing the litter size by one, average birth weight was reduced by 100g and twice as many piglets were born weighing under 800g. Carcass quality, eating quality and muscle histology were observed to see if a relationship to post-weaning growth performance and birth weight existed. Also examined was higher litter size and variability of weight throughout life. Average birth weight decreased as litter size increased but body weight variability in life was not effected. Litter size did not affect carcass quality.