Effects of index selection at bacon weight on early growth rate and body composition in Large White pigs

Ruth Henderson, C. T. Whittemore, M. Ellis, W. C. Smith, R. Laird

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Consistent age differences at around 27 kg live weight have been found between control (C) and selection (S) line boars of the Large White breed in a coordinated breed improvement programme (89·8 v. 94·6 days, P<001). After 10 generations of index selection on feeding ad libitum, a sample of 20 boars from the programme, 10 C and 10 S, were slaughtered at 27·6 (s.e. 0·48) kg live weight for a more comprehensive examination of this finding. Physical dissection of the carcass and whole body chemical analysis were carried out. Differences between C and S boars were apparent even at this light weight: S boars were older than C (92·7 v. 83·5 days, P<0·01), contained less dissected fat (2·93 v. 3·58kg, P<005) and chemical lipid (315 v. 3·59kg, P<0·05), and had a higher lean proportion (0·477 v. 0·458, P<0·01). There was no significant difference between lines in weight of dissected lean or whole body protein. Index selection has clearly affected early growth and body composition, which questions current assumptions underlying pig testing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Production
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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