The Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Meat Quality of Halothane Carrier and Negative Pigs

L. M. Leach, M. Ellis, D. S. Sutton, F. K. McKeith, E. R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality of halothane carrier (Nn) and negative (NN) pigs grown from 40 kg live weight and slaughtered at three weights (110, 125, and 140 kg live weight) were studied. Daily gains were similar for the two genotypes (974 g for Nn and 964 g for NN), but Nn pigs had a higher gain:feed ratio than NN pigs (P < .01). Dressing percentage was higher in Nn pigs than in NN pigs (P < .001), but there were no genotype differences for carcass length, backfat thickness, or loin eye area. Percentage yield of trimmed, boneless wholesale cuts was higher for Nn pigs than for NN pigs (P < .05). This resulted from higher trimmed, boneless ham, boston, and picnic weights (P < .05) in Nn than in NN pigs (6.9, 3.2, 3.5 kg vs 6.6, 3.0, 3.4 kg, respectively). The weight of fat-free lean was higher in Nn pigs (P < .05). The longissimus thoracis muscle from carrier pigs had lower 45 min (P < .001) and 24 h (P < .01) pH. Longissimus lumborum samples from carriers had lower (P < .001) subjective meat quality scores and a higher drip loss (P < .001); however, cooking loss, eating quality, and shear force values were similar for the two genotypes. There were no important slaughter weight x genotype interactions for the traits reported. Overall, the data from this study suggest Nn pigs had an advantage over NN pigs in terms of feed efficiency, carcass yield, fat-free lean content, and commercial lean cut yields, but had a higher incidence of PSE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-943
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Carcass characteristics
  • Halothane genotype growth
  • Meat quality
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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