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Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Performance and Carcass Quality of Growing-Finishing Pigs

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  074160.(doi:10.13031/2013.23267)
Authors:   Lei Xi, Ai Lian Geng, Zheng Xiang Shi, Bao Ming Li
Keywords:   housing system; environmental enrichment; growing-finishing pig; performance; carcass quality

The purpose of the study is to investigate the effects of environmental enrichment on performance and carcass traits of growing-finishing pigs. Eight different environmental enrichments were used in the growing-finishing pig pens with three kinds of welfare establishments: iron chain, toy ball and concrete box with cobbles. A total of 320 Dalland synthetic line pigs were chosen to evaluate the influence of the eight environmental enrichments on growth performance and carcass characteristics. The results showed that the growth performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs could be affected by the environment enrichment. The highest growth performance and the best carcass characteristics of pigs were showed in the seventh pen which was enriched with iron chain, toy ball, and concrete box together. The average finishing weight of the seventh experimental group was 5.49 kg and average daily weight gain (ADG) was 10.84% higher than that of control group(p<0.05). The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly decreased by 13.83% during the experimental stage. The results of slaughtering trial showed that the average back fat thickness, carcass yield; eye muscle area; carcass length; and the hinder leg weight ratio were better than that of the control group. The 7th group was also the best among the experimental groups. The results also indicated that the average daily feed, head; hoof and the relative organ weight ratio were not affected by the environmental enrichment.

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