Effect of gender on growth performance, carcass characteristics, meat and fat composition of pigs slaughtered at 125 kg of live weight destined to Teruel (Spain) ham production
Garitano, I.; Liebana, C.; Feliz de Vargas, E.; Olivares, A.; Daza, A.
Italian Journal of Animal Science 12(1): e16
ISSN/ISBN: 1594-4077 DOI: 10.4081/ijas.2013.e16
Duroc x (Landrace x Large White) barrows (n=60) and gilts (n=72), that consumed the same feed during the experimental period (25125 kg of live weight) were used. The duration of experimental period was 130 and 143 days for barrows and gilts respectively. The average daily gain and average daily feed intake were significantly higher (P<0.05) in barrows than in gilts, but no significant differences between sexes were observed for the feed conversion efficiency. The gender had not significant influence on carcass weight, carcass yield, carcass inner length, ham length and perimeter, but fat thickness at the level of Gluteus medius muscle and the last rib were significantly higher (P<0.05) in barrows than in gilts. The number of thighs removed per pig in the slaughterhouse was significantly higher in gilts than in barrows. The intramuscular fat (IMF) percentage in Longissimus dorsi muscle was significantly higher in barrows than in gilts. The C14:0, C16:0, C16:1, C18:1 n-9, C20:1 and MUFA proportions were significantly higher (P<0.05) in barrows than in gilts, while C10:0, C18:2 n-6, n-6 and PUFA proportions were higher in gilts than in barrows. Positive relations among IMF and C16:0, C18:0, C18:1 n-9, SFA and MUFA fatty acids were observed, whereas negative relations among IMF and C18:2 n-6 and PUFA fatty acids were detected. These results indicate that meat and fat quality was slightly better in barrows than in gilts.