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Weight and season affects androstenone and skatole occurrence in entire male pigs in organic pig production

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To investigate the extent to which the level of androstenone and skatole decreases with a decrease in live weight and/or age at slaughter of entire male pigs produced under organic standards, 1174 entire male pigs were raised in parallel in five organic herds, distributed across four batches in summer and winter. The median androstenone level was high for organic entire male pigs (1.9 μg/g), but varied greatly both within and between herds. Median skatole level was 0.05 μg/g, also with a wide range both within and between herds. Decreasing live weight over the range of 110 ± 15.6 kg s.d. was found to decrease androstenone as well as skatole concentration, however, with different patterns of association. Age did not have significant direct effect on either androstenone or skatole levels. Androstenone levels were higher during winter than summer ( P<0.0001), but no difference in skatole was found between seasons. The study concludes that decreasing live weight at slaughter could be an applicable management tool to reduce risk of boar taint and the level of tainted carcasses for a future production of entire male pigs within the organic pig production system, although further studies are needed as great variation in boar taint was found also for low weight animals
Sider (fra-til)1577-1586
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2015

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