Effect of withholding feed from swine before slaughter on carcass and viscera weights and meat quality.

Journal of animal science

PubMedID: 15705769

Kephart KB, Mills EW. Effect of withholding feed from swine before slaughter on carcass and viscera weights and meat quality. J Anim Sci. 2005;83(3):715-21.
Two experiments were conducted to determine the effect of feed withholding on carcass and viscera weights and meat quality in grow-finish swine. Experiment 1 included 528 pigs that were marketed from 24 pens and subjected to either 6 (control) or 24 h of feed withholding before marketing. Experiment 2 included 324 pigs that were marketed from 36 pens that were subjected to 6 (control), 16, or 24 h of feed withholding before marketing. In both experiments, pigs from each pen were marketed over a 14-d period in three groups, each 7 d apart. In Exp. 1, withholding feed for 24 h decreased viscera weight, carcass weight and yield, and feed intake during the 14-d marketing period compared with the control group (P < 0.05). Subjective measures of color, firmness, and marbling in fresh pork did not differ for the two treatment groups. In Exp. 2, withholding feed for 16 or 24 h decreased (P < 0.05) viscera weight compared with that of the control group. Withholding feed for 24 h decreased feed intake during the 14-d marketing period compared with intake of the control group. Withholding feed for 16 h did not decrease carcass weight, but carcass weights in the 24-h group were lower than those of the 16-h group in this Exp. 2 (P < 0.05). Color, firmness, marbling, and shear force did not differ among treatment groups in Exp. 2; however, cooking loss in pork from the control group exceeded that of the 24-h treatment. Gain:feed and ADG were not affected by treatment during the marketing period in either experiment. We conclude that withholding feed for either 16 or 24 h decreases viscera weight and feed intake during the marketing phase in finishing swine. These changes could potentially benefit both the producer and the processor with only minimal effects on carcass weight and pork quality.