The effect of breed and diet on growth performance, carcass, physical and chemical composition were determined for two South African indigenous pig breeds (Kolbroek, n = 12 and Windsnyer, n = 12). The Kolbroek (KB) pigs grew faster than the Windsnyer (WS) pigs, but the African pigs had a better Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) than the KB pigs. As could be expected, the warm and cold carcasses of the KB pigs weighed more than that of the African pigs. The KB pigs with an ad lib diet had a higher carcass weight than the KB pigs receiving it at approximately 60% ad lib, while diets had no effect on the carcass weight of the African pigs. The KB pigs had a higher dressing percentage than the African pigs. Within a breed, the pigs receiving an ad lib diet also had a significantly higher dressing percentage than their contemporaries receiving a diet at a restricted level. When the commercial cuts were expressed as a percentage of cold carcass weight, the African pigs were significantly heavier in their legs and shoulders, while the KB pigs carried more weight in their bellies and especially their backs. There was little difference in the colour parameters of the fresh meat between the KB and African pigs. These two indigenous pig breeds had an influence on the ultimate pH of the meat, with a significantly lower pH24 for both the shoulder and back from the KB pigs compared to that of the African pigs. The moisture, fat and protein content were only influenced by the African pigs with a higher fat, but lower protein and moisture content for the African pigs with an ad lib diet (WSAL) compared to that of the African pigs receiving a restricted diet (WSRES). Breeds and diets had a substantial influence on the fatty acid composition of the meat. A significantly higher Na content was found for the KB pigs compared to that of the African pigs. Furthermore, the KB pigs with an ad lib diet (KBAL) had a significantly higher Mg, P and Zn content compared to the KB pigs receiving a restricted diet (KBRES). Only Zn differed for the African pigs with a significantly higher Zn content for the WSAL compared to that of the WSRES. It can be expected that the pigs receiving a diet at a restricted level (60% ad lib) will be more suitable to produce leaner meat as characterised by their lower fat content compared to pigs at diets ad lib.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher