Influence of reduced dietary protein level on quality of pork carcasses in Windsnyer pigs

Author: V. A. Hlatini, C. N. Ncobela, and M. Chimonyo
Year: 2022
Issue: 6
Volume: 52
Page: 731 - 742

To promote the sustainable production of local pigs, their dietary protein requirements need to be determined. Meat production from these pigs when fed on appropriate diets, coupled with their adaptability to climatic extremes and disease and parasite challenges, could be of huge benefit to the pork industry. The objective of the study was to determine the carcass traits, primary pork cuts, and internal organ weights of pigs fed decreasing dietary protein levels. Thirty, slow-growing, Windsnyer male pigs were randomly allocated to six dietary treatments in a complete randomized design. There were five replications for each of the six treatments. Dietary crude protein levels in the six experimental diets were 193, 174, 154, 135, 116, and 97 g/kg, respectively. The diets were formulated to contain similar net energy levels of ~9.5 MJ/kg. Lysine, methionine, threonine, and tryptophan levels were the same for all diets. A two week adaptation was followed by an 8w feeding phase. At slaughter, pigs had an average weight of ~39.13±0.85 kg. Pigs were humanely slaughtered at the end of feeding period to determine carcass characteristics, primary pork cuts, and internal organ size. A negative linear relationship was observed between protein levels and cooler shrink. There was a positive linear relationship between protein level and dressing percentage, cooler shrink, and shoulder fat. There was a quadratic relationship between dietary protein level and shoulder fat, ham diameter, P2(3) backfat depth, and kidney weight. The thickness of dorsal fat at the last rib, the thickness of back fat, and the width of back fat at P2(2) increased linearly as protein level decreased. The reduction in dietary protein level had an influence on carcass traits, primal pork cuts, and internal organs in slow-growing Windsnyer pigs. A reduction in dietary protein level below 116 g/kg compromised ham diameter, P2(3) width of back fat thickness, shoulder fat, and kidney weight.

Keywords: back fat, dressing percentage, ham diameter, ideal protein level, kidney weight
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