Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2017, 65, 119-123
Published online 2017-02-28

Effect of Birth Weight of Piglets on Their Growth Ability, Carcass Traits and Meat Quality

Pavel Nevrkla1, Eva Václavková2, Zdeněk Hadaš1, Vendula Kamanová1

1Department of Animal Breeding, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Department of Pig Breeding, Institute of Animal Science, Komenského 1239, 517 41 Kostelec nad Orlicí, Czech Republic

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of birth weight on growth performance and carcass quality. Data were collected from 80 crossbred piglets. Individual body weight was measured at birth, at the age of 21, 28 and 38 days, 4 weeks before slaughter, 2 weeks before slaughter and one day before slaughter. Average daily weight gains in separate intervals were calculated. Fattening period was finished at the same day for all pigs. Lean meat percentage and pH1 value were measured after slaughter, drip loss and intramuscular fat content were analysed in laboratory. Data were divided into 4 groups according to the birth weight of piglets (I: less than 1000 g, II: 1001 – 1200 g, III: 1201 – 1500 g, IV: 1501 g and more). Increased birth weight resulted in increased daily weight gain from birth to weaning (28 days), after weaning and also from birth to slaughter (P ≤ 0.05, P ≤ 0.01). The high daily weight gain in group IV enabled pigs to reach the slaughter weight one month earlier than pigs from group II. The lowest lean meat content (52.74 ± 2.82 %) was found in group IV. This is connected with high slaughter weight (132.50 ± 7.27 kg). Intramuscular fat content, pH1 value and drip loss were not affected by birth weight of piglets.


This study was supported by the project of MENDELU internal grant agency, Faculty of AgriSciences No. TP 1/2016 and the NAZV Project No. QJ1210253 of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.


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