Low birth weight – no effect on pork quality
It has been reported that despite a low birth weight in piglets, the final
pork quality is unaffected.
Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre in Canada suggests that while
small birth weight piglets will grow slower than larger litter mates, the
quality of the meat they produce will be the same.As litter size has become
larger, average birth weight has become smaller and the number of small birth
weight piglets has been on the increase.
Hundreds of piglets
According to reports, to assess the impact of litter size and
birth weight on the eating quality of the pork, scientists at the Prairie Swine
Centre recorded the order of birth and the birth weights of about 12 hundred
The scientists monitored the piglets'
performance through to slaughter and had the meat from a representative sample
tested for eating quality. Dr Denise Beaulieu, research scientist, has stated
that work done in Germany has displayed that very small birth weight piglets
have a different kind of muscle fibre at birth. Because of this scientists
wanted to determine what effect that difference would have on the eating quality
of the pork.
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