Evaluation of growth, carcass, and compound concentrations related to boar taint in boars and barrows

JinLiang Xue, DVM, PhD; Gary D. Dial, DVM, PhD; Jan Schuiteman, DVM; Allen Kramer, PhD; Chris Fisher;William E. Marsh, PhD; Robert B. Morrison, DVM, PhD; E. James Squires, PhD

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One hundred and sixty Large White x Landrace x Duroc crossbred pigs were assigned randomly to one of two treatments, boor or barrow, to determine gender differences in growth performance, carcass traits, and tissue levels of compounds associated with sex odor. The trial started when pigs reached an average body weight of 18.5+/-0.2 kg (40.8+/-0.4 Ib).Animals were assigned by gender to four pens in the same room, with 40 animals in each pen. Body weight and backfat were measured approximately every 2 weeks. The feed consumption by each pen of pigs was recorded.Animats were allowed ad libitum access to feed and water. Pigs were slaughtered at approximately 95 kg (209 lb) body weight in four batches at weekly intervals. The first batch was killed 101 days after the onset of the experiment. Backfat and lean percent were measured by the Fat-OMeter(R). Samples of backfat and salivary gland were collected at slaughter and frozen at -20 degrees C until subsequently analyzed using colorimetric methods for skatole and 16-androstene steroids. Barrows had greater (P < 0.001) average daily gain and consumed more feed daily (P < 0.05) than boars. Boars used less feed per unit of weight gain. Barrows had more backfat (P < 0.0001) and a lower proportion of lean tissues in the carcass than boars (P < 0.001) . Concentrations of 16-androstenes in salivary glands and 5-alpha-androstenone in adipose tissue were higher (P < 0.001) in boars than in barrows. There was no difference (P > 0.5) in skatole concentrations in backfat between the two genders. Our data indicate that boors have better feed conversion, less backfat, higher lean percentage, and higher 5-alpha-androstenone and 16-androstene concentrations than barrows. Skatole levels were not affected by gender.

Keywords: boar taint, meat quality, intact males

RIS citationCite as: Xue JL, Dial GD, Schuiteman J, et al. Evaluation of growth, carcass, and compound concentrations related to boar taint in boars and barrows. J Swine Health Prod 1995;3(4):155-160.

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