• The effect of dietary garlic and rosemary on grower-finisher pig performance and sensory characteristics of pork

      Cullen, S.P.; Monahan, Frank J; Callan, J.J.; O'Doherty, John V. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2005)
      The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of inclusion of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and garlic (Allium sativum) in pig diets on apparent nutrient digestibility, pig performance, carcass characteristics and on sensory characteristics of the pork. Seventy individually-fed grower-finisher pigs (42 kg live weight) were offered one of the following diets ad-libitum: (1) control diet (based on wheat, pollard and soyabean meal), (2) control diet supplemented with rosemary at 1 g/kg (low rosemary; LR), (3) control diet supplemented with rosemary at 10 g/kg (high rosemary; HR), (4) control diet supplemented with garlic at 1 g/kg (low garlic; LG) and (5) control diet supplemented with garlic at 10 g/kg (high garlic; HG). Pigs offered diets with garlic had a lower feed intake (P < 0.01) and lower digestible energy intake (P < 0.05) compared to the pigs offered the control or rosemary diets during the grower-finisher period. Pigs offered the LG and HG diets had a better (P < 0.05) food conversion ratio (FCR) than the pigs offered the control or rosemary diets. Digestibility of dry matter and organic matter were lower (P < 0.05) for the HG diet than the LG diet. Gross energy digestibility and digestible energy concentration were lower for the HR than the LR diet. Sensory panellists found a significant difference (P < 0.001) in the sensory properties of cooked muscle from the control and HG treatments. In conclusion, the addition of garlic to the diets of grower-finisher pigs reduced feed intake and improved FCR while the addition of rosemary had no beneficial effects on growth performance or carcass characteristics.
    • The effect of floor type in farrowing crates on piglet welfare

      Lewis, Eva; Boyle, Laura; O'Doherty, John V.; Brophy, P.; Lynch, P Brendan; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2005)
      The effect on piglet welfare of different combinations of flooring in the sow and piglet areas of farrowing crates was examined. One hundred and three multiparous sows were housed, from one week pre-farrowing through farrowing and lactation to weaning, in farrowing crates with one of five flooring combinations: SS – slatted steel in both the sow and piglet areas of the crate; SP – slatted steel sow flooring and plasticcoated expanded metal for the piglets; AP – slatted steel (with a checker-plate panel)sow flooring and plastic-coated expanded metal for the piglets; CP – expanded cast iron sow flooring and plastic-coated expanded metal for the piglets; PP – plastic-coated woven wire sow flooring and plastic-coated expanded metal for the piglets. The number of litters assigned to SS, SP, AP, CP and PP were 27, 23, 17, 18 and 18, respectively. All piglet areas had a water-heated pad. Piglets were examined for lesions, scored from zero to three according to severity, at six locations on each foot and at seven locations on each limb during the suckling period. Addition of scores at each location yielded a foot and limb lesion score. In addition, the proportion of piglets in a litter affected by at least one injury was calculated for each of the following: the carpal joints, coronets, accessory digits, footpads. Piglet behaviour was recorded for 2 h, between 1330 and 1630, at 24 h after birth. Litters were weighed at birth and at weaning, and all deaths were recorded during the suckling period. SS litters had higher foot and limb lesion scores (P < 0.001). In addition, a greater proportion of piglets in SS litters were affected by at least one injury to the carpal joint, coronet, accessory digit and footpad (P < 0.001). SP piglets were active on the heatpad in more observations than AP piglets (P < 0.05). PP piglets were inactive in other areas of the pen in more observations than SS piglets (P < 0.05). There was no effect of treatment on piglet weight gain or mortality. It is concluded that the use of slatted steel in piglet areas of farrowing crates cannot be recommended because of injuries to piglets’ feet and limbs. The combination of slatted steel in the sow area and plastic-coated expanded metal in the piglet area encourages use of the heatpad. However, use of plastic-coated woven wire in the sow area encourages piglets to use this area which puts them in danger of being overlaid by the sow.
    • Post-weaning performance and carcass characteristics of steer progency from different suckler cow breed types

      Drennan, Michael J; McGee, Mark; Keane, Michael G. (Teagasc (Agriculture and Food Development Authority), Ireland, 2005-04)
      In two experiments a total of 44 steer progeny of spring-calving Charolais (C) and Hereford × Friesian (HF) suckler cows and C sires were slaughtered at approximately 2 years of age. Following weaning they were offered silage and 1 kg of concentrate per head daily during a 5 month winter after which they spent 7 months at pasture. In Experiment 1, animals were given a silage/concentrate diet during a finishing period of either 95 or 152 days. In Experiment 2, steers were offered either a daily diet of silage plus 6 kg of concentrates or concentrates to appetite plus 5 kg of silage (fresh weight) during the final 140-day finishing period. Following slaughter, an 8-rib pistola from each animal was dissected. For the two experiments combined C and HF progeny had carcass weights of 372 and 385 (s.e. 6.1) kg, proportions of carcass as pistola of 467 and 454 (s.e. 2.8) g/kg and pistola meat proportions of 676 and 642 (s.e. 5.1) g/kg, respectively. All fat traits were lower for the C than HF progeny but there was no difference in carcass conformation score. Increasing slaughter weight increased carcass weight (P < 0.001), kidney plus channel fat weight (P < 0.001), and pistola fat proportion (P < 0.001) and decreased the proportions of carcass as pistola (P < 0.05), pistola meat (P < 0.01), and bone (P < 0.05). In conclusion, breed type had no effect on carcass growth but the C progeny had higher meat yield than the HF. Increasing slaughter weight increased fatness and reduced meat yield.