Low birth weight - no effect on pork quality
It has been reported that despite a low birth weight in piglets, the final
pork quality in 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 monitored
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
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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