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Ciência Rural

Print version ISSN 0103-8478

Abstract

DALLA COSTA, Osmar Antonio et al. Fasting time at farm on hormonal status and physiological parameters of heavy-weight slaughter pigs. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2008, vol.38, n.8, pp. 2300-2306. ISSN 0103-8478.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782008000800032.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of fasting time on the farm (TJG) and the position of the animals on truck compartment during transport to slaughterhouse in the hormonal and physiological status of heavy-weight swine in order to obtain future management improvements and to reduce meat quality downgrades. Sixty-four females obtained from two farms and averaging 133+11kg body weight were used. Fasting time evaluated on farms were 9, 12, 15 and 18 h while the positions considered in the truck were Box (front, middle, and back), Deck (under and upper level) e Side (right and left). Swine blood concentration of glucose, lactate and CPK were evaluated at slaughter. Cortisol concentration on saliva (CCS) was evaluated on the farm (24 hours before uploading and after loading) and at slaughterhouse (after downloading and before slaughter). Hearth frequency was continuously evaluated during pre-slaughter management. Interaction between TJG and moment of salivary cortisol sampling and heart rate data recording were observed. CCS and heart rate values increased from farm to truck downloading at slaughterhouse, while pre-slaughter resting reduced (P<0.05) the values. The CCS values ranged in a gradient fashion in function of TJG and moment of salivary cortisol sampling in the following manner: pigs submitted to 18 hours of fasting showed smallest changes (P<0.05) of CCS during the pre-slaughter management when compared with CCS of pigs submitted to lower fasting times and, between those, the animals with 9 hours of fasting showed the greatest (P<0.05) variations. Before slaughter swine submitted to 9 hours of fasting at farm presented the highest values (P<0.05) of CCS when compared with the other fasting times evaluated. It is concluded that pre-slaughter management conditions affect (P<0.05) the salivary cortisol levels and heart rate but the evaluated TJG had no effects (P>0.05) on glucose, lactate and CPK levels at slaughter time.

Keywords : animal welfare; creatine phospho-kinase; heart rate; salivary cortisol.

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