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On-line version ISSN 1678-4596
DALLA COSTA, Osmar Antonio et al. Performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality and health condition of growing and finishing pigs raised in conventional and deep litter housing systems. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2008, vol.38, n.8, pp.2307-2313. ISSN 1678-4596. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782008000800033.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of housing system on live performance, carcass characteristics, meat quality, and the sanitary condition of pigs raised in six different systems. A total of 803 MS58 x (Landrace x Large White) hybrid type pigs was used in seven subsequent lots, during the nursery and growing-finishing phases. At the nursery period, the systems evaluated were: conventional (CO), deep litter (CS), and intensive free range (SISCAL), while during the growing-finishing phase only the CO and CS systems were evaluated, being the CS system subdivided into three substrates (wheat straw, rice hulls and wood shaving). The factors considered on the statistical analysis were lot, treatment (combination of housing type used during nursery and growing-finishing phases), age (84, 105, 126, 147 e 160 days), and the interaction treatment x age. A significant effect of housing type was observed on weight gain, carcass characteristics, and weight of heart, liver, full stomach and stomach content. Animals housed on conventional treatment had higher (P<0.05) weight gain (824 vs. 779g), higher hot carcass weight (75 vs. 69kg) and higher fat thickness (18 vs. 17mm) than the ones raised on deep litter, however, these, on the other hand, presented larger (P<0.05) gut content (360 vs. 204g) and less degree of gut lesion than those of the conventional treatment, eventhough with higher sneeze prevalence. The housing system did not influence the health, however pigs housed on deep litter system during the growing-finishing phase presented lower performance and carcass values than the ones housed in the conventional housing system despite the housing system used during the nursery phase.
Keywords : carcass traits; deep litter; health condition; intensive free range; nursery; performance; meat quality; housing.