Journal article

The Greater Proportion of Born-Light Progeny from Sows Mated in Summer Contributes to Increased Carcass Fatness Observed in Spring

Fan Liu, Erin M Ford, Rebecca S Morrison, Chris J Brewster, David J Henman, Robert J Smits, Weicheng Zhao, Jeremy J Cottrell, Brian J Leury, Frank R Dunshea, Alan W Bell

Animals | MDPI AG | Published : 2020


The backfat of pig carcasses is greater in spring than summer in Australia. The unexplained seasonal variation in carcass backfat creates complications for pig producers in supplying consistent lean carcasses. As a novel explanation, we hypothesised that the increased carcass fatness in spring was due to a greater percentage of born-light progeny from sows that were mated in summer and experienced hot conditions during early gestation. The first part of our experiment compared the birth weight of piglets born to the sows mated in summer (February, the Southern Hemisphere) with those born to sows mated in autumn (May; the Southern Hemisphere), and the second part of the experiment compared th..

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