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Effect of faecal soiling on skatole and androstenone occurence in organic entire male pigs

Thomsen, Rikke; Edward, Sandra E.; Jensen, Bent Borg; Rousing, Tine and Sørensen, Jan Tind (2015) Effect of faecal soiling on skatole and androstenone occurence in organic entire male pigs. Animal, 9 (9), pp. 1587-1596.

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Production of entire male pigs could be a future strategy for organic pig production.
However, production of entire males leads to increased risk of carcasses with elevated boar taint levels. It is hypothesized that skatole levels in pig meat are affected by soiling with manure and that organic housing facilities can increase the risk of pigs being heavily soiled. Therefore the overall aim of this study was to investigate if increased pig and pen soiling increases skatole concentration in entire male pigs. In 5 herds, 1174 organic entire male pigs were reared in four batches across two seasons, summer and winter. Measurements of pig and pen soiling, as well as fat skatole and androstenone concentration and human sensory tests of fat odour, were performed. Skatole and androstenone concentrations varied greatly within and between herds with a 10 and 90% percentile for the overall population of 0.02 and 2.25 µg/g for skatole and 0.53 and 4.84 µg/g for androstenone. Human nose positive tests averaged 18.3% with great variation between herds and seasons. Pen soiling had significant effects on pig soiling. Moreover, outdoor pen soiling significantly affected skatole concentration in interactions with herd and season (P<0.001 and P=0.003) and affected human nose positive risk in interaction with herd (P=0.005).Soiling on indoor pen areas did not affect skatole levels and no effect on androstenone was found for any pen area. Soiling of pigs affected both skatole and androstenone levels, with the size of the head and abdomen body areas covered in manure showing significant positive effects on skatole concentration. No effect of density of the manure layer was found on either boar taint measure. Herd significantly affected both skatole and androstenone in fat as well as the human nose positive risk. The human nose test revealed no effect from pig soiling. A large variation in the different boar taint measures was found for both high and low scores of pen and pig soiling, and only a small difference in skatole and androstenone concentrations between the high and low soiling categories was found. Therefore, while increasing the hygiene management could be a strategy for reducing boar taint in production of organic entire male pigs, it should be emphasized that other factors would also need to be considered.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Poultry
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > NO-CAST
Deposited By: Madsen, Academic employee Mette Graves
ID Code:28044
Deposited On:12 Jan 2015 11:19
Last Modified:21 Sep 2015 06:32
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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