GROWTH, LINEAR BODY MEASUREMENTS, CARCASS CHARACTERISTICS AND HAEMATOLOGY OF THE NIGERIAN INDIGENOUS AND LARGE WHITE PIGS

AUTHOR: ALADI, NNANYERE OKWUNNA (MSc)

DEPARTMENT: ANIMAL SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY

AFFILIATION: FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY OWERRI

The reproductive, growth, carcass characteristics, meat quality and hematological attributes of Large White (LW) , Nigerian Indigenous (NI) and crossbred (LW x NI) pigs were compared across various ages.  A total of 51 pigs were used in the study, which comprised 22 NI (12 males and 10 females), 20 LW (10 males and 10 females) and 9 LW x NI crossbred pigs (3 males and 6 females).  The three breeds were managed in a similar fashion and slaughtered at 34 weeks of age.  Significant differences were observed in reproductive performance.  The LW pigs had higher (P < 0.5) birth weight than the NI pigs (1.3 kg versus 0.8 kg) and had longer gestation period (116.0 days versus 111.7 days). There were significant differences (P < 0.01) in live weight, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and Feed Conversion ratio (FCR) among the NI, LW and LW x NI (F1) crossbred pigs. At similar live weights, LW pigs were significantly (P < 0.01) younger and higher in ADG, ADF1 and FCR than the other breeds. Differences in linear body measurement were more significant with increasing age and were highly correlated with live weight in all the three breeds (r > 0.7). The best singular predictor of the pig’s live weight was found to be the neck circumference (r2 = 0.9437) and the inclusion of multiple predictors was found to be unnecessary.  The carcass of NI male pigs yielded significantly (P < 0.05) higher percent lean (53.3 % versus 40.0 %), higher four lean cuts (57.7 % versus 55.0 %), higher percent shoulder (20.1 % versus 17.6 %) but lower dressing percentage (64.6 % versus 69.2 %) than in the LW male pigs. No significant differences were found in haematogical parameters (P > 0.05).  Haematological values were within the ranges generally accepted as reference values for healthy pigs.

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