Document Detail

Effects of regular moving and handling on the behavioral and physiological responses of pigs to preslaughter treatment and consequences for subsequent meat quality.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9734857     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The effects of regular moving and handling during the finishing period on behavioral and physiological responses of pigs during preslaughter treatment and consequences for meat quality were studied. From the age of 10 wk onward, 144 pigs were housed in groups of four (two gilts and two castrates) and subjected to one of the following treatments. The Environment treatment allowed pigs to move freely for 8 min outside their home pen. Then the pigs were transported in a box for 2 min, and after which they were returned to their home pen. In the Handling treatment, an experimenter remained for 3 min in the pen, and whenever a pig made contact, it was gently stroked. The experimenter then walked for an additional 1 min, without attempting to pat or stroke any pigs but subsequently held each pig in a tight grip for about 5 s. This entire procedure was then repeated. A Control treatment was also included, in which the pigs were subjected to no treatment. The Environment and Handling treatments were applied twice a week at the age of 15, 17, 19, 21, and 23 wk. At 25 wk of age, pigs were transported to the abattoir. They were held unmixed in the truck and in lairage and were manually stunned. The stockmen needed significantly less time to move Environment pigs out of their pen and into the transport box. There were no differences between treatments in salivary cortisol concentrations before or after transport. Environment and Handling pigs had paler meat than Control pigs. Glycogen content at 1 h after death and water-holding capacity were lower in Environment pigs than in Control pigs, but this did not lead to a higher incidence of PSE meat. We conclude that the pigs that had experience with leaving their home pen and some of the transport conditions were much easier to handle at loading. Pigs that are easier to move are less likely to be subjected to rough handling, which implies improved welfare, and the workload for personnel at the time of marketing is reduced. Differences in meat quality due to treatment were slight.
N A Geverink; A Kappers; J A van de Burgwal; E Lambooij; H J Blokhuis; V M Wiegant
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  76     ISSN:  0021-8812     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  1998 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-10-06     Completed Date:  1998-10-06     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2080-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
DLO-Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-DLO), Lelystad, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Abattoirs / standards*
Behavior, Animal*
Biopsy, Needle / veterinary
Glycogen / analysis
Handling (Psychology)*
Hydrocortisone / analysis
Meat / standards*
Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
Saliva / chemistry
Swine / physiology*,  psychology
Reg. No./Substance:
50-23-7/Hydrocortisone; 9005-79-2/Glycogen

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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