- news, features, articles and disease information for the swine industry

Garth Pig Stockmanship Standards

Factors Affecting Meat Yield

Section: Stockmanship Standards

Factors Affecting Meat Yield

Factors Affecting Meat Yield
1 The Breeding Programme
The single most important reason why insufficient quantities of meat are sold per week, per sq. metre of finishing floor relate to insufficient sows/gilts being served some 9 months previously
Correct for known times of reduced farrowing rate or litter size must be accommodated by the breeding of more females
2 Growth Rate and Feed Intake
Any factor which will reduce the feed intake or growth rate will reduce the farm yield. These include overstocking, poor feed troughs, marginal water supplies, poor temperature controls, poor air quality
Single-sex feeding
3 Contact with the Abattoir/Abattoirs Major Customers
Close liaison with abattoir. Determine exactly what type of meat they require
The UK industry has less than 10 major customers. Determine what they want
Consider the use thirst-making feeds at end of the finishing period
4 The Correct Weight
Supplying pigs that are less variable in the slaughterhouse, this may require twice-weekly shipping
Shipping closer to the maximum permitted weight
The relative cost of up to 5% overweight, as compared with 5% underweight
A higher weight contract, however, ensure that the contract then does not become attractive to other suppliers, a real possibility if we go too heavy in the UK
The use of a weigh scale regularly
Failure to check the weigh scale at least monthly with standardised weights, not your own, variable weight
5 The Wrong Conformation and Lean Tissue Content, P2 Measurement
Require that the genetic make up matches customers demands
Use of correct meat-type sires
The correct matching of feed to genetic potential
The correct environment to allow fulfilment of genetic potential
Taking advantage of any premium markets, i.e. welfare contract note requirements of piglet processing/housing
6 Slaughtering
A short journey time to slaughterhouse
A stress free as possible journey, note stocking density, quality of roads (including your own drive), journey plan
A known slaughter time
The provision of lairage water available both for drinking and cooling
Prompt killing
The last feed 12 hours before killing
7 Post-Weaning Disease
Effective health maintenance programmes
Attention to suppressing 'nutritional' scours post-weaning
Effective and prompt treatment of compromised pigs to reduce chronic ill thrift pigs, which may end up condemned anyway.
Moving the average dead weight by 1 kg (say 68 to 69 kg) is worth 2300 kg per 100 sows doing 23 pigs per sow per year

What is the P2 Measurement?

P1, P2 and P3 taken level with the head of the last rib.
Rib fat taken 6 cm from the dorsal mid-line between the 3rd and 4th last rib.

The P1 measurement is taken 4.5 cm from midline

The P3 measurement is taken 8.0 cm from midline

The P2 measurement is taken 6.5 cm from midline
The Lean meat percentage and EU grades

S    60% or more
E    55 - 59%
U    50 - 54%
R    45 - 49%
O    40 - 44%
P    Less than 40%

Buy Pig Stockmanship Standards Extracted from Garth Pig Stockmanship Standards*
written by Dr John Carr.

You can buy this book HERE
*Published by 5M Enterprises Limited

Share This

Our Sponsors


Seasonal Picks

Animal Welfare Science, Husbandry and Ethics: The Evolving Story of Our Relationship with Farm Animals - 5m Books