Effects of feeding ractopamine hydrochloride (Paylean) to physical and immunological castrates (Improvest) in a commercial setting on growth performance and carcass characteristics

B. K. Lowe, G. D. Gerlemann, S. N. Carr, P. J. Rincker, A. L. Schroeder, D. B. Petry, F. K. McKeith, G. L. Allee, A. C. Dilger
2014 Journal of Animal Science  
Growth performance and carcass characteristics of physically castrated (PC) and immunologically castrated (IC) pigs fed ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC; 5 mg/kg) were evaluated in 64 pens of 22 pigs each. Male pigs were randomly assigned to castration method at birth. Pigs in the PC group were physically castrated at 5 d of age while IC pigs were administered Improvest at 11 and 18 wk of age. Pigs entered the growfinish barn at approximately 9 wk of age (d 0). Dietary treatments (control or RAC)
more » ... were initiated on d 87. Final treatment arrangement was a 2 × 2 factorial of castration method and diet. Data were analyzed using a mixed model with fixed effects of castration method, diet, market group, and all 2-and 3-way interactions. Pen was the experimental unit. From d 0 to 65, IC pigs had 11.2% greater (P < 0.01) G:F and 11.6% less (P < 0.01) ADFI than PC pigs, but ADG was increased 1.0% in PC pigs compared with IC pigs (P < 0.01). From d 65 to 87, IC pigs had 7.9% greater (P < 0.01) ADG and 12.1% greater (P < 0.01) G:F than PC pigs while having similar (P = 0.16) ADFI. At the initiation of diet (RAC) treatments, BW of all treatments were similar (P ≥ 0.32). From d 87 to 120 (RAC feeding period), IC pigs had 10.0% greater (P < 0.01) ADG and 10.5% greater (P < 0.01) ADFI than PC pigs while having similar (P = 0.64) G:F. Feeding RAC increased (P < 0.01) ADG by 16.9% and G:F by 17.9% while having no effect (P = 0.42) on ADFI from d 87 to 120. There were no significant interactions between castration method and diet on growth performance from d 87 to 120. For the entire study (d 0-120), IC pigs had 2.6% greater (P < 0.01) ADG, 4.6% less (P < 0.01) ADFI, and 7.3% greater (P < 0.01) G:F than PC pigs. Averaged over market groups, IC pigs were 2.5 kg heavier (P < 0.01) and had similar (P = 0.10) carcass weights and 1.8 percentage units less (P < 0.01) dressing yields than PC pigs. Additionally, IC pigs had 1.3 mm less (P < 0.01) fat and 1.7 mm less (P < 0.01) loin depth than PC pigs. Pigs fed RAC were 2.9 kg heavier (P < 0.01) and had 2.3 kg heavier (P < 0.01) carcasses and 2.2 mm deeper (P < 0.01) loins but similar (P = 0.21) dressing yields and tended (P < 0.10) to have 0.4 mm less fat than control-fed pigs when averaged over market groups. Group 3 pigs were the heaviest (P < 0.01) at slaughter and had the heaviest (P < 0.01) carcasses, greatest (P < 0.01) dressing yields, and the most (P < 0.01) carcass fat of all market groups. Overall, immunological castration and RAC were additive in terms of improving growth performance and carcass characteristics.
doi:10.2527/jas.2013-7516 pmid:25006070 fatcat:422tljc7u5bwzkgym7bkbmwphu