The Effects of immunocastration on male pig yield parameters and meat quality
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of immunocastration on pork meat and carcass quality, compared to meat from surgically castrated males and entire males. Ninety (Duroc x Pietrain) x (Landrace x Yorkshire) crossbred pigs were assigned to three experimental groups: surgically castrated males (barrows; castrated up to the seventh day of age), entire males (males), and vaccinated males (immunocastrates). Carcass and meat quality characteristics such as weight of hot and chilled carcass, meat yield, chilling loss and chemical parameters were examined. Surgically castrated pigs had significantly lower (p<0.01; p<0.05) weight before slaughter, than males and immunocastrates, and also lower (p<0.01) warm carcass weight than males. The average carcass meatiness of castrates was significantly lower (p<0.01) than the average meatiness of males and immunocastrates. Chilling loss of barrows was significantly lower (p<0.01) than chilling loss of males or immunocastrates. It was also found that the chilling loss of immunocastrates was significantly lower (p<0.05) than chilling loss of males. According to the results obtained, it can be concluded that immunocastration could be a good alternative to surgical castration considering meat and carcass quality characteristics.