Christopher Mulindwa – 9th.02.2021
The weight of pigs after slaughter is also known as the Killing out percentage (KO%). This is the difference between live and carcass weight of a pig. It is the weight paid for after a pig is slaughtered.
In modern pig farming, pigs are grown to a weight of atleast 100 kilograms in between 0 and 24 weeks of age. When the pigs are taken to the abattoir, part of the weight is lost as:
– Blood
– Hair
– Hooves
– Head &
– Internal organs
The weight of a pig carcass after all the above parts are removed is its killing out percentage (KO%). The pig carcass weight is largely determined by:
πŸ‘‰ Genetics &
πŸ‘‰ Nutrition
The physical size of a pig may not necessarily translate into a heavy carcass. It is the abundance of meat build up in a pig that determines its carcass weight. This is majorly influenced by genetics. The genetic abilities of some pigs to grow heavy muscle is very high and it is lower in others.
The commercial value of a pig after slaughter is dependent on the boar siring it, with only 25% influence by each of the constituents of hybrid sows incase F1s are used. The boar contributes 50% of the genetics for a slaughter pig. Therefore the boar used determines:
πŸ‘‰ Time to market (Quick growth)
πŸ‘‰ Cost of feeding (High Feed Conversion Ratio).
πŸ‘‰ Carcass quality (Marbling, level of fat, quantity of muscle etc).
A pig that will produce a heavy carcass on slaughter can be assessed by looking at its:
πŸ‘‰ Hide development (The thighs must look heavy and meaty).
πŸ‘‰ Back development (Should look flat and meaty).
πŸ‘‰ Hams (Should look heavy and meaty).
The abilities of a good car cannot be exploited if not fueled. Likewise, the potential of good genetics cannot be exploited without good nutrition.
Proper pig nutrition is a phased feeding process from creeping to finishing using scientifically correct formulas and feed ingredients. The ability of a pig to grow muscle reduces with increasing age and almost starts depreciating at 24 weeks of age while the ability of a pig to grow fat increases with increasing age! Therefore the formula used to mix feeds for pigs grown for slaughter must put this into consideration.
This is why the Nuscience concetrates (Pig 25% and 5%) formulas are a very resourceful asset to every pig farmer growing pigs for slaughter. When these formulas are correctly used, the genetic potential of the pig can be fully exploited resulting into a high commercial value carcass.
Other factors that may influence carcass value includes:
πŸ‘‰ Health. Diseases such as Diarrhea decreases the ability of the pig to put on weight and it increases the amount of feeds required to grow a pig to slaughter weight. Circovirus too leads to wasting syndrome. Fortunately, vaccines to guard mainly your piglets against diarrhea and Circovirus are available. Sometimes diarrhea is a result of poor management. This too can be corrected!
πŸ‘‰ Management. Absence of feeds in the trough, water, feed wastage, poor biosecurity and disease management may all result into poor carcass yields at slaughter.
πŸ‘‰ Market. Some slaughtering methods are detrimental to KO% therefore lower commercial carcass value. Practices such as cutting limbs from the thigh, cutting the head from shoulders, over trimming the belly, excessive trimming of the tail including withholding offal without pay should be resisted. Sale to markets that consider prime pigs slaughtering methods.
Quality nutrition is very important for the success of every pig farming business. Making feeds on your farm using Nuscience’s nutritional solutions will help you cut feeding costs while availing quality feeds to your pigs. Use the pig 25% concetrate where access to quality Soycake and Sunflower is difficult or the pig 5% concetrate where you have access to quality Soycake and Sunflower.