How to raise entire males and immunocastrates in practice

Marijke Aluwé, Dirk Fremaut, Frank Tuyttens, Isabelle Degezelle, Sam Millet

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePublished abstract

    Abstract

    Since 2009, several Belgian retailers decided to sell meat from entire male pigs and immunocastrates. This created market opportunities for some farmers to shift towards these production systems, as these farmers were no longer penalized for delivering non-castrated boars. At present, about 11% of the male pigs are no longer surgically castrated in Belgium, i.e. 3% are kept entire, and 8% are immunocastrated. Little is known about the practical experiences with these alternatives, the difficulties when shifting towards entire males/immunocastrates, but also the benefits.The first aim of this study is, therefore, to interview these early adopter farmers and to learn about their experiences. A second aim is to evaluate management strategies to reduce behavioral problems, or to optimize performance and carcass results.This will be done in a follow-up study on 8 selected farms which raise either immunocastrates or entire male pigs and experience difficulties. In addition, two trials will be performed on experimental farms. The first trail will focus on optimization of the timing of the second vaccination in terms of the performances and carcass traits of immunocastrates. The second experiment will focus on different feed supply strategies in order to reduce behavioral problems and stimulate feed intake in entire male pigs.
    The final goals are 1) to create expertise on how to raise and adapt management of entire males and immunocastrates in order to optimise animal welfare, performances and carcass traits, and 2) to stimulate knowledge transfer between farmers that already stopped castrating and those that will have to stop in 2018.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 3-Dec-2013
    EventMeeting of the “EAAP Working Group on Production and Utilisation of Meat from Entire Male Pigs” - Girona, Spain
    Duration: 2-Dec-20133-Dec-2013
    http://www.irta.cat/en-US/RIT/Noticies/Pages/Workshops_boartaint.aspx

    Conference

    ConferenceMeeting of the “EAAP Working Group on Production and Utilisation of Meat from Entire Male Pigs”
    CountrySpain
    CityGirona
    Period2/12/133/12/13
    Internet address

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