Immunocompetence of fattening pigs fed organic versus conventional diets in organic versus conventional housing

Sam Millet, E Cox, J Buyse, B M Goddeeris, G P J Janssens

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    The effect of organic or conventional feeding on the immune response of pigs was determined using organic or conventional housing in a pig fattening unit. The experimental design involved four pens of four animals per housing and diet combination (organic housing and organic nutrition; organic housing and conventional nutrition; conventional housing and organic nutrition and conventional housing and conventional nutrition). The IgM, IgA and IgG responses against intramuscularly injected bovine thyroglobulin were determined as indicators of the antigen-specific immune responsiveness. Some general health and welfare related parameters were evaluated by measuring haptoglobin concentrations at selected times; blood lactate concentration was measured at slaughter. Conventional housing led to a higher IgG response three weeks after the first immunisation. Organic housing led to lower haptoglobin and lactate concentrations at slaughter, indicating a higher stress resistance in these pigs. No major differences between the two feeding types were found. We conclude that the immune responses following either a conventional or an organic diet are comparable, whereas organic housing can increase stress resistance at slaughter compared to conventional housing.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftVeterinary Journal (London, England : 1997)
    Pagina's (van-tot)293-299
    Aantal pagina’s7
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2005


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