Efficient solutions and better results

Efficient solutions and better results

Pig farming is constantly changing. Since its technification in the 1970s, new knowledge and technologies are constantly being added to the farm routine.

The technification of pig farming started in Europe in the 1970s (SESTI, L.A.C.; SOBESTIANSKY, 1998), through intensification of the activity by adopting management that sought efficiency in terms of producing more quantity (kg of meat) with fewer resources (space, time, labor, feed, etc.).

Obtaining an excellent productivity with continuous improvements and identifying the limiting causes for these indices to be reached became fundamental for producers and technicians linked to pig farming. Thus, indices such as feed conversion ratio (FC), daily weight gain (DWG), carcass yield (CR), absence of diseases and low mortality in all phases of production have always been considered critical in modern pig farming.

In these phases it is desired that the pig gains the maximum weight in the shortest possible time, consuming the minimum amount of feed (MORÉS; AMARAL, 2001). Accelerated weight gain means achieving slaughter weight in the shortest possible time and, in this way, the producer achieves a return on his investment in the shortest possible time (VOS; DEWEY; FRIENDSHIP, 2000).

However, quantity is no longer the only factor to consider. The quality of the meat and the way the animals are reared (and fed) became decisive factors for consumers when choosing a product in the market. All this within the legal framework of each country, which in many cases limits or prohibits the use of practices/products that could be considered unethical. In these phases it is desired that the pig gains the maximum weight in the shortest possible time, consuming the minimum amount of feed (MORÉS; AMARAL, 2001).

Meat

The consumer considers the following as indicators of pork quality: appearance, color, smell, taste, tenderness, amount of fat, etc. Pigs accumulate fat under the skin in the dorsal region. This deposition expressed in millimeters of thickness is a criterion to differentiate carcasses as lean or fatty. The market demands leaner carcasses with less back fat. To achieve this, Ractopamine, a β-adrenergic that reverses the rate of fat and muscle deposition in pigs close to slaughter, was used for a long time, resulting in less fat deposition at this stage and greater availability of nutrients for muscle formation. However, the use of this molecule is currently banned in the European market and the industry is looking for alternatives to its use.

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