Ecoswine - an interdisciplinary research programme
Nutrition, health and meat quality
Project coordinator: Kjell Andersson, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, SLU.
Current breed evaluations are based on records from conventional production. This project is studying the interaction between genotype and environment (organic or conventional) with the help of field data from 6-7 organic herds. The ranking of breed boars on the basis of the growth and conformation of approx. 3000 offspring on these farms is being compared with the ranking given by their breeding score. The variation between boars in proportion of joint inflammations in offspring is also being studied. In addition, reproductive characteristics in approx. 120 sows in organic production are being compared with the results from their sisters in conventional production.
Nutrition, health and meat quality in organic pigmeat production. An important component of organic pig production is that the needs of the animal for natural behaviour patterns are supplied. Here, feed seeking and grubbing fulfil an important function. Food is thus not simply about nutrients. The influence of different crude forage sources on production, post-slaughter carcase characteristics and pig behaviour is being investigated in a field study in collaboration with slaughter pig producers. To improve our knowledge on the incidence of parasites and infections in organic slaughter pig production, the health status of the animals is being monitored through regular sampling of dung and blood.
The programme also has a grant from Formas for research at the Lövsta and Odarslöv Experimental Stations.
Results and publications
2007. Organic growing-finishing pig production. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Department of Agricultural Biosystems and Technology. Report 146-149. Alnarp Sweden (in Swedish with English summaries). Final reports 2007.