The Effects of Genotype, Chromium Picolinate Supplementation, Sex, and Their Interactions on Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics, and Muscle Quality in Pigs

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Virginia Tech

Two trials (n = 160) were conducted to evaluate the effects of the halothane gene, chromium picolinate supplementation, and sex on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and meat quality in pigs. Halothane negative (NN) and halothane carrier (Nn) pigs (barrows, gilts) were supplemented with either 0 or 200 ppb chromium picolinate from 28.7 to 107.3 kg. There were no differences between genotypes for ADG or G/F. Chromium had no significant effect on any growth, carcass, or muscle quality characteristics, although chromium-fed pigs were slightly fatter.

Barrows gained faster (P < .001) and consumed more feed (P < .001) than gilts, yielding heavier (P < .001) carcasses, and heavier (P < .05) wholesale cuts. Gilts had less backfat (P < .001) and larger (P < .01) LMA, and tended to gain more efficiently than barrows.

Carrier pigs had lower pH values, higher CIE L* values, higher drip loss, and lower protein solubility (P < .05), all indicators of decreased quality. Chromium supplementation resulted in pork with higher (P<.05) CIE a*, CIE b*, and Chroma C values. Halothane carrier barrows and all gilts that were not fed chromium had lower lipid muscle content than NN barrows (P < .05).

Gilts had higher CIE L* and a* values (P < .001), less lipid, and higher moisture percentage (P < .02) than barrows. Chromium picolinate did not negatively affect pork muscle quality.

Pigs, Pork Quality, Halothane, Chromium Picolin, Sex