28 June 2002

Exploding growth myth

AIMING for maximum growth rates in pigs does not always produce excess fat levels in the finished animal, according SCAs Mike Varley.

"It was previously thought that fast-growing pigs lay down more fat than those which develop more slowly. But we found that faster-growing animals had a slightly better muscle depth.

"SCA trials also confirmed that a growth check at weaning, or at any other stage, can delay slaughter by up to 40 days in extreme cases." He believes each extra 10 days to slaughter could cost the producer more than £5/pig. &#42