Effects of Stocking Density and Transportation Time of Market Pigs on Their Behaviour, Plasma Concentrations of Glucose and Stress-associated Enzymes and Carcass Quality

Kim, D.H.;Woo, J.H.;Lee, C.Y.

  • Received : 2003.06.20
  • Accepted : 2003.10.23
  • Published : 2004.01.01


It is known that the transportation stress of market pigs can affect their carcass quality and that blood concentrations of glucose, creatine kinase (CK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are indicators of the transportation stress. Fifty-seven gilts and 57 barrows weighing approximately 110 kg were randomly assigned into six groups in a 3 [high (0.31 $m^2/100$ kg BW)-, medium (0.35 $m^2$)- and low (0.39 $m^2$)-stocking densities]${\times}2$[1 h vs. 3 h transportation time] arrangement of treatments. Blood samples were taken during transportation and after 2 h lairage. The percentage of "standing" animals during transportation was less in the low- than in the mediumor high-stocking density; the opposite was true for the "sitting" posture. Plasma concentrations of glucose, CK and LDH increased after loading and declined to the resting levels after lairage. Concentrations of CK and LDH were greater in the 3 h vs. 1 h transportation group. Moreover, the LDH concentration was less in the low- than in the medium- or high-density group. Also detected was a significant interaction between the stocking density and transportation time in all of these blood variables. The incidence of pale, soft and exudative (PSE) carcass was greatest in the high-stocking density group. Interestingly, the PSE incidence increased following the 3 h vs. 1 h transportation at the low-density, but not at the medium-density. Results suggest that the medium-density may be preferable to the lowdensity in the long-distance transportation.




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