Influence of Dietary Betaine Supplementation on the Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics in Male and Female Growing-finishing Pigs

J. NAKEV1, T. POPOVA2 and V. VASILEVA2
1 Agricultural Institute, BG - 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria
2 Institute of Animal Science, BG - 2232 Kostinbrod, Bulgaria

Abstract

NAKEV, J., T. POPOVA and V. VASILEVA, 2009. Influence of dietary Betaine supplementation on the growth performance and carcass characteristics in male female growing-finishing pigs. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 15: 263-268

A study with 20 pigs (10 males and 10 females) of the genetic population Danube White x Landrace was carried out at the Agricultural Institute – Shumen. Both male and female pigs were divided in control and experimental groups. The animals from the experimental groups received a diet supplemented with betaine in amount 0.1 %. The duration of the experimental period was 32 days. After slaughter the measurements of the carcass were made as follows: hot carcass weight, back fat thickness at the last rib and between 3rd and 4th rib, thickness of m .Gluteus medius, back fat thickness over m. Gluteus medius. After 24 h storage at 4°C the big and the small length of the carcass, the size and the length of the leg, the thickness of m. Longissimus dorsi at the last rib as well as its area were measured. The lean meat percentage was calculated using a regression equation.
The growth performance of the animals from both sexes was not changed after betaine supplementation. Dietary betaine decreased the leg size in males (p<0.05) and leg length in females (p<0.01). After betaine supplementation a tendency was observed for decreased back fat thickness in the males compared to the females which corresponds to the slightly higher lean meat percentage in the former.
The results of the present study suggest that the effect of betaine on the growth performance and carcass traits in the pigs, raised in Bulgaria could be fully clarified after further investigations with different diets and betaine concentrations as well as different durations.

Key words: pigs, betaine, carcass composition

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