Journal article Open Access

The Ribatejano pig: Rebirth of a local population? First results on growth, and carcass parameters

Martins, JM; Neves, J; Serrano, A; Abecassis, I; Albuquerque, A; Freitas, A; Nunes, JT; Charneca, R

In order to assess the productive performance of the Ribatejano (RI) pig, resulting from a cross between Alentejano (AL) and Bísaro (BI) breeds, castrated male pigs AL, BI, ALxBI and BIxAL were studied within the framework of the TREASURE project. Ten pigs from each genotype, raised in traditional free-range system and fed commercial diets ad libitum, were slaughtered at ~65 kg live weight (LW). Data obtained show that BI, ALxBI and BIxAL attained slaughter weight faster (P<0.001) than AL pigs. Overall, carcass length (P<0.001), carcass yield (P=0.06), and lean cuts weight (P<0.01) were higher in BI than AL pigs, with intermediate values for both crosses. Conversely, fat cuts weight, ZP fat depth (P<0.01) and average backfat thickness (P<0.001) were higher in AL than in BI, and ALxBI and BIxAL pigs. At 65kg LW, RI crosses presented intermediate characteristics between fatter (AL) and leaner (BI) genotypes. This cross could therefore be an alternative to the use of other (modern) breeds for crossing, helping to increase the revenue of autochthonous pig producers, and also maintain or increase the pure breed populations, contributing to animal biodiversity.

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