Secretariat

Annette Pontillo
Institute of Organic Farming

Trenthorst 32
23847 Westerau
Phone: +49 4539 8880 0
Fax: +49 4539 8880 120
annette.pontillo@thuenen.de ol@thuenen.de



Kontrollstellennr.: DE-ÖKO-006


Alternatives to castration

Project

 (c) Thünen-Institut/Kathrin Höinghaus

Investigation on the exemplary implementation of a sustainable production of entire males under organic production procedures along the production, the slaughtering, the processing and the marketing chain

The acceptance of piglet castration is declining. Therefore, boar fattening could be an alternative. But the problems of boar taint are still not finally resolved.

Background and Objective

Entire male pig fattening or boar fattening is related with the occurrence of boar taint which smells of urine and sweat for sensitive persons. The main components are androstenone and skatole. Castration is the best way to avoid boar taint. The absence of testis prevents from androstenone synthesis and promotes skatole reduction in the liver. But castration – even under anaesthesia and analgesia – increasingly forfeits its social acceptance.

The aim of the project was to promote a risk-minimized organic boar fattening by producing recommendations for producers how to minimize the rate of carcasses with boar taint.

Approach

The whole project, which is a national joint project funded by BÖLN and with the project partners Giessen University, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, University of Göttingen and Thünen Institute of Organic Farming, is conducted in three stages.

The following aspects have been the responsibility of Thünen Institute of Organic Farming:

In stage 1, the effect of two different genotypes and a supplementary feed component in the final fattening period on animal performance and occurence of boar taint was tested.

In stage 2, the effect of the source of roughage was tested in an experiment with only one genotype, but two types pf roughage.

In stage 3, the potential of a novel vaccination scheme against boar taint was evaluated under the circumstances of organic pig husbandry.

Data and Methods

In phase 1 (2012-2015) , a total of 280 entire male fattening pigs differing in the genotype of their fathers (Piétrain vs. Duroc) were either fed a normal compound feed or received an additional 10 % raw potato starch during the final fattening period (> 95 kg live weight). Dat collection included fattening and slaughter performance, meat quality and the occurence of boar taint.

In phase 2 (2016-2018), a total of 144 entire male fattening pigs of the same genotype received either grass clover silage or straw as their mandatory roughage. The research question was if the type of roughage would influence the occurence of boar taint.

In stage 3 (2018-2020), a novel vaccination scheme againt boar taint was compared with a standard vaccination scheme with regard to their effect on the success of castration and the occurence of boar taint.

Results

In the first stage of the project, feeding 10 % raw potato starch resulted in lower skatole levels in entire males with Piétrain fathers.

The second stage of the project found no significant effect of the type of roughage on the occurence of boar taint.

In the third phase of the project, both early and conventional vaccination regime resulted in a good fattening and slaughter performance. However, the early vaccination regime could not completely prevent the occurrence of boar taint, whereas the conventionally vaccinated group did not have any odorous carcasses.

In all three project phases, typical boar behaviour could be observed, but did not lead to significant injuries. It can therefore be concluded that the management on the experimental farm allows boar fattening at a good animal welfare level. This includes stable groups from piglet rearing onwards, an outdoor run with regularly renewed straw bedding and the supply of roughage.

Thünen-Contact


Involved Thünen-Partners


Involved external Thünen-Partners


Funding Body

  • Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE)
    (national, öffentlich)

Duration

9.2012 - 5.2020

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 2811OE144
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft (BÖLN)
Project status: finished


Onlinekonferenz "Ebermast - Problem oder Chance?!" am 22. März 2021

- hier geht es zu Website "Veranstaltungen" auf der Infos zur Onlinekonferenz "Ebermast - Problem oder Chance?!"zu finden sind.


Publications

hits: 11

  1. Werner D, Baldinger L, Bussemas R, Büttner S, Weißmann F, Ciulu M, Mörlein J, Mörlein D (2021) Early immunocastration of pigs: from farming to meat quality. Animals MDPI 11:298, DOI:10.3390/ani11020298
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1555 kb
  2. Büttner S, Heidbüchel KL, Höinghaus K, Baldinger L, Weißmann F, Bussemas R (2020) Fattening of entire male pigs as an alternative to piglet castration. Trenthorst: Thünen Institute of Organic Farming, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2020/15a, DOI:10.3220/PB1590493276000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 708 kb
  3. Büttner S, Heidbüchel KL, Höinghaus K, Baldinger L, Weißmann F, Bussemas R (2020) Öko-Ebermast als Alternative zur Kastration. Trenthorst: Thünen-Institut für ökologischen Landbau, 2 p, Project Brief Thünen Inst 2020/15, DOI:10.3220/PB1590492826000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 741 kb
  4. Werner D, Höinghaus K, Meier-Dinkel L, Mörlein D, Brandt H, Weißmann F, Aulrich K, Baldinger L, Bussemas R (2020) Organic fattening of entire male pigs from two sire lines under two feeding strategies : Part 2: Meat quality and boar taint. Landbauforsch J Sustainable Organic Agric Syst 70(1):75-82, DOI:10.3220/LBF1604659773000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 447 kb
  5. Werner D, Höinghaus K, Brandt H, Weißmann F, Baldinger L, Bussemas R (2020) Performance of organic entire male pigs from two sire lines under two feeding strategies : Part 1: Growth performance, carcass quality, and injury prevalence. Landbauforsch J Sustainable Organic Agric Syst 70(1):67-73, DOI:10.3220/LBF1604659430000
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 228 kb
  6. Höinghaus K, Bussemas R, Renger A, Weißmann F (2017) Einfluss von Genotyp und Fütterung in der ökologischen Mast intakter männlicher Schweine : II: Mast- und Schlachtleistung. In: Wolfrum S, Heuwinkel H, Reents HJ, Hülsbergen KJ (eds) Ökologischen Landbau weiterdenken - Verantwortung übernehmen, Vertrauen stärken : Beiträge zur 14. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau, Freising-Weihenstephan, 7. bis 10. März 2017. Berlin: Köster, pp 760-764
  7. Heidbüchel KL, Bussemas R, Meier-Dinkel L, Mörlein D, Weißmann F (2017) Erste Ergebnisse eines Grundfuttervergleichs zur Senkung der Skatolbelastung in der ökologischen Ebermast. In: Wolfrum S, Heuwinkel H, Reents HJ, Hülsbergen KJ (eds) Ökologischen Landbau weiterdenken - Verantwortung übernehmen, Vertrauen stärken : Beiträge zur 14. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau, Freising-Weihenstephan, 7. bis 10. März 2017. Berlin: Köster, pp 590-592
  8. Meier-Dinkel A, Mörlein D, Bussemas R, Höinghaus K, Weißmann F (2015) Detektion von Ebergeruch mittels chemischer Analytik und Humansensorik bei Ebern aus ökologischer Mast. In: Häring AM, Hörning B, Hoffmann-Bahnsen R, Luley H (eds) Beiträge zur 13. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau "Am Mut hängt der Erfolg: Rückblicke und Ausblicke auf die ökologische Landbewirtschaftung". pp 528-529
  9. Höinghaus K, Bussemas R, Renger A, Weißmann F (2015) Erste Ergebnisse zur Mastleistung, Schlachtkörper- und Fleischqualität aus einem Versuch zur ökologischen Ebermast. In: Häring AM, Hörning B, Hoffmann-Bahnsen R, Luley H (eds) Beiträge zur 13. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau "Am Mut hängt der Erfolg: Rückblicke und Ausblicke auf die ökologische Landbewirtschaftung". pp 520-523
  10. Höinghaus K, Bussemas R, Weißmann F (2014) Fütterungsversuch zur Senkung der Skatolbelastung in der ökologischen Ebermast. KTBL Schr 504:104-111
  11. Höinghaus K, Weißmann F (2014) Perspektiven der Ebermast. Bio Land(9):30-31