The Effects of Ascophylum Nodosumon Swine Performance and Carcass Characteristics

N. W. Shelton, R. M. Harp, B. D. Lambert, A. C. Seidel


The objective of this study was to observe the effects of Tasco (Ascophylum nodosum) on swine growth traits and carcass characteristics.  Tasco was fed to sows, piglets, and finishing pigs to determine the effects on various production traits and carcass merit.  All sows in the study were from crossbred genetic lines and were represented by Yorkshire, Hampshire and Duroc breeding.  The study was divided into three stages:  lactation (n=48 for sows), (n=335 for piglets), finishing and carcass (n= 117).  There were no differences for soundness or body condition score, yet sow weight loss showed a difference in favor of the Tasco group.  The sows receiving Tasco had a trend less feed intake, less body condition loss with no affect on soundness while there was an advantage in less weight loss. Birth weight of the piglets was not different, yet piglets from the sows supplemented with Tasco were heavier at weaning (P< 0.0001).  There were no differences for performance in the finishing phase of the study and for carcass cutability traits.  Tasco fed pigs were significantly higher for marbling (P< 0.001), and firmness of lean (P< 0.05).  Data showed no differences for lean color.  Consequently, Tasco has a positive effect on weaning weight for piglets and enhanced pork quality.


performance; carcass; swine; pork quality

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