Effect of feed texture, meal frequency and pre-slaughter fasting on carcass and meat quality, and urinary cortisol in pigs.
ABSTRACT Carcass and meat quality traits, and urinary cortisol variation was studied in 96 barrows assigned to the following treatments: feed texture (FT; mash vs. pellets), meal frequency (MF; 2 vs. 5 meals per day) and fasting time (F; 4, 14 and 24h) according to a 2×2×3 factorial design. Pigs fed mash, receiving feed five times a day and fasted for 24h before slaughter had lower carcass dressing yield (P<0.001). A higher (P<0.05) bruise score was found on carcasses from pigs fasted for 14 and 24h and fed either pelleted or mashed feed five times per day. The pH(u) value in the Longissimus muscle increased (P<0.05) with increasing fasting time, whereas in the Adductor muscle it was higher (P<0.05) in pigs fed with pellets in two meals per day and fasted for 24h. Urinary cortisol tended to be higher in pigs fasted for 14h compared to those fasted for 4 (P=0.10) and 24h (P=0.06). The results of this study show a significant influence of pellet feeding on carcass yield in fasted pigs, while the effects of pre-slaughter fasting time on meat quality traits were limited.
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ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated whether feed deprivation can increase reactivity to stressful events, such as those that can occur at slaughter. Therefore, effects of 30 h of feed deprivation on behavior, including reactions to psychological stressors, and physiological status in cattle were determined. Sixteen Holstein cows (Exp. 1) and 32 Holstein heifers (Exp. 2) were either fed (FE) or 30-h feed deprived (FD). Throughout the first day of feed deprivation and during evening feed distribution to control animals, FD heifers and cows were more active than controls (P < 0.05). In Exp. 1, during a feeding test, in response to a sudden air blast arising from the bucket from which the cow was feeding, FD cows showed a longer latency to return to feed (P = 0.0002), spent less time in the bucket air blast zone (P = 0.008) and less time motionless (P = 0.03), and tended to withdraw over a longer distance (P = 0.07) than FE cows. In Exp. 2, during a reactivity test, FD heifers spent more (P = 0.0001) time motionless in response to social isolation than FE heifers. In Exp. 2, one-half of the FE and FD heifers were subjected to an additional physical and psychological stressor just before the reactivity test by driving them for 5 min through a labyrinth. Within heifers subjected to the additional stressor, FD heifers were less accepting of being detained (P = 0.05) and stroked (P = 0.003) by a familiar stockperson in a corner of the test arena. Compared with FE animals, FD heifers and FD cows had greater plasma cortisol concentrations (P < 0.05). Feed-deprived cows also had reduced β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations (P = 0.02) compared with FE cows. Thus, in cattle, FD influenced some of the classical indicators of energy metabolism and exacerbated reactivity to sudden events. In addition, when additional stressors were applied, FD cattle were more reluctant to accept handling. Results indicate that a multifactorial origin of stressors during the slaughter period may synergistically increase psychological stress of cattle.Journal of Animal Science 10/2011; 89(10):3272-85. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The effect of muscle cortisol concentration on muscle fiber characteristics and technological and sensory quality of pork was investigated. With the exception of the percentage of type IIA fibers, muscle fiber characteristics were not associated to cortisol levels. However, muscle cortisol concentration was positively associated with muscle pH(24h) (r = 0.23, P<0.05) and negatively associated with drip loss (r = -0.49, P<0.001), lightness (r = -0.24, P<0.05), shear force (r = -0.25, P<0.05), and texture profile analysis-hardness (r = -0.35, P<0.01). Additionally, the water-holding capacity of meat samples was affected by cortisol levels, with lower cortisol concentrations associated with less tender samples. These results indicate that the concentration of cortisol in the muscle is related with meat quality as well as the sensory quality of cooked pork.Meat Science 03/2012; 91(4):490-8. · 2.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Polar bears are heavily dependent on sea ice for hunting sufficient prey to meet their energetic needs. When the bears are left fasting, it may cause a rise in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the major corticosteroid hormone in most mammals, including polar bears. Production and regulation of this stress hormone are vital for the body as it is part of a myriad of processes, including in relation to metabolism, growth, development, reproduction, and immune function. In the present study, we examined the correlation between East Greenland polar bear hair cortisol concentration (HCC), a matrix that reflects longer-term hormone levels, and the fluctuations of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index, a large-scale climate phenomenon applied as a proxy for sea ice extent in the Greenland Sea along the coast of East Greenland. In doing so, a significant positive correlation (r = 0.88; p = 0.0004) was found between polar bear hair cortisol and the NAO, explaining 77 % of the variation in HCC observed between years over the period 1989–2009. This result indicates that interannual fluctuations in climate and ice cover have a substantial influence on longer-term cortisol levels in East Greenland polar bears. Further research into the implications and consequences inherent in this correlation are recommended, preferably across multiple polar bear populations.Polar Biology 01/2013; · 2.01 Impact Factor