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Research r...FinishersTrial report 984

Trial report no. 984: Economy in production of entire males

The largest profit from production of entire males vs castrates was found when the pigs were fed dry feed ad lib. FCR improved by 0.24 and 0.14 FUgp/kg, lean meat % by 1.3 and 1.2 percentage points, but only a small effect was seen on daily gain.


The potential profit from production of entire males compared with castrates and female pigs was investigated on two farms with two different feeding strategies (dry feed and liquid feed). On the farm practicing dry feeding ad lib, results showed that feed conversion ratio among entire males was 0.24 FUgp/kg lower than that of castrates; daily gain of entire males was 34 g/day lower compared with castrates; but lean meat percentage was 1.3 percentage points higher for entire males. On another farm where pigs were fed liquid feed according to a feed curve (max. 3.2 FUgp/pig/day), results showed that, compared with castrates, feed conversion improved by 0.14 FUgp/kg and lean meat percentage improved by 1.2 percentage points among entire males. Results showed no significant differences in daily gain. When rejection is based on skatole levels above 0.25 ppm, rejection rates reached 2.5% for pigs fed liquid feed and 4.8% for pigs fed dry feed. The profit from producing entire males amounted to DKK 2.4 (€ 0.32) (liquid feed) and DKK 17.4 (€ 2.32) (dry feed) according to prices and settlement regulations of September 2013.This includes a deduction of DKK 25/entire male (€ 3.33) and a price reduction of DKK 2/kg (€ 0.27) at the actual rejection.

The profit from production of entire males will primarily depend on feed prices, value of lean meat percentage, slaughter weight, rejection limits and costs for analysis, handling and sorting at the slaughterhouse. The market for and thereby the sales price of pork from entire males will suffer unless an efficient and agreed analysis method is implemented and unless the industry and consumers agree on a rejection limit. 

At a slaughter weight of 83 kg, the profit from producing entire males is lost when rejection rates reach 9% and 19%, respectively, as a change of +/÷ 1 percentage point changes gross margin per pig by DKK1.66. A changes in feed prices by +/÷ DKK 0.10 per feed unit will change GM/entire male compared with GM/castrate by DKK 1.1 (€ 0.15) or DKK 1.9 (€ 0.25) per pig for liquid feed and dry feed, respectively.

The largest profit from production of entire males was obtained when pigs were fed ad lib, which is attributed to a large difference in FCR between entire males and castrates. No differences were found in lean meat percentage between the two feeding strategies/farms. The female pigs in the trial performed at the same level as the entire males.


Updated: 24.09.2013


Hanne Maribo

Chief scientist, PhD

Tel.: +45 3339 4390