Vaccinating against boar taint was shown to have a negative impact on pig prices paid by meatpackers in Germany.
This was concluded by the agricultural chamber of the state North Rhine Westphalia, on the basis of research carried out at the well-known research centre Haus Düsse as stated by PigProgress, November 21, 2013.
For the research, five groups of boars were set up, each containing 35-40 boars. Four groups were vaccinated with Improvac. One group served as a control group and was not vaccinated nor castrated. In the four vaccinated groups, there was variation in the moment of vaccination (four or six weeks prior to slaughter), nutrition (high or restricted in proteins) as well as feeding strategy (ad lib or restricted in late finishing). The pigs were crossbreeds of the Topigs-20 sow and a Piétrain. Slaughterweight was 120 kg.
When treating animals with Improvac, vaccination occurs on two moments. The first moment is usually given at eight weeks of age; the second should be given four to six weeks prior to slaughter. Main aim is to have boars growing fast like normal boars – and curb their development of the testes by the second vaccination.
In the research, the vaccine indeed proved to have a positive effect on feed conversion and pig growth. Its goal of reducing boar taint-related compounds like androstenone, skatole and indole was also successful – they were reduced by about 90%. The pig price, however, did not compensate for the purchase of the vaccine. At the end, the use of the vaccine/pig cost between €7 and €15, depending on the group.
Read the complete story on the website PigProgress.