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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #177427


item HINSON, R
item Marchant-Forde, Ruth
item Lay Jr, Donald
item McMunn, Kimberly
item Marchant-Forde, Jeremy

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2005
Publication Date: 7/24/2005
Citation: Richert, B.T., Hinson, R.B., Marchant Forde, R., Lay Jr, D.C., Mcmunn, K.A., Marchant Forde, J.N. 2005. Effects of albuterol on the growth and carcass characteristics of finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science. 83(1):345.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The use of beta-agonists to increase productivity has become increasingly popular in U.S. pig production. This experiment examined the effects in finishing pigs of a pure form of albuterol, a beta-agonist proposed to deliver positive production effects without negative behavioral effects. The study used 192 pigs (88.8 ± .9 kg BW) housed in groups of six in 32 pens (1.4 m x 4.1 m) and assigned to one of four treatments: 1) Control – 0 ppm albuterol, 2) ALB-2R – diet 1 with 2 ppm of the pure R-enantiomer of albuterol, 3) ALB-4R – diet 1 with 4 ppm of pure R-albuterol, or 4) ALB-8RS – diet 1 with 8 ppm of a racemic mixture of R- and S-enantiomers. All diets supplied 18.3% CP, 1.1% lysine and 3534 kcal ME/kg and were offered ad libitum for 4-wk. All pigs were weighed and pen feed intakes recorded weekly. At slaughter, individual hot carcass weights (HCW) and measurements of 10th rib loin eye area (LEA), color, marbling, firmness, and backfat, last lumbar and midline backfat depths were collected. Data were analyzed using Proc GLM of SAS, with pen as the experimental unit. Overall, ALB-2R and ALB-4R pigs had greater ADG than control pigs (1.30 and 1.26 vs 1.13 kg/d; P<0.01 and P<0.05, respectively) and at slaughter, were heavier than control pigs (124.6 and 124.7 vs 120.1 kg, respectively; P<0.01). Overall, ALB-8RS pigs had lower ADFI (P<0.05) and control pigs had poorer gain:feed (P<0.001) than the other three treatments, respectively. Control pigs had 5-6 kg lighter HCW (P<0.001), 2-3% less carcass yield (P<0.001), 5.6 cm2 smaller LEA (P<0.01), greater 10th rib (3-4 mm, P<0.01) and last lumbar backfats (2 mm, P<0.05) than all albuterol fed pigs. However, control pigs had higher loin eye color (P<0.05) and marbling (P<0.001) scores than all albuterol-treated pigs and higher firmness scores (P<0.05) than the R-albuterol treated pigs. As little as 2 ppm R-albuterol has a positive effect on pig growth and carcass composition. However, negative effects of albuterol on meat quality require further research.