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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

The effects of immunocastration on the carcass quality and nutrient 
responses of growing pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus)

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Tersia Needham MSc Agric

Increased consumer awareness is placing pressure on various aspects of pork production, especially with regards to animal welfare. Therefore pig producers are facing new challenges in terms of management practices, one of which is controlling the prevalence of boar taint without the use of surgical castration in response to the banning of surgical castration without anaesthesia in numerous countries. Boar taint is an offensive smell and taste in pork, caused by the male pheromone androstenone as well as skatole and indole which accumulate in the adipose tissue and decrease the eating quality of the pork. Continue Reading →

The use of plants with ethno-veterinary medical properties of interest to pig producers

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By Jessica Matchett, Animal and Poultry Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal

A review of the use of plants with ethno-veterinary medical properties has been submitted to SAPPO for the benefit of its members. The review details many such plants that are indigenous to South Africa, and those from other regions that exhibit effects of interest to the pig industry. This short article gives a brief glimpse into the research described in the review article, which is available at The plants are mentioned in this article by their common names, but their scientific names can be found in the review. Continue Reading →

The use of prebiotics and probiotics in pigs: A review

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By Dr Louise Maré, Agricultural Research Council – Livestock Business Division: Animal Production

The concept of probiotics evolved at the beginning of the 20th century from a hypothesis first proposed by the Nobel Prize winning Russian scientist Elie Metchnikoff. He suggested that the long and healthy life span of Bulgarian peasants was due to the consumption of fermented milk products (Metchnikoff, 1908). During the last few decades, research on probiotics has expanded beyond bacteria isolated from fermented dairy products to normal microbiota of the intestinal tract (Sanders and Huis in’t Veld, 1999). Continue Reading →

Micotoxins in pigs — a South African perspective

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By Dr Hannes Viljoen Animal Nutrition & Health (ANH)

Mycotoxins are a relatively large, diverse group of naturally occurring, fungal toxins, many of which cause toxic diseases in humans and animals. They are unavoidable contaminants in foods and feeds and are a major problem all over the world. Continue Reading →

A Review of the causes and control of boar taint

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By Stefan Guizot

The urgent need for a global expansion of food supplies, especially of high quality protein, to meet the requirements of a rapidly growing world population, has focused the attention of the meat industry on methods of increasing output. Continue Reading →

Improving pig production efficiency

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By Elsje Pieterse, Francois Siebrits, FK Gloy and Louw Hoffman

Sound business principals and rules of survival demand that producers aim at maximum profit or, put differently, minimum cumulative cost per income. This boils down to the difference between expenses and income. Continue Reading →

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