<%@LANGUAGE="JavaScript1.3"%> Swine Production Management - Transport - Maximizing Meat Yield to Slaughterhouse
Swine Production Management - Transport

Useful Transportation Guidelines:

Maximizing Meat Yield to Slaughterhouse
















Factors affecting the yield of pig meat:


Breeding program

The single most important reason why insufficient quantities of meat is sold per week, per sq metre of finishing floor is related to insufficient sows/gilts being served some 6 months previously

Adaptation to known times of reduced farrowing rate or litter size, this must be accommodated by the breeding or more females (See Breeding controls)

Must aim to fill a truck


Growth rate and feed intake

Any factor which will reduce the feed intake or growth rate will reduce the farm yield. These include overstocking, poor feed troughs, marginal water supplies, poor temperature controls, poor air quality

Single-sex feeding

(See standard sheets covering feed intake)


Contact with the abattoir/abattoirs major customers

Close liaison with abattoir to determine exactly what type of meat they require

The UK industry has less than 10 customers, determine what they want

Possibly use thirst-making feeds at end


At the correct weight

Supplying pigs that are less variable in the slaughterhouse, this may require twice-weekly shipping

Shipping closer to the maximum permitted weight

Calculate the relative cost of  5% overweights, as compared with 5% underweight

Negotiate a higher weight contract, however, ensure that the contract then does not become attractive to other suppliers, a real possibility if we go too heavy in the UK

Use a weigh scale regularly

Check the weigh scale at least monthly with standardised weights, not your own, variable weight


With the correct conformation and lean tissue content, P2 measurement

Require that the genetic make up matches customers demand with a move towards blocky compact genetics

Use meat-type sires

Correct matching of feed to genetic potential

Correct environment to allow fulfilment of genetic potential

Taking advantage of any premium markets, i.e. welfare contract note requirements of piglet processing/housing



Short journey time to slaughterhouse

Stress free as possible journey, note stocking density, quality of roads (including your own drive), journey plan

Known slaughter time

Water available both for drinking and cooling

Prompt killing

Last feed 12 hours before killing


Post-weaning disease

Effective health maintenance programs

Attention to suppressing 'nutritional' scours post-weaning

Effective and prompt treatment of compromised pigs to reduce chronic ill thrift pigs, which may end up condemned anyway.


Moving the average dead weight by 1 kg (say 68 to 69 kg) is worth 2300 kg per 100 sows doing 23 pigs per sow per year

What is the P2 measurement?

  • The P1 measurement is taken 4.5 cm from midline
  • The P3 measurement is taken 8.0 cm from midline
  • The P2 measurement is taken 6.5 cm from midline
  • P1, P2 and P3 taken level with the head of the last rib.
  • Rib fat taken 6 cm from the dorsal mid-line between the 3rd and 4th last rib.

Lean meat percentage and EU grades:

S 60% or more
E 55 - 59%
U 50 - 54%
R 45 - 49%
O 40 - 44%
P Less than 40%

  • Lean composition is:
    Protein = 23%
    Fat = 2%
    Water = 75%
  • Aim is to produce a highly desirable quality product time and time again.
  • World meat consumption 1998:
    Pork = 44%
    Beef = 28%
    Poultry = 24%
    Lamb = 4%
    Fish = 0.5%