Feed Withdrawal – Effects on Meat Quality

North Carolina State University Pork Quality Research from 2001. Results from this study suggest that on-farm withdrawal of feed for 24 h prior to slaughter enhances ultimate pork quality. Feed withdrawal prior to shipment improved the color of the longisimus dorsi as indicated by linear increases (P < .1) in Japanese Color Score and linear decreases (P < .01) in Minolta a* measures over increasing feed withdrawal periods. However, in a graded marketing situation ultimate muscle quality was reduced over time. This reduction may be caused by any one, or the combination, of smaller, slower growing pigs that may have had increased health challenges, increased incidence of gastric ulcers, and repeated withdrawal of feed over time. Feed withdrawal had no statistically significant effects on net revenue from the hogs that had feed withdrawn only once excluding meat quality benefits. However, marketing groups did show statistically significant reductions in net income for animals that had feed withdrawn. The effect was most significant for the 24-hour withdrawal in the second and third marketing group.