Prevalence Of Gastrointestinal Lacerations At Slaughter And Effect Of Feed Withdrawal

North Carolina State University Pork Quality Research from 2001. To help producers decide whether they should withdraw feed prior to slaughter, we designed a study that examined the effect of feed withdrawal on the prevalence of gastrointestinal lacerations at slaughter. We assigned treatments to a finishing floor of 1133 National Pig Development barrows that were sent to slaughter in 3 groups. Each marketing group (feed withdrawn once, first group; twice, second group; or three times, third group) had an equal number of pigs that had feed withdrawn for 0 (control) 12, or 24 hours. Withdrawal of feed before slaughter decreased the weight of the gastrointestinal tract. The least-squares means weights (+ se) of the gastrointestinal tracts of pigs with no feed withdrawal (7.7kg +0.06) were greater (P = 0.0001) than the pigs with 12 hr feed withdrawal (6.6kg +0.06) and they were greater (P = 0.07) than the pigs with 24 hr feed withdrawal (6.4kg +0.06). The proportion of gastrointestinal tract lacerations ranged by day from 8.3% to 23.9%, but the differences were not significant (P = 0.32). Neither marketing group (feed withdrawn once, twice, or three times) nor the hours feed was withdrawn (0, 12, or 24) affected lacerations.