Body composition and blood parameters of newborn piglets from Alentejano and conventional (Large White × Landrace) genotype

R. Charneca, J. L. T. Nunes, J. Le Dividich


This study aimed to compare the body composition and some blood parameters [(glucose, albumin and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)] of newborn piglets farrowed by unselected Alentejano (AL) or conventional genotype [(Large-White × Landrace (LL)]. Carcasses (12 of each genotype) and blood samples were obtained from a total of 34 litters (18 AL, 16 LL). Gestation length was 4d shorter in AL sows compared with LL sows. When adjusted for birth weight, carcasses of AL piglets showed higher percentages of dry matter (P<0.05) and crude protein (P<0.01) and tended to have higher lipid content (P = 0.091) than carcasses of LL piglets. Relative to body weight, the AL piglets had heavier livers (P<0.05) than LL piglets but glycogen content was similar in both genotypes. Longissimus dorsi muscle of AL piglets contained more protein (P<0.01), but glycogen, DNA and RNA contents were similar in both genotypes. The blood from the AL piglets had higher levels of glucose (P<0.01), albumin (when adjusted for birth weight) (P<0.05) and IGF-1 (P<0.05) than blood from the LL piglets. On the bases of body composition and studied blood parameters, AL piglets seem to be more mature at birth than LL piglets despite a shorter gestation lenght.


body protein; energy stores; Iberian neonatal pig; maturity; plasma parameters

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2010082-1192