Effects of castration on growth rate, body and visceral organ weights of pigs.
Effects of castration on growth rate, body and visceral organ weights of pigs were investigated using data from intact males, intact females of Large White pigs full or half castrated at 2, 4, or 6 weeks of age. Body weights and feed intake were recorded to the nearest 0.1 kg at weekly intervals from birth, while weights of abdominal and thoracic organs were taken at slaughter.
Results show that age at castration significantly affected weaning weights and weights at 2 months of age (P < 0.05), but did not affect the weights of visceral organs and the average daily weight gain (P > 0.05). Castration significantly affected weaning weights (P < 0.05) average daily gain (P < 0 .01), body weights at 4 months (P < 0 .05), but not the weights of the visceral organs (P > 0 .05).
Intact females and intact males significantly differed in body weights at 4 months and in average daily weight gain (P < 0.05). Comparisons between full castrates and intact males showed significant differences in all the measured parameters except the weights of visceral organs. Full castrates and. intact females did not differ, significantly (P > 0 .05) in any of the traits measured.