Some results on performances of Krškopolje pigs in project TREASURE

Krškopolje pig (KKP), a Slovenian autochthonous breed, has been little studied and more knowledge is needed about their growth potential and performances in different production systems. Present work aims to overview the preliminary results of H2020 project TREASURE, evaluating performance in different rearing systems: conventional (CON) organic (ORG) and traditional (TRD). Growth was evaluated in lactation (study 1, CON vs ORG, n=156), growing and fattening period (study 2, CON vs ORG n=36; and study 3, CON vs TRD n=12); main carcass traits were evaluated after slaughter at approximately 230 days of age (study 2 and 3). Results show that weight at weaning and growth rate in lactation were ≈20% lower in ORG than CON farms, whereas no major differences in growth rate were observed between pigs in two systems in growing/fattening period when similar nutritional value of the diet and feeding was provided. However, in fattening period pigs in ORG system had 13% higher daily gain than in CON system, which could be ascribed to high consumption of alfalfa hay and perhaps less feed dissipation. Yet no differences in body weight and carcass traits were noted between the two groups at the end of the trial. Similar daily gain was observed in KKP pigs raised in CON and TRD system during growing period (until app. 45 kg), whereas in the period between 45-90 kg pigs fed TRD meal (ad libitum), which is based on mix of cereals and root crops, achieved 49% lower daily gain (P<0.01) compared to those fed complete feed mixture (CON). Consequently CON pigs were heavier at slaughter (+32 kg, P<0.001), had increased backfat (+7 mm, P<0.05) and muscle (+18 mm, P<0.01) thickness, but were not different in meat % (P>0.05). Preliminary results presented provide some information about performance of KKP, however further studies are needed to know better its growth potential and nutritional needs. Funded by European Union’s H2020 RIA program (Grant agreement no. 634476).