Feeding strategies optimised for pork quality under organic farming conditions (on farm experiments)


To assess under practical farm conditions the effect of the implementation of a specific feeding strategy, proven under standardized conditions in,:

  1. on production traits and their variation
  2. on pork quality traits and their variationon the difference in the production costs when focussing on sensorial pork quality

Experimental design

A feeding trial will be conducted on 12 organic farms (6 in Germany and 6 in Austria) in which the effect of a specific feeding strategy on production traits, pork quality and production costs will be evaluated by using a:

  1. control diet, representing  a traditional feeding regime, based on cereals, grain legumes and by-products,
  2. experimental diet, formulated in correspondence with the previous gained results in and and adapted to the specific farm condition in relation to genetic origin and availability of feed components.

Following the concept of phase feeding (growing/finishing diet), two dietary treatments will be used simultaneously on each farm in a trial with one replicate. The experimental diet will be formulated in order to obtain a high intramuscular fat content, taken into account the interactions between genotype and performance criteria. Pigs will be slaughtered at a body weight of about 115 kg.


Growth performance will be measured separately for the growing and finishing period. Carcass parameters will be assessed at the abattoir. Individual samples of the Musculus longissimus dorsi including the subcutaneous adipose tissue will be taken from 10 pigs per treatment and will be subjected to analysis of meat and fat quality (including intramuscular fat content). Additionally, factors will be recorded which are affecting the production costs (prices for feed compounds including the estimated costs for days until slaughter, monetary carcass yield). Total marginal return and production costs will be calculated, using the results of this experiment as input data.


Sabine Abel

Key words

  • organic
  • pork quality
  • on-farm assessment


02/06- 04/07


EU-Commission (Project CT – 2003 506358)


  • Universität für Bodenkultur, Institut für Nutztierwissenschaften, Wien, Österreich