Journal of agricultural science vol:116 pages:105-109
An experiment using 30 Belgian landrace finishing pigs was carried out, in 1989, at the University of Leuven, Belgium, to examine the effect of clenbuterol in the diet (1 mg/kg) on the repartitioning of nutrients and body composition. Clenbuterol was administered for 20 days preceding the week before slaughter. Fifteen animals were fed a diet containing the beta-agonist, and 15 other animals served as negative controls. Weight gain, feed conversion and N utilization improved during beta-agonist treatment. Removal of clenbuterol from the diet rapidly increased blood urea concentrations, indicating immediate, less efficient, N utilization. In the week before slaughter, the animals did not lose the extra weight gained in the period of clenbuterol feeding. Backfat thickness at slaughter was reduced by 15% in the animals fed clenbuterol. Dressing percentage and post mortem pH decline, colour and water-holding capacity in ham and the longissimus dorsi were not affected by dietary treatment. Clenbuterol was not detected in renal fat and the longissimus dorsi at slaughter.