Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Effects of dietary magnesium and short-duration transportation on stress response, postmortem muscle metabolism, and meat quality of finishing swine

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Crossbred pigs, heterozygous for the halothane gene, were used to determine the effects of long-term dietary supplementation of magnesium mica (MM) and short-duration transportation stress on performance, stress response, postmortem metabolism, and pork quality. Pigs were blocked by weight, penned in groups (six pigs per pen), and pens (three pens per diet) were assigned randomly either to a control corn soybean meal diet or the control diet supplemented with 2.5% MM (as-fed basis; supplemented at the expense of corn). Diets were fed during the early-finisher (0.95% lysine, as-fed basis; 43.7 to 68 kg) and late-finisher (0.85% lysine, as-fed basis; 68 to 103 kg) periods. At the conclusion of the 71-d feeding trial, 12 pigs from each dietary treatment were selected randomly and subjected either to no stress (NS) or 3 h of transportation stress (TS). Dietary MM had no effect (P ≥ 0.40) on ADG or ADFI; however, G:F was improved (P < 0.05) during the early-finisher period when pigs were fed MM-supplemented diets. Plasma glucose concentrations were increased in TS pigs fed the control diet, but transportation did not affect plasma glucose in pigs fed 2.5% MM (diet × transportation stress; P = 0.02). Dietary MM did not affect blood lactate, cortisol, insulin, NEFA, Ca, or Mg concentrations in response to TS (diet × transportation stress; P ≥ 0.13); however, circulating lactate, cortisol, and glucose concentrations increased in TS pigs (transportation stress × time; P < 0.01). The LM from TS pigs fed MM had higher initial (0-min) and 45-min pH values than the LM from NS pigs fed the control diet (diet × transportation stress × time; P = 0.07). Lactic acid concentration and glycolytic potential were greater in the LM of TS pigs fed MM than TS pigs fed control diets (diet × transportation stress; P ≤ 0.01). Although some trends were identified, neither MM (P ≥ 0.15) nor TS (P ≥ 0.11) altered the color or water-holding capacity of the LM and semimembranosus. The transportation model elicited the expected changes in endocrine and blood metabolites, but dietary MM did not alter the stress response in pigs. Conversely, although pork quality traits were not improved by dietary MM, delaying post mortem glycolysis and elevating 0- and 45-min muscle pH by feeding finishing diets fortified with MM may benefit the pork industry by decreasing the incidence of PSE pork in pigs subjected to short-duration, routine stressors.