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A simple ultrasound instrument is an effective tool in predicting body composition of live pigs

, : A simple ultrasound instrument is an effective tool in predicting body composition of live pigs. Agri-Practice 16(2): 17-24

Assessing changes in body composition of live animals is important for studying nutrition, physiology, or growth of animals. The use of the ultrasound technology to estimate in vivo body composition of animals has a long history. Numerous ultrasound instruments with varying complexity are currently available for use in swine research, but there seem to be considerable variations among complex, real-time ultrasound instruments in the efficacy of estimating body composition. The use of complex ultrasound instruments can be justified only if their additional costs of instruments and operation are more than offset by benefits in extra precision. Data collected from 177 crossbred pigs were used to describe the relationship between backfat thicknesses (BF) measured using a simple ultrasound instrument and carcass traits and lean. The average ultrasound BF was highly correlated with carcass BF and percentage of lean, and multiple regressions based on ultrasound BF and live measurements accounts for 78 to 83% of variation in predicting carcass BF and lean. The results indicate that the use of a simple ultrasound instrument capable of measuring only BF is a practical and effective means to estimate carcass traits and composition of live pigs.


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