Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science


One of the controversial issues confronting the swine industry is the correct market weight for hogs. When the market prices look favorable for the future the producer tends to put additional weight on his hogs to obtain a greater total return in terms of dollars and cents. The marketing weight is often dependent up the availability and cost of feed. The area extension worker and nutritionist usually encourage the farmer to market his product at weights which maximize feed efficiency and meat production. Lighter hogs tend to produce faster gain with less feed and produce a leaner, trimmer carcass with less waste. In addition, the carcass may yield a higher percent of lean meat and the lighter weight pigs yield a lighter weight carcass. The lean wholesale cuts from the light carcasses often sell for a premium because most consumers prefer lean pork. Despite the advantages for lighter market weights the packer is still reluctant to purchase light weight hogs because his slaughtering and processing costs are prorated on a per head basis and carcasses are sold by the pound. The packer is often working on a narrow profit margin on a per carcass basis. Therefore, the profit or loss received by the packer may depend upon the content and value of the offal. At times the profit per carcass in a packing operation may depend on the ability of the packer to utilize and/or merchandise the offal profitability. Most packers do not have reliable data which relate carcass weight to the value of the internal organs and their contents. This study was designed to elevate: (1) The influence of live animal weight on the weights of the offal and contents. (2) The relationships that may exist between offal weight and carcass composition. (3) The influence of live weight on carcass composition, particularly edible portion.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Swine -- Marketing




South Dakota State University