A survey of the effects of different housing systems on the fat quality of fattening pigs (fat score of the adipose tissue) did not show any disadvantages of housing systems, based on Swiss BTS and RAUS regulations (ALT), versus conventional housing systems (CON). The fat score of ALT pigs, which have access to an outdoor area, was not significantly affected by the lower temperatures in winter. One explanation for this could be the facilities in this housing system (e.g. litter, wind protection), which may provide an ideal microclimate in the resting area. In contrast, a slight influence of temperature on the fat score was observed in CON pigs; in winter, particularly in whey-feeding systems, it was obviously more difficult to prevent temperature-dependent effects on the fat composition. It may be concluded that the alternative housing systems common in Switzerland today, with littered resting areas and year-round access to the outdoors, do not exert negative effects on the fat quality of pigs.
Fattening pigs: influence of housing systems on adipose tissue