Economical impacts of alternatives to the castration of piglets without anaesthesia

Raaflaub, Martin; Genoni, Marcel; Kämpf, Daniel (2008). Economical impacts of alternatives to the castration of piglets without anaesthesia Berner Fachhochschule, Schweizerische Hochschule für Landwirtschaft SHL, Zollikofen

[img] Text
B11 Wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen 20080423.pdf
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (453kB) | Request a copy

The current practise of castrating piglets must be replaced by 2009. The economic viability of four alternative methods was examined: Rearing entire boars, vaccination against boar taint, anaesthesia by inhalation and anaesthesia by injection. The method used was a modified schema for the calculation of the gross margin in pig fattening. All economic affects, upstream and downstream the value chain, were integrated into the gross margin for pig fattening. All alternative methods led to a decrease of the gross margin. The reduction was moderate (2.30 to 3.70 SFr) with the vaccination against boar taint, with anaesthesia by inhalation in major and medium farms and with anaesthesia by injection. For small breeding farms, the gross margin was reduced by up to 10 SFr, mainly due to the high depreciation of the anaesthesia equipment. For these farms the question whether it will be feasible that several farms may commonly use one set of anaesthesia equipment is paramount. The costs of anaesthesia by injection are mainly determined by the price of the anaesthetic drug, thus there is no cost degression with increasing operation size. However, the price of the anaesthetic drug can, to this date, merely be estimated, as the product is not yet available on the market. The lower feed costs that are associated with the vaccination against boar taint cannot completely compensate for the cost of the vaccination drug and the expenses of two vaccinations. The increased percentage of lean meat of vaccinated boars can considerably influence their profitability. However, as the quality payment scheme in Switzerland is nonlinear, the aspects of carcass composition could not be incorporated into the comparison. The topic is picked up in annex 1. Fattening entire boars shows clear cost advantages (feed conversion, no costs for castration). However, the poor returns of carcasses affected by boar taint impact the profitability considerably. With a share of affected carcasses of 2.5%, the gross margin increases (marginally) by SFr. 0.10. However, with a share of 5% or 10% respectively, it decreases by SFr. 6.30 or 19.00, respectively. In the trials that have been conducted hitherto the share clearly exceeded 5%. As long as the part of tainted carcasses cannot be considerably decreased or as long as there is no better valorisation available for carcasses affected by boar taint, fattening of entire boars is not economically viable (exception: niche markets). The costs implied with the use of the electronic nose were estimated as a part of the calculation of the viability of fattening entire males. In major and medium slaughterhouses, the electronic nose can be used with moderate costs (up to SFr. 3.00/analysis). In medium slaughterhouses, however, this is only the case if the time that the carcasses are left to mature can be used for the analysis (no analysis in parallel to the slaughtering process). At the artisan slaughterer’s level, the electronic nose cannot be used in an economically viable way.

Item Type:

Report (Report)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems
School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Agriculture


Raaflaub, Martin;
Genoni, Marcel and
Kämpf, Daniel


S Agriculture > SF Animal culture


Berner Fachhochschule, Schweizerische Hochschule für Landwirtschaft SHL, Zollikofen




Thomas Kupper

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2020 13:56

Last Modified:

16 Jun 2020 13:56




Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback