Immunocastration of boars in Slovenian conditions
Four groups of pigs: boars (B), gilts (G), surgical castrates (SC) and immunocastrates (IC) were tested in groups with 24 animals between ages 80 and 167 days. The group IC was vaccinated against gonadotropin–releasing hormone with commercial Improvac® (Pfizer Inc.) vaccine at ages 70 and 130 days. The IC animals grew faster (1022±66 g/day) than G (922±70 g/day, P<0.05), SC (998±62 g/day, N.S) and B animals (1044±87 g/day, N.S). IC animals (54.83±4.35 kg) produced more meat than SC animals (51.04±3.80 kg, P<0.05). The feed:gain conversion ratio (kg feed per kg gain) was statistically significantly lower (P<0.05) in IC (2.99±0.18) in comparison to the SC animals (3.23±0.28). The income for every single pig was calculated according to Austrian paying scheme and based on 21-months average noted price. The feed costs and castration costs were calculated from the internal data of the company where the experiment was done and in the same time period. The total disadvantage of SC comparing to G animals was 11.70 EUR. The immunocastration would cover that gap. The difference between the G and IC animals is only 0.35 EUR in advantage of G animals. The results show enormous advantage of immunocastration, but inadequate realisation of relatively complicated subcutaneous application can cost all the advantage of immunocastration, because of boar taint.