Document Detail

Individual physical characteristics of neonatal piglets affect preweaning survival of piglets born in a noncrated system.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24078619     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of individual physical characteristics on preweaning survival and growth of piglets born in a noncrate system. Data were collected from 3,402 neonatal piglets from 203 Landrace × Yorkshire sows housed in noncrate pens in a commercial Danish sow herd. Piglets were categorized into groups according to their survivability: surviving to weaning (SURV), stillborn (STILL), or dead between birth and weaning (DBW), which was subdivided into dead d 0 to 1 after farrowing (DEAD1) or dead d 2 to 26 after farrowing (DEAD26). Linear models were used to determine which physical characteristics affected survivability and growth of piglets. Results showed that characteristics related to the individual piglets had a greater degree of explanatory power in relation to survival than variables related to the sow. Survival of piglets increased if piglets were females (P < 0.001), had a greater body mass index (P < 0.001), and were born to sows of parity 3 or more (P = 0.017). Piglets with a greater birth weight were more likely to survive (P < 0.001), but birth weight was inferior to body mass index in explaining differences between SURV and DBW. Piglets that died 2 to 26 d after birth had a lower birth weight (P < 0.001), were born to sows of parity 1 or 2 (P = 0.014), and were born after a shorter gestation (P = 0.011) compared with SURV. Piglets that died on d 0 to 1 after birth had a lower body mass index (P < 0.001), displayed a greater degree of growth restriction (P = 0.004), and were born in large litters (P = 0.005). The gender of the piglets affected survivability at both d 0 to 1 (P < 0.001) and d 2 to 26 (P < 0.001). Piglets in DEAD1 differed from STILL by having a shorter crown to rump length (P < 0.001), a birth weight that deviated more from the mean weight of the litter (P = 0.001), and being more likely to be born before d 116 of gestation (P = 0.008). The only physical characteristic that was important for growth performance in the suckling period was birth weight (P < 0.001), yet using only birth weight as an indicator for survivability was too simplistic. The results of this study emphasize that individual characteristics of neonatal piglets could serve as indicators of survivability of piglets born in noncrate systems; however, the results suggest that the importance of characteristics differed in different periods of the preweaning period.
J Hales; V A Moustsen; M B F Nielsen; C F Hansen
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of animal science     Volume:  91     ISSN:  1525-3163     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Anim. Sci.     Publication Date:  2013 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-09-30     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8003002     Medline TA:  J Anim Sci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4991-5003     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for Herd-oriented Education, Research and Development (HERD), Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Groennegaardsvej 2, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
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