Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Sow level risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing in organic outdoor production

  • L. Rangstrup-Christensen (a1), M. A. Krogh (a1), L. J. Pedersen (a1) and J. T. Sørensen (a1)
Abstract

Piglet mortality is a major problem in organic pig production affecting both farm economy and animal welfare. Knowledge is scarce on the risk factors of piglet mortality in Danish commercial organic pig production. The objectives of this study were to evaluate season, litter size, parity, sow body condition and stillborn littermates as risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing of liveborn piglets from parturition until castration at day 3 to 5 postpartum (pp). The study was conducted over a 1-year period in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds practicing outdoor farrowing all year round. Data included recordings on 3393 farrowings with 50 284 liveborn piglets of which 14.8% died before castration. A subset of the dead piglets were collected and necropsied to identify crushed piglets. The average number of liveborn piglets per litter was 14.8 (SD=3.7) and the average time from parturition until castration was 4.1 (SD=1.7) days. A negative binomial regression analysis was used to model the effect of the predictive variables on the early piglet mortality accounting for different time periods from parturition to castration. An increase in maternal body condition score (BCS) and parity significantly increased the risk of dying between parturition and castration. Early mortality was found to be lowest during spring (March to May) and highest during summer (June to August). Being born into a litter with one or more stillborn littermates increased the risk of early mortality. The risk factors for crushing of piglets were evaluated using a logistic analysis. A significant effect of parity and litter size was found where the odds of at least one piglet in a litter with mortality was diagnosed as crushed increased with increasing parity and litter size. In conclusion, being born during summer (June to August), high parity and maternal BCS and stillborn littermates were found to be risk factors for piglet mortality between parturition and castration. In addition, parity and increasing litter size were found to be risk factors for crushing of piglets in litters with mortality.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Sow level risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing in organic outdoor production
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Sow level risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing in organic outdoor production
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Sow level risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing in organic outdoor production
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
E-mail: lena.rangstrup@anis.au.dk
References
Hide All
Baxter, EM, Jarvis, S, Sherwood, L, Robson, SK, Ormandy, E, Farish, M, Smurthwaite, KM, Roehe, R, Lawrence, AB and Edwards, SA 2009. Indicators of piglet survival in an outdoor farrowing system. Livestock. Science 124, 266276.
Berger, F, Dagorn, J, LeDenmat, M, Quillien, JP, Vaudelet, JC and Signoret, JP 1997. Perinatal losses in outdoor pig breeding. A survey of factors influencing piglet mortality. Annales de zootechnie 46, 321329.
Black, JL, Mullan, BP, Lorschy, ML and Giles, LR 1993. Lactation in the sow during heat-stress. Livestock Production Science 35, 153170.
Damm, BI, Pedersen, LJ, Heiskanen, T and Nielsen, NP 2005. Long-stemmed straw as an additional nesting material in modified Schmid pens in a commercial breeding unit: effects on sow behaviour, and on piglet mortality and growth. Applied Animal Behavioural Science 92, 4560.
Hales, J, Moustsen, VA, Nielsen, MBF and Hansen, CF 2014. Higher preweaning mortality in free farrowing pens compared with farrowing crates in three commercial pig farms. Animal 8, 113120.
Hales, J, Moustsen, VA, Nielsen, MBF and Hansen, CF 2015. Temporary confinement of loose-housed hyperprolific sows reduces piglet mortality. Journal of Animal Science 93, 40794088.
Herpin, P, Damon, M and Le Dividich, J 2002. Development of thermoregulation and neonatal survival in pigs. Livestock Production Science 78, 2545.
Herpin, P, Hulin, JC, Le Dividich, J and Fillaut, M 2001. Effect of oxygen inhalation at birth on the reduction of early postnatal mortality in pigs. Journal of Animal Science 79, 510.
Herpin, P, LeDividich, J, Hulin, JC, Fillaut, M, DeMarco, F and Bertin, R 1996. Effect of the level of asphyxia during delivery on viability at birth and early postnatal vitality of newborn pigs. Journal of Animal Science 74, 20672075.
Holinger, M, Edwards, S, Illmann, G, Leeb, C, Milsova, M, prunier, A, Rudolph, G and Früh, B 2015. Improving health and welfare of pigs – a handbook for organic farmers, pp 726. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland.
Jessen, O 2016. Landsgennemsnit for produktivitet i svineproduktionen 2015 Notat nr. 1611. Retrieved on 16 November 2016 from http://vsp.lf.dk/~/media/Files/PDF%20-%20Publikationer/Notater%202016/Notat_1611.pdf.
KilBride, AL, Mendl, M, Statham, P, Held, S, Harris, M, Cooper, S and Green, LE 2012. A cohort study of preweaning piglet mortality and farrowing accommodation on 112 commercial pig farms in England. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 104, 281291.
KilBride, AL, Mendl, M, Statham, P, Held, S, Harris, M, Marchant-Forde, JN, Booth, H and Green, LE 2014. Risks associated with preweaning mortality in 855 litters on 39 commercial outdoor pig farms in England. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 117, 189199.
Leenhouwers, JI, van der Lende, T and Knol, EF 1999. Analysis of stillbirth in different lines of pig. Livestock Production Science 57, 243253.
Milligan, BN, Fraser, D and Kramer, DL 2002. Within-litter birth weight variation in the domestic pig and its relation to pre-weaning survival, weight gain, and variation in weaning weights. Livestock Production Science 76, 181191.
Oliviero, C, Heinonen, M, Valros, A and Peltoniemi, O 2010. Environmental and sow-related factors affecting the duration of farrowing. Animal Reproduction Science 119, 8591.
Pedersen, LJ, Berg, P, Jorgensen, G and Andersen, IL 2011. Neonatal piglet traits of importance for survival in crates and indoor pens. Journal of Animal Science 89, 12071218.
Quesnel, H, Brossard, L, Valancogne, A and Quiniou, N 2008. Influence of some sow characteristics on within-litter variation of piglet birth weight. Animal 2, 18421849.
Quiniou, N, Dagorn, J and Gaudre, D 2002. Variation of piglets birth weight and consequences on subsequent performance. Livestock Production Science 78, 6370.
Quiniou, N and Noblet, J 1999. Influence of high ambient temperatures on performance of multiparous lactating sows. Journal of Animal Science 77, 21242134.
Rangstrup-Christensen, L, Krogh, MA, Pedersen, LJ and Sørensen, JT 2016. Sow-level risk factors for stillbirth of piglets in organic sow herds. Animal 11, 10781083.
Roehe, R, Shrestha, NP, Mekkawy, W, Baxter, EM, Knap, PW, Smurthwaite, KM, Jarvis, S, Lawrence, AB and Edwards, SA 2009. Genetic analyses of piglet survival and individual birth weight on first generation data of a selection experiment for piglet survival under outdoor conditions. Livestock Science 121, 173181.
Schild, S-LA, Rangstrup-Christensen, L and Pedersen, LJ 2016. Increase sustainability of organic pig production with more vital piglets. In Food futures: ethics, science and culture, pp. 98–104.
Sorensen, JT and Pedersen, LJ 2013. Status, årsager og udfordringer i forhold til løsning af forhøjet dødelighed hos økologiske pattegrise DCA rapport 021. Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark.
Spicer, EM, Driesen, SJ, Fahy, VA, Horton, BJ, Sims, LD, Jones, RT, Cutler, RS and Prime, RW 1986. Causes of preweaning mortality on a large intensive piggery. Australian Veterinary Journal 63, 7175.
Su, G, Lund, MS and Sorensen, D 2007. Selection for litter size at day five to improve litter size at weaning and piglet survival rate. Journal of Animal Science 85, 13851392.
Vasdal, G and Andersen, IL 2012. A note on teat accessibility and sow parity – consequences for newborn piglets. Livestock Science 146, 9194.
Vieuille, C, Berger, F, Le Pape, G and Bellanger, D 2003. Sow behaviour involved in the crushing of piglets in outdoor farrowing huts – a brief report. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 80, 109115.
Wallenbeck, A, Gustafson, G and Rydhmer, L 2009. Sow performance and maternal behaviour in organic and conventional herds. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica: Section A, Animal Science 59, 181191.
Weary, DM, Pajor, EA, Thompson, BK and Fraser, D 1996. Risky behaviour by piglets: a trade off between feeding and risk of mortality by maternal crushing? Animal Behaviour 51, 619624.
Weber, R, Keil, NM, Fehr, M and Horat, R 2009. Factors affecting piglet mortality in loose farrowing systems on commercial farms. Livestock Science 124, 216222.
Wegner, K, Lambertz, C, Das, G, Reiner, G and Gauly, M 2014. Climatic effects on sow fertility and piglet survival under influence of a moderate climate. Animal 8, 15261533.
Wientjes, JGM, Soede, NM, van der Peet-Schwering, CMC, van den Brand, H and Kemp, B 2012. Piglet uniformity and mortality in large organic litters: effects of parity and pre-mating diet composition. Livestock Science 144, 218229.
Wulbers-Mindermann, M, Algers, B, Berg, C, Lundeheim, N and Sigvardsson, J 2002. Primiparous and multiparous maternal ability in sows in relation to indoor and outdoor farrowing systems. Livestock Production Science 73, 285297.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

animal
  • ISSN: 1751-7311
  • EISSN: 1751-732X
  • URL: /core/journals/animal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed