Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Sow-level risk factors for stillbirth of piglets in organic sow herds

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

Abstract

In Danish organic pig production, one-third of total born piglets die before weaning, and stillbirth has previously crudely been estimated to account for 27% of the total preweaning mortality. The objective of this study was to evaluate season, litter size, parity and body condition of the sow as risk factors for stillbirth in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds. The study was conducted over a 1-year period, and the data included registrations on 5170 farrowings with 82 906 total born piglets. The average number of total born piglets per litter was 16.0, and the number of stillborn piglets per litter was 1.1. A significant effect of season was seen with an odds ratio for stillbirth of 1.15 during summer (May to August) compared with the remaining part of the year. A non-linear effect of litter size was seen where an increase in litter size from 11 to 16 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.11. An increase in litter size from 16 to 21 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.45. A significant interaction between body condition and parity was present. In first parity sows, an increase in body condition score from 2 (thin) to 3 (moderate) and from 3 to 4 (fat) increased the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 1.23 and 1.36, respectively. In sows with parity above 4, an increase in body condition score from 2 to 3 and from 3 to 4 decreases the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 0.68 and 0.79, respectively. In conclusion, increasing litter size and being born during the summer months of May to August were found to be risk factors for stillbirth. Furthermore, an interaction between body condition and parity showed that thin sows with parity above 4 had a substantially increased risk of stillbirth compared with normal and fat sows with parity above 4. In contrast, for parity 1 sows risk of stillbirth was increased in fat sows.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Baxter, EM, Jarvis, S, Sherwood, L, Farish, M, Roehe, R, Lawrence, AB and Edwards, SA 2011. Genetic and environmental effects on piglet survival and maternal behaviour of the farrowing sow. Applied Animal Behavioural Science 130, 2841.
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.
Borges, VF, Bernardi, ML, Bortolozzo, FP and Wentz, I 2005. Risk factors for stillbirth and foetal mummification in four Brazilian swine herds. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 70, 165176.
Canario, L, Cantoni, E, Le Bihan, E, Caritez, JC, Billon, Y, Bidanel, JP and Foulley, JL 2006. Between-breed variability of stillbirth and its relationship with sow and piglet characteristics. Journal of Animal Science 84, 31853196.
Cappelen, J 2014. Vejret i Danmark – Sommer 2014. Retrieved on 16 June 2016 from http://www.dmi.dk/vejr/arkiver/maanedsaesonaar/201402/vejret-i-danmark-sommeren-2014/.
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.
Fraser, D, Phillips, PA and Thompson, BK 1997. Farrowing behaviour and stillbirth in two environments: an evaluation of the restraint-stillbirth hypothesis. Applied Animal Behavioural Science 55, 5166.
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, Le Dividich, J, Hulin, JC, Fillaut, M, De Marco, F and Bertin, R 1996. Effects 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. Fertility. Improving health and welfare of pigs – a handbook for organic farmers, pp. 7–26. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Switzerland.
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 litter on 39 commercial outdoor pig farms in England. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 117, 189199.
Le Cozler, Y, Guyomarc’h, C, Pichodo, X, Quinio, PY and Pellois, H 2002. Factors associated with stillborn and mummified piglets in high-prolific sows. Animal Research 51, 261268.
Leenhouwers, JI, van der Lende, T and Knol, EF 1999. Analysis of stillbirth in different lines of pig. Livestock Production Science 57, 243253.
Lucia, T, Correa, MN, Deschamps, JC, Bianchi, I, Donin, MA, Machado, AC, Meincke, W and Matheus, JEM 2002. Risk factors for stillbirths in two swine farms in the south of Brazil. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 53, 285292.
Maes, DGD, Janssens, GPJ, Delputte, P, Lammertyn, A and de Kruif, A 2004. Back fat measurements in sows from three commercial pig herds: relationship with reproductive efficiency and correlation with visual body condition scores. Livestock Production Science 91, 5767.
Odehnalova, S, Vinkler, A, Novak, P and Drabek, J 2008. The dynamics of changes in selected parameters in relation to different air temperature in the farrowing house for sows. Czech Journal of Animal Science 53, 195203.
Oliviero, C, Heinonen, A, Valros, A, Halli, O and Peltoniemi, OAT 2008. Effect of the environment on the physiology of the sow during late pregnancy, farrowing and early lactation. Animal Reproduction Science 105, 365377.
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.
Olsen, O 2016. Landsgennemsnit for produktivitet i svineproduktionen 2015 Notat nr. 1611. Retrieved on 16 June 2016 from http://vsp.lf.dk/~/media/Files/PDF%20-%20Publikationer/Notater%202016/Notat_1611.pdf.
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.
Sprecher, DJ, Leman, AD, Dziuk, PD, Cropper, M and Dedecker, M 1974. Causes and control of swine stillbirths. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 165, 698701.
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.
Vaillancourt, JP, Stein, TE, Marsh, WE, Leman, AD and Dial, GD 1990. Validation of producer-recorded causes of preweaning mortality in swine. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 10, 119130.
Vanderhaeghe, C, Dewulf, J, de Kruif, A and Maes, D 2013. Non-infectious factors associated with stillbirth in pigs: a review. Animal Reproduction Science 139, 7688.
Vanderhaeghe, C, Dewulf, J, De Vliegher, S, Papadopoulos, GA, de Kruif, A and Maes, D 2010a. Longitudinal field study to assess sow level risk factors associated with stillborn piglets. Animal Reproduction Science 120, 7883.
Vanderhaeghe, C, Dewulf, J, Ribbens, S, de Kruif, A and Maes, D 2010b. A cross-sectional study to collect risk factors associated with stillbirths in pig herds. Animal Reproduction Science 118, 6268.
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.
Zaleski, HM and Hacker, RR 1993. Variables related to the progress of parturition and probability of stillbirth in swine. The Canadian Veterinary Journal 34, 109113.
Zander, K and Hamm, U 2010. Consumer preferences for additional ethical attributes of organic food. Food Quality and Preference 21, 495503.
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