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Factors affecting piglet mortality during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition in large litters: effects of farrowing housing on behaviour of postpartum sows

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2018

J. Yun
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Research Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 57, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
T. Han
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
S. Björkman
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
M. Nystén
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
S. Hasan
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
A. Valros
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Research Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 57, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
C. Oliviero
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Y. Kim
Affiliation:
Department of Food and Animal Biotech, College of Agriculture and Life Science, Seoul National University, San 56-1 Sillim-dong, 151-742 Seoul, Republic of Korea
O. Peltoniemi
Affiliation:
Department of Production Animal Medicine, Production Animal Hospital, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Corresponding
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Abstract

The present study aimed to identify the factors that affect immediate (within 24 h after farrowing onset) postnatal piglet mortality in litters with hyperprolific sows, and investigate their associations with behaviour of postpartum sows in two different farrowing housing systems. A total of 30 sows were housed in: (1) CRATE (n=15): the farrowing crate closed (0.80×2.20 m) within a pen (2.50×1.70 m), and (2) OPEN (n=15): the farrowing crate open (0.80×2.20×1.80 m) within a pen (2.50×2.40 m) with a provision of 20 ls of hay in a rack. A total of 518 live born piglets, produced from the 30 sows, were used for data analyses during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition (T24). Behavioural observations of the sows were assessed via video analyses during T24. Total and crushed piglet mortality rates were higher in OPEN compared with CRATE (P<0.01, for both). During T24, the OPEN sows tended to show higher frequency of postural changes (P=0.07) and duration of standing (P=0.10), and showed higher frequencies of bar-biting (P<0.05) and piglet trapping (P<0.01), when compared with the CRATE sows. During T24, the mortality rates caused by crushing were correlated with the piglet trapping event (r=0.93, P<0.0001), postural changes (r=0.37, P<0.01), duration of standing (r=0.32, P<0.01) and frequency of bar-biting behaviour (r=0.51, P<0.01) of the sows (n=30). In conclusion, immediate postnatal piglet mortality, mainly due to crushing, may be associated with potential increases in frequency of postural changes, duration of standing and incidence of piglet trapping in postpartum sows in the open crate system with large litters.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Animal Consortium 2018 

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Factors affecting piglet mortality during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition in large litters: effects of farrowing housing on behaviour of postpartum sows
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