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Behavioural and physiological indicators of piglet survival

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 November 2017

E M Baxter
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
S Jarvis
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
R B D’Eath
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
D W Ross
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
S K Robson
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
M Farish
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
L Sherwood
Affiliation:
Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
S A Edwards
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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Extract

Pre-weaning piglet mortality is currently 11.8% of piglets born alive in indoor units (MLC, 2005) and is a major welfare concern and a continuing production problem within the pig industry. The farrowing crate was implemented with some success to decrease the amount of crushing of piglets (Edwards & Fraser, 1997). However, this system is restrictive, limits the behaviour and compromises the welfare of the sow (Jarvis et al., 2001). There is growing pressure to abolish this technology in favour of less restrictive systems. It is therefore vital to identify behavioural and physiological characteristics relating to piglet survival, which can then be influential in alternative systems. Important factors in relation to piglet survival include birth weight, birth order, and adequate thermoregulation (Tuchscherer et al. 2001). The aim of this study was to identify additional behavioural and physiological indicators, which could predict piglet survival.

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Theatre presentations
Copyright
Copyright © The American Society of International Law 2016

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References

Edwards, S.A. & Fraser, D. 1997. Housing systems for farrowing and lactation. The Pig Journal 39, 77-89.Google Scholar
Jarvis, S., Vander Vegt, B.J., Lawrence, A.B., McLean, K.A., Deans, L.A., Chirnside, J. & Calvert, S.K. 2001. The effect of parity and environmental restriction on behavioural and physiological responses of pre-parturient pigs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 71, 203-216 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Meat Livestock Commission, 2005. Pig yearbook 2005 Google Scholar
Tuchscherer, M., Puppe, B., Tuchscherer, A. & Tiemann, U. 2000. Early Identification of Neonates at Risk: Traits of Newborn Piglets with Respect to Survival. Theriogenology 54, 371-388.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

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