Increasing piglet survival through an improved ...

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Title Increasing piglet survival through an improved farrowing management protocol
Author(s) K. R. White, D. M. Anderson, Lius A. Bate
Journal Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Date 1996
Volume 76
Issue 4
Start page 491
End page 495
Abstract The survival rates of pigs subjected to different farrowing management protocols were compared. 60 litters of YorkxLandrace piglets were either unattended at farrowing or were dried, had the umbilical cord tied, had oral and nasal cavities suctioned to clear mucus, received oxygen and received bovine colostrum, all within 2 min of delivery. Mortality rates and their causes, weight gains, and haematocrit levels were recorded for the first 3 weeks of life. Total preweaning mortality was 18.2 and 10.1% for the control and attended groups, respectively. The main impact of the treatment was the reduction of the animals that otherwise would have been classified as stillbirths. The stillbirth rate decreased from 6.8 to 1.6% while the mortality rate during the first day decreased from 5.2% in the unattended litters to 2.2% in the attended litters, respectively. At weaning the weights of the attended piglets were higher than those of the unattended animals and overall weight gains were higher in the attended litters when compared with those of the control litters (3.99+or-0.08 and 3.68+or-0.06 kg, respectively). It is suggested that the reduction in mortality of 44% (equivalent to about one piglet per litter), plus the benefit of enhanced performance in the attended group, could justify the implementation of a farrowing protocol which involves adding the extra labour at farrowing time, especially if several sows are attended by the same attendant..
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