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Causes of preweaning mortality on a large intensive piggery


Spicer, EM and Driesen, SJ and Faby, VA and Horton, BJ and Sims, LD and Jones, RT and Cutler, RS and Prime, RW, Causes of preweaning mortality on a large intensive piggery, Australian Veterinary Journal, 63 pp. 71-75. ISSN 0005-0423 (1986) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1751-0813.1986.tb02933.x


SUMMARY Causes of preweaning mortality were examined on a large intensive piggery. Diagnosis was made using comprehensive clinical histories combined with post‐mortem data. Two thousand four hundred and twenty‐six piglets were born in 238 litters. Preparturient and parturient losses were 2.9% and 5.4% of the total numbers of piglets born. Birth to weaning mortality was 11.3%. Among piglets born alive, overlaying was the most frequent cause of death (2.1%), followed by deaths due to diarrhoea (1.7%), anaemia (1.2%), savaging (1.1%) and losses of small weak piglets (0.9%). Most deaths, including stillbirths, were associated with below average birth weight, and two‐thirds of all deaths of ihrebom pigs occurred within 4 days of birth. Increased litter size resulted in decreased birth weights, an increased percentage of stillborn piglets and mummified foetuses, but duration of parturition was not affected. Stillborn piglets were born late in the litter and after a longer interval between pigs born (Interpig interval). Over 70% of deaths due to overlay were in previously healthy piglets, but some were associated with illness of the sow (18%) or both sow and piglet (3%). Savaging was confined mainly to first parity sows and was responsible for 20% of all deaths in these litters. Sixty‐two per cent of all piglets with a birth weight of less than 800g were stillborn or died before weaning compared with 18.7% mortality for all piglets. Anaemia in piglets was considered to be due to umbilical haemorrhage. Anaemic piglets had a 36% mortality to weaning compared with 10% for non‐anaemic piglets. The cause of this condition was not determined. Non‐haemolytic Escherichia coli was the predominant cause of early diarrhoea in piglets. Litters from first parity sows were affected more severely than those from higher parities. Splayleg occurred in 5.5% of all piglets born alive. The incidence of splayleg was related to the use of Landrace boars and was more prevalent in litters from higher parity sows. Twenty‐four per cent of splayleg pigs died. Copyright © 1986, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Animal production
Research Field:Animal protection (incl. pests and pathogens)
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Livestock raising
Objective Field:Sheep for wool
UTAS Author:Horton, BJ (Dr Brian Horton)
ID Code:69884
Year Published:1986
Web of Science® Times Cited:61
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2011-05-23
Last Modified:2011-05-23

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