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Sow reproduction and piglet performance in multi-suckling pens

Thomsson, Ola (2016). Sow reproduction and piglet performance in multi-suckling pens. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:106
ISBN 978-91-576-8715-9
eISBN 978-91-576-8716-6
[Doctoral thesis]

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Production systems with group housing of sows at different stages of production are increasing in Europe, as an effect of public demand for more animal welfare-friendly pig production. Some niche certified piglet production systems keep lactating sows with piglets in groups in multi-suckling pens. However, three factors have been identified as affecting certified piglet production in systems with multi-suckling pens: The occurrence of lactational oestrus, piglet mortality and within-litter weight variation at weaning. This thesis investigated the possibility to affect these three factors by altering management routines. Three different management routines that differed in terms of time spent in an individual farrowing pen post-farrowing, before the lactating sows with piglets were group-housed in a multi-suckling pen, were created. Time spent in the individual farrowing pen was one (W1), two (W2) or three weeks (W3). Piglets in all management routines were weaned at six weeks post-farrowing.

Only one of 43 sows ovulated during lactation. This was determined by post-mortem macroscopic examination of the ovaries and progesterone metabolite concentration in faeces. Interestingly, the weaning to standing oestrus interval was significantly shorter (p<0.001) for W2 (2.6 ±0.3 days) and W3 (2.7 ±0.2 days) than W1 (4.0 ±0.3 days). Piglet mortality in the multi-suckling pen was significantly lower (p<0.05) in W3 and W2 than W1. Within-litter weight variation did not differ between the management routines.

Stress induced by reallocation and mixing of sows can affect ovarian activity and was therefore assessed during the group-housing period by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva sampled during the first four days post-mixing. Analysis showed that W3 sows were less stressed in the multi-suckling pen than W1 sows.

Overall, the results in this thesis on sow reproduction and piglet performance can be used for development of housing and management routines.

Authors/Creators:Thomsson, Ola
Title:Sow reproduction and piglet performance in multi-suckling pens
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:23 November 2016
Number of Pages:62
IThomsson O, Sjunnesson Y, Magnusson U, Eliasson-Selling L, Wallenbeck A, Bergqvist A-S (2016). Consequences for Piglet Performance of Group Housing Lactating Sows at One, Two or Three Weeks Post-Farrowing. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0156581. Doi10.1371/journal.pone. 0156581.
IIThomsson O, Magnusson U, Bergqvist A-S, Eliasson-Selling L, Sjunnesson Y, (2017). Sow performance in multi-suckling pens with different management routines. Manuscript
IIIThomsson O, Bergqvist A-S, Sjunnesson Y, Eliasson-Selling L, Lundeheim N, Magnusson U, (2015). Aggression and cortisol levels in three different group housing routines for lactating sows. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 57 (6), s.5.
IVThomsson O, Holst-Strom B, Sjunnesson Y, Bergqvist A-S (2014). Validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed for measuring cortisol concentration in human saliva and serum for its applicability to analyze cortisol in pig saliva. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 56(1), s. 55.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8715-9
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8716-6
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L01 Animal husbandry
L Animal production > L53 Animal physiology - Reproduction
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Other Veterinary Science
Agrovoc terms:swine, sows, piglets, mortality, farrowing pens, stress, cortisol, oestrus, ovulation, reproductive performance, swine production, organic husbandry
Keywords:cortisol, lactational oestrus, multi-suckling pen, organic piglet production, piglet mortality, stress
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13853
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
External funders:FORMAS
Deposited By: Mr Ola Thomsson
Deposited On:18 Nov 2016 06:21
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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