In swine production, the economic gain in the farrowing room corresponds to the number of weaned piglets/sow per year. Pre-weaning mortality is at least 11–13% of total losses within one herd, considering a previous 7–8% of the stillbirths. Piglet crushing by the sow contributes significantly to the overall piglet mortality. It is caused by multiple factors related to the sow, the piglet and due to modern swine husbandry along the last 50 years. This study aimed to compare three different designs of farrowing crates during the first three days of life in relation to piglet-crushing mortality in intensive herd. One hundred fifty-eight sows with spontaneous deliveries were housed in the following farrowing crates groups: group A (n = 51) farrowing within conventional crates, group B (n = 47) farrowing within the slide cage and group C (n = 60) in the up and down designed, for a total of 2487 live born piglets. In the first three days of life, group C reported the lower crushing mortality rate (0.54%), while groups B and A reported 2.37% and 5.46%, respectively. The comparison between the group C value compared with group A values (p<.001; Chi-square = 36.90) and B (p = .003; Chi-square = 8.81) were statistically significant. In conclusion, the approach to create more space for both mother and litter within an acceptable size of farrowing crates (slide cage and up & down designed) allowed a significant reduction in mortality crushing rate of the piglets during the first three days of life.
Effects of three different designed farrowing crates on neonatal piglets crushing: preliminary study / Mazzoni, Claudio; Annalisa, Scollo; Righi, Federico; Bigliardi, Enrico; Di Ianni, Francesco; Bertocchi, Mara; Parmigiani, Enrico; Bresciani, Carla. - In: ITALIAN JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. - ISSN 1828-051X. - 17:2(2018), pp. 505-510. [10.1080/1828051X.2017.1385428]
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