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The effect of farrowing duration on maternal behavior of hyperprolific sows in organic outdoor production

Thorsen, Cecilie Kobek; Schild, Sarah-Lina Aagaard; Rangstrup-Christensen, Lena; Bilde, Trine and Juul Pedersen, Lene (2017) The effect of farrowing duration on maternal behavior of hyperprolific sows in organic outdoor production. Livestock Science, 204, pp. 92-97.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871141317302494?via%3Dihub


Prolonged farrowing duration has previously been related to hypoxia, stillbirth and poor sow health post partum (pp). A difficult farrowing may affect sow behavior through exhaustion, sickness or pain and thus constitute a risk for sub-optimal maternal behavior. The aim of the present work was to study if the duration of farrowing in an organic sow herd affected sow postural changes, carefulness of lying down and nursing behavior relevant for early piglet mortality. Thirty-eight sows and their piglets housed in individual paddocks with an A-frame hut were video recorded from the day of farrowing and the following 72 h. The average farrowing duration till the last live born piglet was 7.5 ± 7 h (2.1–28.9 h). The only effect found of farrowing duration was a 22 ± 10 min reduced latency to leave the hut after birth of the last live born piglet when the farrowing increased with one hour. Other results showed normal, passive sow behavior with increasing activity as days past post partum (pp). Despite a large range in farrowing durations, no considerable effects were found suggesting exhaustion affecting maternal behavior. The results suggest that these organic sows were resilient enough to get through even a difficult farrowing without being energy depleted.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Farrowing; Sow behavior; Piglet mortality; Outdoor production; Animal welfare
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Health and welfare
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Pigs
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 2 > VIPiglets
Deposited By: Iburg-Krogh, Secretary Mette
ID Code:33924
Deposited On:10 Oct 2018 12:58
Last Modified:10 Oct 2018 12:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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