Impact of sow prepartum behavior on maternal behavior, piglet body weight gain, and mortality in farrowing pens and crates

ILLMANNOVÁ, Gudrun, CHALOUPKOVÁ, Helena a MELIŠOVÁ, Michala. Impact of sow prepartum behavior on maternal behavior, piglet body weight gain, and mortality in farrowing pens and crates. Journal of Animal Science, 2016, 94, 3978-3986. ISSN 0021-8812.
Kateg. publikaceVědecké publikace impaktované
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The aim of this study was to investigate whether prepartum activity (nesting and postural changes) could predict maternal behavior 24 h postpartum, piglet mortality, and BW gain 24 h postpartum in farrowing pens and crates. Sows were randomly moved either to a farrowing pen (n = 20) or a farrowing crate (n = 18). Prepartum nest-build­ing behavior (PRE-nesting) and prepartum postural changes (prepartum postural changes) were analyzed 24 h before the birth of the first piglet (BFP) and were divided into twelve 2-h intervals. Latency of the first suckling from the litter was observed after the birth of the last piglet. Udder accesses and piglet suckling were noted at 5-min intervals, using 1/0 sampling, during the first 24 h after BFP were counted. Piglet trapping, crushing, and total live-born mortality were measured during the first 72 h after BFP. Piglet BW gain was estimated 24 h after BFP. Increased PRE-nesting observed 2 h before BFP were associated with fewer suckling intervals in crates but not in pens (P < 0.01) as well as an increase in postural changes dur­ing parturition (P < 0.001) in both housings. A link between housing and PRE-postural changes was evident. An increase in the number of PRE-postural changes 2 h prior to BFP was associated with lower incidences of udder access in crates but not in pens (P < 0.05). A higher probability of piglet trapping was associated with increased PRE-nesting in the 2 to 4 h before BFP. No significant relationship between either PRE-nesting and postural changes and piglet BW gain and mortality was detected. Our results suggest that increased prepartum activity 2 h before parturition is associated with less suckling and less udder access in farrowing crates but not in farrowing pens. This sug­gests that the same sow behavior can have different consequences in pens vs. in crates.

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