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Lene Juul Pedersen

Managing large litters: Selected measures of performance in 10 intermediate nurse sows and welfare of foster piglets

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Managing large litters : Selected measures of performance in 10 intermediate nurse sows and welfare of foster piglets. / Kobek-Kjeldager, Cecilie; Moustsen, Vivi A.; Theil, Peter K.; Pedersen, Lene J.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 233, 105149, 12.2020.

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@article{ed72e64af825428182b266fb02b55c5b,
title = "Managing large litters: Selected measures of performance in 10 intermediate nurse sows and welfare of foster piglets",
abstract = "Selection for increased litter size has led to the use of so-called nurse sows in several European countries. A nurse sow receives new piglets after having weaned her own. Nurse sows are often made in two-steps. In the two-step strategy, new-born piglets are given to a sow 4–7 days into lactation. Her 4–7 days old piglets are given to a so-called intermediate sow 21 days into lactation whose piglets are weaned at day 21. The use of nurse sows has been associated with welfare problems caused by an extended length of crating and/or by the disturbance of the nursing pattern by moving and mixing of foster piglets. The aim of this study was to investigate growth and welfare indicators (latency to suckle after transfer, teat fighting, snout- and knee abrasions) of ten foster litters at the intermediate sow and to compare these with the sows{\textquoteright} own litter at the same age as well as to compare the sows{\textquoteright} milk production, nutritional status and fat mobilisation in the period where she nursed her own piglets compared to the foster piglets. One of the ten sows did not accept the foster litter. The results on the remaining 9 litters showed reduced growth, increased teat fighting and missing milk letdown for the foster piglets compared to the sows{\textquoteright} own litter at the same age (P < 0.05) and more udder abrasions on the sows after transfer (P < 0.05). There were signs of milk intake being insufficient (i.e. lower growth rate of foster piglets) as the foster piglets experienced longer nursing intervals (P < 0.05) and four of the sows{\textquoteright} milk yield dropped considerably after transfer. The sows{\textquoteright} nutritional status did not seem to be compromised but the study indicated an oversupply of dietary protein after becoming nurse sows. In conclusion, there were signs of impaired welfare and growth of foster piglets reared by intermediate nurse sows and indications of a mismatch between sow milk yield and piglet milk removal.",
keywords = "Interim nurse sow, Milk composition, Piglet growth, Sow fat mobilisation, Surplus piglets, Teat fighting",
author = "Cecilie Kobek-Kjeldager and Moustsen, {Vivi A.} and Theil, {Peter K.} and Pedersen, {Lene J.}",
year = "2020",
month = dec,
doi = "10.1016/j.applanim.2020.105149",
language = "English",
volume = "233",
journal = "Applied Animal Behaviour Science",
issn = "0168-1591",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Managing large litters

T2 - Selected measures of performance in 10 intermediate nurse sows and welfare of foster piglets

AU - Kobek-Kjeldager, Cecilie

AU - Moustsen, Vivi A.

AU - Theil, Peter K.

AU - Pedersen, Lene J.

PY - 2020/12

Y1 - 2020/12

N2 - Selection for increased litter size has led to the use of so-called nurse sows in several European countries. A nurse sow receives new piglets after having weaned her own. Nurse sows are often made in two-steps. In the two-step strategy, new-born piglets are given to a sow 4–7 days into lactation. Her 4–7 days old piglets are given to a so-called intermediate sow 21 days into lactation whose piglets are weaned at day 21. The use of nurse sows has been associated with welfare problems caused by an extended length of crating and/or by the disturbance of the nursing pattern by moving and mixing of foster piglets. The aim of this study was to investigate growth and welfare indicators (latency to suckle after transfer, teat fighting, snout- and knee abrasions) of ten foster litters at the intermediate sow and to compare these with the sows’ own litter at the same age as well as to compare the sows’ milk production, nutritional status and fat mobilisation in the period where she nursed her own piglets compared to the foster piglets. One of the ten sows did not accept the foster litter. The results on the remaining 9 litters showed reduced growth, increased teat fighting and missing milk letdown for the foster piglets compared to the sows’ own litter at the same age (P < 0.05) and more udder abrasions on the sows after transfer (P < 0.05). There were signs of milk intake being insufficient (i.e. lower growth rate of foster piglets) as the foster piglets experienced longer nursing intervals (P < 0.05) and four of the sows’ milk yield dropped considerably after transfer. The sows’ nutritional status did not seem to be compromised but the study indicated an oversupply of dietary protein after becoming nurse sows. In conclusion, there were signs of impaired welfare and growth of foster piglets reared by intermediate nurse sows and indications of a mismatch between sow milk yield and piglet milk removal.

AB - Selection for increased litter size has led to the use of so-called nurse sows in several European countries. A nurse sow receives new piglets after having weaned her own. Nurse sows are often made in two-steps. In the two-step strategy, new-born piglets are given to a sow 4–7 days into lactation. Her 4–7 days old piglets are given to a so-called intermediate sow 21 days into lactation whose piglets are weaned at day 21. The use of nurse sows has been associated with welfare problems caused by an extended length of crating and/or by the disturbance of the nursing pattern by moving and mixing of foster piglets. The aim of this study was to investigate growth and welfare indicators (latency to suckle after transfer, teat fighting, snout- and knee abrasions) of ten foster litters at the intermediate sow and to compare these with the sows’ own litter at the same age as well as to compare the sows’ milk production, nutritional status and fat mobilisation in the period where she nursed her own piglets compared to the foster piglets. One of the ten sows did not accept the foster litter. The results on the remaining 9 litters showed reduced growth, increased teat fighting and missing milk letdown for the foster piglets compared to the sows’ own litter at the same age (P < 0.05) and more udder abrasions on the sows after transfer (P < 0.05). There were signs of milk intake being insufficient (i.e. lower growth rate of foster piglets) as the foster piglets experienced longer nursing intervals (P < 0.05) and four of the sows’ milk yield dropped considerably after transfer. The sows’ nutritional status did not seem to be compromised but the study indicated an oversupply of dietary protein after becoming nurse sows. In conclusion, there were signs of impaired welfare and growth of foster piglets reared by intermediate nurse sows and indications of a mismatch between sow milk yield and piglet milk removal.

KW - Interim nurse sow

KW - Milk composition

KW - Piglet growth

KW - Sow fat mobilisation

KW - Surplus piglets

KW - Teat fighting

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85096001197&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.applanim.2020.105149

DO - 10.1016/j.applanim.2020.105149

M3 - Journal article

AN - SCOPUS:85096001197

VL - 233

JO - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

JF - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

SN - 0168-1591

M1 - 105149

ER -