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An examination of behavioral, immunological and productive traits in four management systems for sows and piglets

By J. J. McGlone, F. Blecha

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Abstract

Forty-one sows and litters were utilized in a multi-disciplinary evaluation of four common commercial housing systems for sows and piglets: (1) a standard crate (SC); (2) a modified or turnaround crate (TC); (3) a pen with an indoor and outdoor area (OP); (4) a straw-bedded hut on a lot (HL). HL litters had a higher incidence of still-births than OP litters. Litters raised in HL had higher mortality and weaned fewer and lighter pigs. Litters in TC had lower mortality than SC litters. Sow behaviour data (such as sow feeding time) parallelled productivity data (number of piglets weaned). Sows who spent more time chewing at the bars before farrowing had larger litter sizes. Sows who were less active (that is, moved while standing) pre-farrowing weaned more piglets. Sows who spent more time feeding weaned more pigs. Immunological data indicated that piglets in OP had higher white blood cell numbers and piglets in HL had lower antigen-induced blood antibody titres.

Date 1987
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 18
Issue 3/4
Pages 269-286
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Dep. Anim. Sci., Tech. Univ., Lubbock, TX 79409, USA.
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal diseases
  3. Animal housing
  4. Animal husbandry
  5. Animal production
  6. Birth
  7. Farrowing
  8. Fetus
  9. Housing
  10. Immune response
  11. Immunity reactions
  12. Immunological reactions
  13. Mammals
  14. Meat animals
  15. peer-reviewed
  16. Resistance and Immunity
  17. Swine
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  1. peer-reviewed