Statistically, piglets v a greater birth load have much better chances the survival. Scientists endeavoured to discover out whether over there is a cut-off worth where survival is jeopardised. Their advice: pay extra attention to any kind of piglet listed below 1.13 kg.

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The fate of neonatal piglets is increasingly coming to be a welfare issue in part countries. This is due to the fact that the breakthrough of breeding highly prolific sows has had one downside: high litter sizes often mean the the number of weak piglets is likewise higher. This could lead to higher pre-weaning mortality rates at worst – or, need to they survive, to fairly many poor-doers on-farm. It because of this becomes progressively relevant to recognize the weakest piglets ideal from the start, in bespeak to offer them extra support once they need it most.


It’s no rocket scientific research that piglets having actually a short birth weight generally score worse, e.g. By having actually a reduced chance that surviving, on optimal of achieve a diminished daily gain, decreased pork quality and also increased feed conversion rate. The short birth weight, however, intrigued jan Jourquin at Elanco pet Health, as when specifically should a birth weight be qualified together ‘low’? through that question, researcher did a range of quantitative trials in both Europe and the United claims to number out if a cut-off value could be calculated. This, consequently would assist to predict survival chances and also growth potential, elevation of litter size and also farm.

Results native trials in US and also Europe

Jourquin gift the results of Spanish trials, at the international Pig Veterinary culture (IPVS) congress in Dublin, Ireland, in June 2016. In participation with PigChamp agree Europa, Spain, researchers adhered to 2,331 litters indigenous 178 litters from birth to slaughter or minute of fatality on three ranches in Spain. A significant amount the data neighboring the life (or death) of this piglets to be recorded.

On average, litter size was uncovered to it is in 14.3 piglets, of which 13.1 to be liveborn. Typical birth weight was 1.46 kg. Complete mortality was discovered to it is in 17.5%. The load of 1.13 kg was uncovered to be a clean breaking suggest when that comes under to pre-weaning survival chances, likewise see Figure 1. Listed below this weight, piglets ~ above average had actually a 58% possibility of survival; above this weight, the survival opportunities were 92%.

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Predicted Pre-wean Mortality by birth Weight

Jourquin pointed to reasonably similar recent research in the US, lugged out by Kansas State University, wherein a cut-off point of roughly 1.11 kg come out. This data were presented in ~ the recent midwestern meeting of the American society of animal Science (ASAS), in Des Moines, IA, unified States.