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Prolonged farrowing is associated with complications and a higher number of stillborn piglets. Therefore, the aim of the present field trial was to explore factors affecting the duration of farrowing on two high health status farms with 440 crossbred Yorkshire x Landrace sows each. Factors initially included were parity, breed, herd, group, back fat, design of the farrowing pen (open pen / crate), litter size, number of stillborn piglets, pregnancy length and constipation. Each of the farrowing pens (n=16) were equipped with video recording cameras and beginning / end of parturition were verified by reviewing the recordings. A stepwise multivariate linear regression model was built in order to find significant predictors of duration of farrowing. Sows (n=170) included had an average parity of 4.4 ± 1.8 and the average number of piglets born alive was 11.9 ± 2.9. The average back fat 3 weeks prior to farrowing was 14.5 ± 3.6 mm and the average constipation score was 2.0 ± 0.6. Overall, the mean duration of farrowing was 268.8 ± 154 minutes. Constipated sows (score below 2.0) and sows with a back fat score higher than 17 mm had a prolonged duration of farrowing (P<0.01 and 0.05, respectively). Sows housed in open pens had 1.5 hours shorter duration of farrowing than those in crates (201 ± 98 minutes vs. 301 ± 165 minutes, respectively, P<0.05). In conclusion, closing sows in crates, constipation and back fat thickness higher than 17 mm significantly prolonged duration of farrowing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReproduction. Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventThe 8th International Conference on Pig Reproduction - Bunff, United Kingdom
Duration: 31 May 20094 Jun 2009
Conference number: 8

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