Physical Conditions of Cull Sows Associated with On-Farm Production Records


Cull sow physical conditions were associated with on-farm production records. Sows (923) within one integrated U.S. production system were evaluated at two harvest facilities. Physical conditions evaluated at harvest were analyzed by parity, culling code and production measures. Farm culling codes were categorized into poor body condition (BC), old age (G), lameness (L), other (O), poor litter performance (P) and reproductive failure (R). Production measures included lifetime pigs born alive (LPBA), pigs born alive in the last litter (PBALL), pigs per sow per year (PSY) and weaning to culling interval. The L culling code had a greater (P < 0.05) prevalence of cracked hooves when compared to the other five culling codes (30.9% vs. 18.7%). Sows without front cracked hooves tended (P = 0.07) to have greater PSY (0.80) when compared to sows having front cracked hooves. Females without rear digital overgrowth had more (P < 0.05) PBALL (0.54) and tended (P = 0.06) to have increased PSY (0.80) when compared to sows with rear digital overgrowth. Sows without shoulder lesions had greater (P < 0.05) LPBA (2.01) when compared to sows with shoulder lesions. Regression coefficient estimates for percent lung lesion involvement were positive and tended (P < 0.10) to be different from zero for LPBA (0.06) and PSY (0.03). Females with severe teeth wear tended (P ≤ 0.10) to have fewer LPBA (1.36), PBALL (0.45) and had fewer (P < 0.01) PSY (1.10) when compared to sows without severe teeth wear. Sows culled for BC and L had lower (P < 0.01) backfat when compared to sows from the other four culling codes (1.83 and 2.04 cm vs. 2.47 to 2.85 cm, respectively). Multiple cull sow physical conditions evaluated at harvest had associations with on-farm reproductive measures.

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Knauer, M. , Stalder, K. , Baas, T. , Johnson, C. and Karriker, L. (2012) Physical Conditions of Cull Sows Associated with On-Farm Production Records. Open Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 2, 137-150. doi: 10.4236/ojvm.2012.23023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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