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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Preweaning Survival in Swine

Authors
item LAY, JR., DONALD
item MATTERI, ROBERT
item CARROLL, JEFFERY
item Fangman, T - UNIV OF MISSOURI
item Safranski, T - UNIV OF MISSOURI

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 7, 2002
Publication Date: March 7, 2002
Citation: LAY JR, D.C., MATTERI, R.L., CARROLL, J.A., FANGMAN, T.J., SAFRANSKI, T.J. PREWEANING SURVIVAL IN SWINE. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. 2001. V. 80(1). P. 1-13.

Interpretive Summary: A limited ability to cope with environmental stressors (cold, disease, limited nutrition), particularly over the first 2 to 3 d of life, predisposes the piglet to relatively high rates of neonatal mortality. Due to the serious economic impact, numerous surveys of pre-weaning losses have been conducted over the last century. While losses are still significant, the existing literature indicates a significant improvement in piglet survival over time, as determined by reports of 35% pre-weaning mortality in 1924 and 13-15% in 2000. Major sources of mortality have been categorized as overlaying by the sow, insufficient energy intake, and disease. Causes of mortality may be more closely linked with one another than previously believed. Interactions exist between disease, thermoregulation, and nutrition. Piglets with disease and nutritional problems experience a decrease in body temperature and express altered behaviors that increase the likelihood of being laid on by the sow. High probabilities of neonatal losses are associated with low birth weight piglets, cold ambient temperatures, and diarhea. An understanding of the interactions between environmental stressors and piglet biology will aid researchers and farmers to create strategies and recommendations for improving pre-weaning survival.

Technical Abstract: A limited ability to cope with environmental stressors (cold, disease, limited nutrition), particularly over the first 2 to 3 d of life, predisposes the piglet to relatively high rates of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Due to the serious economic impact, numerous surveys of pre- weaning losses have been conducted over the last century. While losses are still significant, the existing literature indicates a significant improvement in piglet survival over time, as determined by reports of 35% pre-weaning mortality in 1924 and 13-15% in 2000. Major sources of mortality have been categorized as overlaying by the sow, insufficient energy intake, and disease. Causes of mortality may be more closely linked with one another than previously believed. Interactions exist between disease, thermoregulation, and nutrition. Piglets with disease and nutritional problems experience hypothermia and express altered behaviors that increase the likelihood of being laid on by the sow. High probabilities of neonatal losses are associated with low birth weight piglets, cold ambient temperatures, and scouring. An understanding of the interactions between environmental stressors and piglet biology forms the basis of strategies and recommendations for improving pre- weaning survival.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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