Submitted to: Swine Day Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2002
Publication Date: 1/10/2002
Citation: SORRELLS, A.D., EICHER, S.D., HARRIS, M.J., PAJOR, E.A., RICHERT, B.T. EVALUATING HOUSING STRESS IN GESTATING GILTS USING IMMUNOLOGICAL MEASURES. SWINE DAY REPORT. 2002. P. 112-114.
Technical Abstract: Gestation stalls were compared to gestation stalls with a group access area to determine indicators of well-being for gilts. Eight groups of four gilts were compared with sixteen individually stalled gilts. Groups of four gilts were allocated a space of 3.94 by 2.44 m and individual stalls were 2.21 by 0.61 m. Jugular blood samples were obtained on days 35, 63, and 91 of gestation. Hematology measures included granulocyte and lymphocyte numbers and hematocrit percents. Three acute phase proteins (liver proteins that indicate stress and inflammation) were measured; fibrinogen, haptoglobin, and alpha 1 acid glycoprotein. Granulocytes, fibrinogen, and haptoglobin all had significant (P<0.05) time effects. Granulocytes, fibrinogen, and haptoglobin increased in both groups at 91 days of gestation compared to 35 and 63 days of gestation. Haptoglobin concentrations also strongly tended (P=0.06) to be greater in the stalled gilts compared to the group-housed gilts at all three timepoints. These data suggest that gilts in stalls may have inflammation or tissue damage that was not evident by visual inspection. This information will be useful in correlating physiological and behavioral data to determine housing systems that are best for the well-being of gestating pigs.