Lameness is an important problem among pig breeders, because it significantly changes the physiology and behavior of sows. Sows suffering from this problem often experience pain, and deviations in their behavior are noticeable. In a recent study, researchers found out how it affects piglets.
Just as hoof injuries in cows significantly affect their milk yield, sow’s lameness can cause a number of problems for sows and piglets.
Pig health and welfare expert Dr. Monique Pairis Garcia points out the potential long-term consequences failure to provide adequate care to sows. Thus lameness has a significant impact on the economic viability of breeding because it affects the reproductive health and longevity of sows. And the loss of a sow naturally leads to direct economic loss.
Even about 15% of sows goes out of breeding because of lameness. The researchers considered what this means for piglets and whether the health condition of the sow affects not only the piglets at birth, but also later in life?
Research results: Influence of sow lameness on piglets
The results of the study indicate that lameness in sows affects the weight of piglets at birth, but also their behavior, and on the chance of their survival.
Namely, piglets born from lame sows showed a larger number of skin lesions and aggressive interactions with other piglets.
This indicates that piglets born to pigs that do not suffer from lameness have better survival skills because they avoid conflicts more efficiently and are born heavier.
Regular checkups as the best prevention
Researchers suggest that appropriate health measures in the prevention and treatment of lameness can significantly affect the welfare of sows and piglets, and thus the economic aspect of breeding.
They also point out that they are moderately lame sows are the biggest challenge to treat, because clinical signs of lameness can often be subtle and imperceptible. That is why it is necessary check folders regularly and carefully, so that some symptoms do not “slip through”.
Further research is planned to identify diseased animals before lameness becomes incurable, as well as to improve genetic criteria, to ensure that the hooves and legs are adapted to the sow’s body.
Source: Pig Progress
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