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Title:The impact of sow gestation housing system (individual vs. group) on the reproductive performance of sows across 6 parities & the effect of farrowing pen size on pre-weaning mortality
Author(s):Vande Pol, Katherine Diane
Advisor(s):Ellis, Michael
Department / Program:Animal Sciences
Discipline:Animal Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Sow housing
Farrowing pen
Pre-weaning mortality
Gestation
Abstract:Two studies were carried out on a commercial sow unit to evaluate the effects of gestation housing system and farrowing pen size, respectively, on sow and litter performance. The gestation housing system study used a randomized complete block design to compare 2 treatments: Individual and Group (8 females/pen) housing. The experimental unit was the individual female, and a replicate was 16 females (1 pen of 8, and 8 individually-housed). A total of 1,974 females were allotted to the study (at approximately day 35 of gestation) which was carried out over 6 parities resulting in 6,802 individual parity records. There were a limited number of Gestation Housing treatment by parity interactions (P < 0.05); however, none of these were practically important. There were relatively few effects of Gestation Housing treatment on sow and litter performance. There were treatment differences (P < 0.05) for sow body condition score and body weight; however, differences between the housing systems were numerically small and not practically important. There was no effect (P > 0.05) of housing treatment on days from weaning to breeding, conception and farrowing rate, number of piglets born alive, mummified, total born, and weaned, piglet and litter weights (at birth and weaning), or the percentage of sows that were euthanized, died, or culled during the study. Pre-weaning mortality was greater (P < 0.05) for the Group (15.2%) compared to the Individual Gestation Housing treatment (14.2%). The percentage of sows removed from the study for any reason (euthanized, died, culled, or removed from allotment) was greater (P < 0.05) for the Group (14.3%) than the Individual Gestation Housing treatment (12.1%). This effect was due to the Group housing treatment having a greater (P < 0.05) percentage of sows removed from allotted gestation housing (16.3 %) (for treatment of injuries, disease, low body condition, or not being pregnant) compared to the Individual housing treatment (10.0 %). The effect of farrowing pen size (in pens with farrowing crates) on pre-weaning mortality was evaluated in a study using a sub-sample of females from the sow gestation housing study described above. A Randomized Complete Block Design was used to compare two Farrowing Pen Size treatments: Standard (pen width = 1.52 m) and Increased (pen width = 1.68 m) pen size. The experimental unit was individual sow and litter and a replicate was 2 sows and litters (one per treatment). A total of 1,816 pregnant females were allotted to treatment, balanced for previous Gestation Housing treatment and parity, on day 112 of gestation when they were moved from the gestation to the farrowing facility. Management of the sows in the farrowing facility was according to the standard unit protocols. Cross-fostering was carried out within 24 hours of birth to standardize litter size between sows within a replicate. Piglet numbers and weights were recorded at birth and weaning. There were few effects of farrowing pen size on any measures, and none of the differences between the pen sizes were of practical importance. Pre-weaning mortality was not different (P > 0.05) between the two treatments, which suggests that there was no benefit for the increased farrowing pen size.
Issue Date:2017-01-11
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/97246
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Katherine Vande Pol
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05


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