Effects of day of farrowing induction and spontaneous versus induced farrowing on sow and suckling piglet performance
H. M. Smith, MS; C. C. Selby, MS; A. M. Williams, MS; M. R. Ellersieck, PhD; W. R. Lamberson, PhD; T. J. Safranski, PhD
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Objectives: To evaluate the impact of day of farrowing induction on production parameters under commercial conditions (Analysis 1) and impact of induction, regardless of day, on production parameters (Analysis 2).
Materials and methods: First- and second-parity sows (n = 469) were induced with prostaglandin F2α at 3:30 and 6:00 am on gestation day 113, 114, or 116. Sows that had not farrowed by 5:30 am the following day received 10 IU oxytocin.
Results: Analysis 1: Gestation length (mean ± standard error) was 114.01 ± 0.08, 114.67 ± 0.08, and 115.19 ± 0.09 days for day 113, 114, and 116 groups, respectively; spontaneous farrowing occurred in 6.50%, 14.89%, and 80.83% of sows. There was no treatment effect on number born alive (NBA), mummies, stillborns, litter weaning weight, litter average daily gain, percentage litters receiving medical intervention once, piglet mortality, or percentage sows in estrus by day 7 post weaning. Percentage unsupervised piglets was greater (P = .001) in day 116 (64.8%) than day 113 sows (56.9%), and intermediate in day 114 sows. Analysis 2: Sows farrowing spontaneously had shorter gestation lengths (114.4 ± 0.09 days) than induced sows (114.7 ± 0.07 days; P = .01). Other sow and piglet parameters did not differ between induced and spontaneous sows.
Implications: Under the conditions of this study, more piglets are born during unsupervised hours when sows are induced on day 116 than when sows are induced on day 113. Gestation length must be known for successful farrowing induction.
Keywords: farrowing induction, piglet performance, sow performance
Cite as: Smith HM, Selby CC, Williams AM, et al. Effects of day of farrowing induction and spontaneous versus induced farrowing on sow and suckling piglet performance. J Swine Health Prod 2013;21(4):195-202.
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