Reducing neonatal piglet mortality in alternative farrowing systems

Activity: Talk, evidence or presentation typesOral presentation


Improving piglet survival in any system is challenging when farmers are having to manage the continuing trend of breeding for very large litters which has exacerbated piglet mortality (Figure 1). Piglets are born of lower birth weight, with an increasing number of intrauterine growth retarded piglets (Matheson et al. 2018). More low birth weight and vulnerable piglets means greater intervention by staff to optimise survival (Peltoniemi et al. 2021). This can be challenging in any farrowing environment, but alternative systems that allow the sow greater freedom of movement must consider design features that help facilitate safe human interventions whilst optimising the welfare of the sow and her piglets. People remain the most important contributor to animal welfare outcomes, so it is important that a positive human animal relationship with the animals is developed early at the gilt rearer stage. This is an often overlooked but critical factor making management during farrowing and lactation easier with positive outcomes for performance as well as animal welfare.
Period1 Mar 2023
Event titleporciFORUM 2023
Event typeConference
LocationLleida, SpainShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational