Data from 67 pig farms with a variety of farrowing systems were used to identify factors associated with preweaning mortality in British pig herds. The median mortality reported by the farmers was 10·7 per cent (interquartile range 8·5 to 14 per cent). There was a significantly higher mortality when the pigs were weaned when they were older. A multivariable Poisson model was developed into which the types of farrowing system on each farm and the age at weaning were forced. Factors associated with a lower preweaning mortality rate were insulating the farrowing building, providing extra heat at farrowing, giving the piglets iron injections, dipping their navels, using fan ventilation and using artificial lighting systems. Factors associated with a higher mortality rate were a later weaning age, the use of infra-red lamps rather than other forms of supplementary heat, and the use of a creep without any bedding.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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