The aim of this study was to conduct a descriptive study of haemoglobin concentration found on high-prolificacy sows, to study the relationship between the concentration of haemoglobin and body reserves, and to determine whether anaemia is a risk factor for reproductive performance. A cohort of 308 sows from seven farms was followed from the last third of gestation to the confirmation of the following gestation. Haemoglobin concentration was assessed at four stages of the reproductive cycle: seven and four weeks before farrowing, a few days and three weeks after farrowing. Backfat thickness (BFT) was measured at parturition. The results were analysed using linear mixed-effect models. The mean haemoglobin concentration was 108.4 g/l. The mean modellised haemoglobin concentration of parity 1 sows with a BFT of 16 mm, sampled seven weeks before farrowing, was 118 g/l. Haemoglobin concentration of sows of parity 6 or higher was 8.0 g/l lower than those of parity 1 sows (95% confidence interval −11.0 to −5.1). Haemoglobin concentration is lower in sows with a lower BFT, whatever parity rank. There is no evidence of a relation between haemoglobin concentration and the number of total born, stillborn or number of piglets alive at three weeks and the next breeding performance.
- Accepted June 28, 2012.
- British Veterinary Association