Litter birth weight phenotype and its influence on embryonic and placental development at day 30 of gestation

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

The Science Page this week is a collaboration between the University of Alberta and Hendrix Genetics regarding low litter birth weight phenotypes in sows.

Key points

  • In every herd there is a population of sows that produce low birth weight piglets independent of the litter size
  • The litter birth weight phenotype (LBWP) is a sow-related phenotype
  • Low LBWP sows show delayed embryonic and placental development on day 30 of gestation
Continue reading “Litter birth weight phenotype and its influence on embryonic and placental development at day 30 of gestation”

What is the impact of zinc in late-gestation diets?

Image by Tim McReynolds from Pixabay

Our colleagues in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural resource Sciences (CFANS) have shared one of their latest projects with the National Hog Farmer readers. They found that adding higher amounts of zinc in the late-gestation diet of sows in both a research and commercial herd increased the survival of smaller piglets until they are weaned.

Continue reading “What is the impact of zinc in late-gestation diets?”

How much floor space do group housed sows need?

An article from our colleagues in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and published in the National Hog Farmer explores how much space the sows really need. It is critical to find the right balance between the welfare of the animals and the productivity of the farm.

Continue reading “How much floor space do group housed sows need?”

Best of Leman 2017 series #8: B. Thompson – 25 years of experience in sow health and longevity

We launched a new series on the blog in October. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the 2017 Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.

Our 8th presentation is by Dr. Bob Thompson, the 2017 recipient of the Science in Practice award, regarding 25 years of experience in sow health and longevity.

To listen to this talk, please click on the image below.

thompson leman 25 years xp sow longevity

Science Page: PRRS incidence in status 4 sow farms

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

This week,  we are sharing a report by the MSHMP team on PRRS incidence in status 4 sow farms.

Key points

  • In the last 9 years, on average 10.2% (Range 3.7% – 22%) of status 4 farms have had a PRRS outbreak during the MSHMP season and in the 2017-2018 season, the cumulative incidence (July to April) is 9.6%.
  • The lowest PRRS incidence was observed during the 2013/2014 PRRS season; the year that PED entered the US.
  • PRRS incidence in status 4 farms during the current MSHMP season is not higher than the ones observed in the previous MSHMP seasons.

Reminder: Status 4 sow farms are the farms that considered negative both in shedding and exposure status in the classification document published by the AASV.

Objective

Has there been an increase in PRRS outbreaks incidence in status 4 sow farms?

Method

PRRS incidence in status 4 farms from 2009 to April 2018 was compiled and compared with the current MSHMP year using Fisher’s Exact test.

Results

During the current MSHMP year (July 2017- April 2018), 27 status 4 farms have had a PRRS outbreak (6.9% incidence). The average incidence of status 4 farms from 2009 to April 2018 was 9.6%. However, PRRS incidence have varied greatly among years (figure 1). PRRS incidence had its minimum value during the 2013/2014 MSHMP season with a 3.4%. This coincides with the year that porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) entered the US.

When comparing the incidence during the 2017/2018 MSHMP year with the incidence observed during the 2015/2016 MSHMP year, a borderline significant difference (p=0.06) was observed.

PRRS incidence in status 4 sow farms
Figure 1. Percentage of PRRS incidence in Status 4 farms by year (July-April)

Summary

PRRS incidence in status 4 farms (July 2017 –April 2018) was overall similar to previous years, although slightly higher than July 2016-April 2017, and significantly lower than July 2015-April 2016. Other factors, such as region, may be contributing to the
perception of increased PRRS incidence in status 4 farms.Exploring these factors may help explain the perception of increased
incidence.