Impact of Enrichment on the Behavior of Sows Housed in Groups

Drs. Ventura and Zhitnitskiy, faculty members in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota recently published a new article regarding the influence of point-source enrichment on the behavior of gestating sows housed in groups. The article is available in open-access on the Frontiers in Animal Science website.

Key Points

  • Most common observed behaviors were sows being inactive (73%), followed by sham-chewing (16%). Enrichment use made up only 1% of observations.
  • Number of observed interactions with enrichment decreased sharply on the second day.
  • Low-parity sows, moderately-lame sows, and sham-chewing sows interacted more with the enrichment.
  • No increase in adverse effects (agonistic behaviors, sham-chewing) was observed.
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Best of Leman #6: J. Pittman – Control of influenza using custom vaccines in sows: a two-year experience

This is our most popular series on the blog. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.

We can find all of the presentations selected from previous conferences on the blog here.

Continue reading “Best of Leman #6: J. Pittman – Control of influenza using custom vaccines in sows: a two-year experience”

Best of Leman #5: J. Ross – Current efforts towards improving pig livability

This is our most popular series on the blog. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.

We can find all of the presentations selected from previous conferences on the blog here.

Continue reading “Best of Leman #5: J. Ross – Current efforts towards improving pig livability”

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

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
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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?”