Association between limb conformation and retention of sows through the second parity

Karina L. Tiranti, Robert B. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective - To determine the association between limb conformation scores in gilts and retention through the second parity. Animals - 961 gilts. Procedure - Gilts were monitored for 1 year. Base line data recorded were conformation scores for the forelimbs and hind limbs and backfat thickness. Primary outcome was time to removal from a herd, and the secondary outcome was time to removal as a result of lameness. Results - 662 of 961 (68.89%) females remained in herds through the second parity, whereas 299 (31.11%) were removed before the second parity. Survival time for females on the basis of conformation scores for the forelimbs and hind limbs differed significantly for total sow removals and removals as a result of lameness. Females with poor conformation scores for the hind limbs had an increased risk of being removed, compared with risk for females with better conformation scores. Risk of removal specifically as a result of lameness increased as conformation score for the hind limbs became poorer. Proportion of the total population that was removed and could be attributed to undesirable limb conformation was 16.13% for forelimbs and 12.90% for hind limbs. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Females with undesirable conformation were removed earlier than females with desirable conformation. This was particularly true for females with low conformation scores for the hind limbs. Selection of gilts on the basis of limb conformation may result in reduced attrition of females and improved performance of herds over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-509
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

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