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Optimising oral fluid collection from groups of pigs: Effect of housing system and provision of ropes

Lookup NU author(s): Yolande Seddon, Dr Jonathan Guy, Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards


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The effective use of pooled oral fluid (OF) in disease surveillance requires that samples are representative of the group. The aim of this study was to develop a 'rope presentation' protocol to maximise the number of different pigs sampled from a pen of animals. Eight pens of grower pigs in 'fully slatted' accommodation (FS) and 'straw-kennels' (SK) were presented with a balanced sequence of 1-4 ropes. Ropes were presented for 60 min, and the chewing time/pig recorded. Oral fluid was extracted from all of the ropes. Rope provided for 60 min generated chewing in >80% of the group. Pigs in SK exhibited longer latency to interact with the rope (P < 0.001), reduced percentage of pigs chewing (P < 0.001), and a reduced mean total time spent chewing (P < 0.001). An interaction was found between 'system' and 'number of ropes provided' (P < 0.05). Increasing the number of ropes increased the mean total chewing time/pig only in the FS. The quantity of OF obtained correlated with the percentage of pigs that chewed the rope (P < 0.001) and the mean total time spent chewing/pig (P < 0.001). Where the group size was <= 25, presenting one rope for 45 min was sufficient to optimise the number of pigs sampled. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seddon YM, Guy JH, Edwards SA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Veterinary Journal

Year: 2012

Volume: 193

Issue: 1

Pages: 180-184

Print publication date: 01/07/2012

ISSN (print): 1090-0233

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2971

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.11.008


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