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Risk factors associated with the different categories ofpiglet perinatal mortality in French farms

Lookup NU author(s): Fanny Pandolfi, Emerita Professor Sandra Edwards, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


We aimed to identify mortality patterns and to establish risk factors associated with differentcategories of piglet perinatal mortality in French farms. At farm level, the analyses wereperformed on data from 146 farms that experienced perinatal mortality problems. At pigletlevel, the analyses were performed on data from 155 farms (7761 piglets). All data werecollected over a period of 10 years (2004-14) by a consulting company, using a nonprobabilitysampling at farm level and a random sampling at sow level. Six main categories ofmortality, determined by standardised necropsy procedure, represented 84.5% of all theperinatal deaths recorded. These six categories were, in order of significance: Death duringfarrowing, Non- viable, Early sepsis, Mummified, Crushing and Starvation. At farm level, thepercentage of deaths due to starvation was positively correlated to the percentage of deathsdue to crushing and the percentage of deaths during farrowing (r>0.30, P<0.05) .Thepercentage of deaths due to crushing was negatively correlated to the percentage of deaths dueto early sepsis (r<-0.30, P<0.05) and positively correlated to the deaths due to acute disease(r>0.30, P<0.05). Patterns of perinatal mortality at farm level were identified using a principalcomponent analysis. Based on these, the farms could be classified, using ascendinghierarchical classification, into three different clusters, highlighting issues that underlie farmdifferences. Risk factors were compared at piglet level for the different categories of death.Compared to other categories of death, deaths during farrowing were significantly fewerduring the night than during the day. Compared to other categories of death, the likelihood ofnon-viable piglets tended to be higher in summer than other seasons. A smaller number ofdeaths in the litter was also identified for the piglets classified as non-viable or mummified.For the six main categories of perinatal mortality, the piglets which died from a specificcategory tended to have more littermates which died from the same category. Parity and littersize also had more significant effects on certain categories of death compared to others. The study provides novel information on the risk factors associated with specific categories ofpiglet perinatal mortality. The classification of farms into the 3 different clusters could lead toa more targeted management of perinatal mortality on individual farms.had more significant effects on certain categories of death compared to others. The

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pandolfi F, Edwards SA, Robert F, Kyriazakis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Preventive Veterinary Medicine

Year: 2017

Volume: 137

Issue: Part A

Pages: 1-12

Print publication date: 01/02/2017

Online publication date: 07/12/2016

Acceptance date: 06/12/2016

Date deposited: 03/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0167-5877

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1716

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.12.005


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