Sow lying behaviors before, during and after farrowing

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)32_Refereed conference paper (with host publication)peer-review

14 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • F. Lao
  • T.M. Brown-Brandl
  • J.P. Stinn
  • G. Teng
  • H. Xin

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting
Place of PublicationSt. Joseph, Michigan
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
ISBN (Print)9781510828759
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameASABE Annual International Meeting
PublisherAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Conference

Title2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting
PlaceUnited States
CityOrlando
Period17 - 20 July 2016

Abstract

Piglet pre-weaning mortality remains a considerable challenge for the swine industry, representing one of the key areas where animal well-being and economical interest coincide. Sows and piglets carry out a complex series of behaviors during the farrowing/lactation period. These behaviors during the first few days after parturition are extremely important for piglet survival, and they can be greatly impacted by the farrowing system, environment, and/or management. The risk of sow crushing is much greater for piglets when the sow changes her postures. Limited studies have investigated the effects of environment on sow's posture changes or basic understanding of sow's lying or other behavior patterns. Using a computer vision and analysis system, this study aims to characterize sows' postural behaviors before, during and after farrowing to ultimately reduce pre-weaning piglet mortality and to understand the relationship between placement of localized heat source (heat lamp) and its impact on sows' lying preference, if any. Analysis of data with 15 sows thus far reveals the following preliminary observations. The sows do not seem to have a preference of lying on one side vs. the other before farrowing regardless of absence or presence of a heat lamp on the side. However, heat lamp in the creep area significantly affects the sows' lying side in the first 3 days after farrowing. Interestingly, the lactating sows demonstrated the postural behavior of facing more of her backside toward the heat lamp relative to before farrowing. Such a behavior would not be in the best interest of the piglets' well-being. The presence of heat lamp during the lactation period seemed to have some carryover effect on the sow's lying posture when the heat lamp was tuned off with elder piglets. Sows change their behaviors (lying, sitting, standing, and movement) over the farrowing cycle. In particular, sow's behaviors change sharply 24 h prior to farrowing, making it is possible to predict farrowing time by analyzing the behavioral changes with the automatic tracking system. More data are being collected.

Research Area(s)

  • Image analysis, Localized heating, Pre-weaning mortality, Sow postural behaviors

Citation Format(s)

Sow lying behaviors before, during and after farrowing. / Lao, F.; Brown-Brandl, T.M.; Stinn, J.P. et al.
2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting. St. Joseph, Michigan: American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2016. 162461921 (ASABE Annual International Meeting).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)32_Refereed conference paper (with host publication)peer-review