To determine associations between stillbirths and sow hematological parameters at farrowing, a total of 160 sows from a high-performing Danish farrow-to-finish herd were chosen for the study. Standard hematological parameters were measured in sows within nine days before farrowing. At farrowing, dead piglets were collected and stillborns were identified using a lung floatation technique. The number of live-born piglets and parity of the sow was recorded after termination of farrowing. A generalized linear model was fitted to analyze the associations between each hematological parameter and the probability of stillbirth.
The mean (standard deviation) sow hemoglobin concentration before farrowing was 108.5 (8.6) g/L. In total, 29 sows (18.1%) were anemic ie, hemoglobin concentration below 100 g/L. The mean number of total born and stillborn piglets per litter was 16.3 (4.1) and 1.2 (2.2), respectively. The average parity of sows was 2.8 (1.8). Piglet stillbirth was associated with several hematological parameters of the sow, namely hemoglobin concentration, mean cell hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, red blood cell distribution width, hemoglobin distribution width, platelet distribution width, number of reticulocytes, reticulocyte hemoglobin content, and reticulocyte cellular volume. Parity of the sow and total number of piglets born per litter were also associated with stillbirths.
The probability of piglet stillbirth in this study is affected by several hematological parameters of the sow. There is also an association between probability of stillbirth and parity of the sow.
Bhattarai S, Framstad T, Nielsen JP. Stillbirths in relation to sow hematological parameters at farrowing: A cohort study. J Swine Health Prod. 2018;26(4):215-222.