EFFECT OF GRINDING OF NEEDLE TEETH ON PIGLET WEANING PERFORMANCE
Carlota Catalán 1, María Teresa Tejedor 2*, Luis Pico 3, Olga Mitjana 1, Cristina Bonastre1, María Victoria Falceto1
The presence of needle teeth is an important issue for piglet welfare and performance. The objective of this study was to compare teeth grinding versus intact teeth in terms of piglet weaning performance, taking into account the sow´s parity. A number of 1,798 piglets from Hypor Genetics [(Landrace × Large White sows) x German Pietrain boards] were studied; 162 litters were randomly assigned to the control (C: 871 piglets) or treated group (T: 915 piglets). Sex had no significant effects on wean weight (WW; P = 0.390), average daily gain (ADG; P = 0.375) and time of weaning (TW; P = 0.785). Significant interactive effects group x sow’s parity (GxSP) were observed for WW (P < 0.001), ADG (P < 0.001), and TW (P = 0.018). Final litter size (FLS) and initial weight (IW) showed as covariates a significant effect on WW (P < 0.001). FLS also showed a significant effect as covariate on ADG (P < 0.001). The beneficial effect of grinding on both WW and ADG (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) was limited to piglets from primiparous and parity 2-6 sows. Mean TW was higher for primiparous sows in the T group (P = 0.001), but no significant differences were found between C and T groups for other parities (P > 0.05). Grinding improved growth until weaning of piglets from primiparous and parity 2-6 sows, but the use of this technique would not be advisable for piglets from mature sows.
Key words: piglet, needle teeth, growth, animal welfare
1Departmento de Patología Animal, Universidad de Zaragoza, Facultad de Veterinaria, C/ Miguel Servet 177, ES-50013 Zaragoza, España. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, cbonastr@ unizar.es, firstname.lastname@example.org
2Departmento de Anatomía, Embriología y Genética Animal, CIBERCV, Universidad de Zaragoza, Facultad de Veterinaria, C/ Miguel Servet 177, ES-50013 Zaragoza, España. E-mail: email@example.com
3Vall Companys, Polígono Industrial Valdeferrín, ES-50600, Ejea de los Caballeros, España. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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