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Neurophysiological development of newborn pigs: effect of the sow’s parity number in eutocic farrowings

Roldan-Santiago, P., Mota-Rojas, D., Martínez-Burnes, J., Velarde, A., Muns, R., López-Mayagoitia, A.
Animal production science 2019 v.59 no.2 pp. 216-224
acid-base balance, asphyxia, birth weight, blood gases, breathing, energy, heart rate, neonates, neurophysiology, piglets, sows, staining, vigor
The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of sow parity on neonatal piglet health and vitality at birth. We evaluated 1505 neonate piglets, which were born of York–Landrace sows with the following parity distribution: primiparous (n = 202), second (n = 207), third (n = 211), fourth (n = 222), fifth (n = 225), sixth (n = 218) and seventh parity (n = 220). Piglets born to primiparous and seventh-parity sows had the lowest and highest birthweights respectively, and showed the most marked imbalances in blood gas exchanges, acid–base balance and energy profiles, as well as the highest percentage of severe meconium staining of the skin and the lowest vitality scores (P < 0.05). In contrast, the neonates from the fourth-parity sows had the highest vitality scores, required less time to reach the mother’s teat, and had the highest percentage of adhered umbilical cords and newborns with dyspnoea, apnoea and abnormal heartbeat (P < 0.05). The results of this study suggest that during eutocic farrowings, the sow’s parity number has the following effects on newborn piglets: reduced vigour and longer latencies to begin breathing, stand and take the teat. These effects are due to the presence of imbalances in gas exchanges, the acid–base balance and energy profiles that occurred when the mother was a primiparous or older sow. These signs indicate that the newborn piglet survived a process of intrapartum asphyxia.