Variables related to the progress of parturition and probability of stillbirth in swine

Can Vet J. 1993 Feb;34(2):109-13.

Abstract

Sow and piglet variables related to probability of stillbirth and to viability score were analyzed in litters from 98 multiparous Yorkshire sows. Immediately after the birth of each piglet, viability was scored using Randall's method. Sow variables related to the probability of stillbirth were average birth weight of the litter (p = 0.0001), sow age (p = 0.001), sow condition score (p = 0.003), length of gestation (p = 0.005), and number of piglets in the litter (p = 0.01). Sow variables related to average viability score were average birth weight of the litter (p = 0.001), standard deviation in birth weight in the litter (p = 0.02), sow age (p = 0.03), sow condition score (p = 0.03), and length of gestation (p = 0.03). Piglet variables related to probability of stillbirth were piglet hemoglobin (p = 0.0001), position in the birth order (p = 0.0001), broken umbilical cord (p = 0.0004), and preceding birth interval (p = 0.0004). Piglet variables related to viability score were piglet hemoglobin (p = 0.0001), position in the birth order (p = 0.0001), broken umbilical cord (p = 0.0001), preceding birth interval (p = 0.0001), and birth weight (p = 0.004). Preceding birth interval was related to whether the piglet was live or stillborn (p = 0.0001), to position in the birth order (p = 0.003), and to the sex of the piglet (p = 0.03).The results demonstrated that sow and piglet variables were highly correlated to probability of stillbirth and to viability score. In addition it was also found that the probability of stillbirth was not associated with the duration of farrowing but with the number of piglets in the litter and piglet hemoglobin level. This study also found that lower weight piglets tend to have poor viability, but are not more prone to stillbirth as commonly suggested. These low viability piglets may survive if the necessary care is given during the farrowing process.