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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Estimation of genetic trends from 1977 to 1998 for farrowing characteristics in the French Large White breed using frozen semen

Canario L, Rydhmer L, Gogue J, Tribout T, Bidanel JP


The objective of the study was to estimate genetic trends from 1977 to 1998 in the French Large White (LW) breed for stillbirth and associated traits measured at farrowing using frozen semen. Two groups of pigs (G77 and G98) were obtained by inseminating LW sows with semen from LW boars born either in 1977 or in 1998, A second generation was produced by inter se mating in each group. Farrowing was thoroughly supervised through both direct observations and video recording all long farrowing on a total of 137 first- and second-parity litters produced by sows from this second generation (68 G77 and 69 G98 litters, respectively). Measurements included birth time, weight and birth characteristics (including orientation, presence of cyanosis or oedema, membrane obstruction, umbilical cord length/content) of each piglet, as well as sow traits (weight and backfat thickness, farrowing duration, litter size and within-litter variation of weights at birth). The data were analysed using linear or generalised linear mixed models, according to the definition of the trait (continuous or binary data). The importance of several effects to piglet probability of stillbirth was then quantified by computing the reduction of variance associated with the addition of each effect in the model. Litter size did not significantly differ in first parity, but was higher in G98 second-parity sows: the differences for global (including pre partum dead piglets) and total numbers of piglets born per litter were +2.3 +/- 1.1 and + 1.3 +/- 0.6, respectively. G98 sows also had a higher number of stillbirths in both parities (+0.7 +/- 0.3 stillborn per litter). Piglets from G98 litters were heavier at birth (+ 130 +/- 40 g for birth weight adjusted for litter size), without any increase in within-litter heterogeneity of birth weight. No significant difference was detected between G77 and G88 groups for farrowing length and the distribution of time interval between piglet births. G98 stillborn piglets had longer and more often empty umbilical cords at birth. G98 piglets born alive also had more often umbilical nodes than G77 piglets. These characteristics were considered as indicators of increased farrowing difficulties and risk of hypoxia at birth in G98 pigs. Time of birth of each piglet, sow fatness at farrowing and time of first placenta expulsion were the main factors of variation of the piglet's probability of stillbirth

Published in

2007, Volume: 1, number: 7, pages: 929-938

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

    Publication identifier


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