PigCHAMP Monthly Newsletters
Analyzing Sow Mortality Using Big Data Video
Sow mortality in North America has increased over the past several years as established in numerous publications. PigCHAMP takes a look at issues related to Sow Mortality in North America between 2015 and 2017 using the PigCHAMP Knowledge Center Database across over 600,000 sows.
Sow mortality for any given production unit is a key cost to the operation but also a daunting problem with many angles that need to be processed and understood. A major finding in the “big data” analysis is the rapid increase of sows dying during the process of farrowing and immediately afterwards. The fast pace that occurs in modern farrowing units due to the large number of sows farrowing on any given day provides an important “window” for the farm’s management to pinpoint a beginning on improving the mortality rate. The presentation given by Dr. Tom Gillespie, DVM, DABVP, Performance Health PC, illustrates and captures key points to further help the swine industry by focusing on specific aspects, i.e. period in the reproductive life of the sow, potential reasons for death, parity comparison, and other key indicators.
Farm Recommendations For Improving Sow Mortality: A start to this process is to standardize the reasons for a sow’s cause of death. Another activity that intertwines with the reasons is to train key individuals to perform necropsies and capture pictures to develop an on farm collection of virtual images. This activity improves the diagnostic accuracy and will lead to more precise intervention programs. The farm’s attending veterinarian should view the virtual images to provide a gross diagnosis for the cause of death. In addition, this process improves the farm staff’s ability to provide a more accurate cause of death for animals not necropsied. A third aspect of this activity creates a focus of early detection for the staff attending the sows during this critical time in their reproductive life. Early detection during this rapid pace event creates a more rewarding environment for all personal involved with modern sows farrowing large numbers of piglets.
Presented by Dr. Tom Gillespie, DVM, DABVP at the 2019 AASV Conference held in Orlando, Florida.