Sensitivity of reproducing sows and suckling pigs to stray voltage

Suzanne Robert From the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada, JIM 1Z3 (Robert, Matte), and College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, J2S 7C6 (Martineau).

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Jean-Jacques Matte From the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada, JIM 1Z3 (Robert, Matte), and College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, J2S 7C6 (Martineau).

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Guy Pierre Martineau From the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada, JIM 1Z3 (Robert, Matte), and College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal, St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, J2S 7C6 (Martineau).

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate whether stray voltage reduces welfare of sows and their litters, causes reproductive problems, or impairs growth and survival of suckling pigs.

Animals

120 gilts assigned randomly to 3 treatment groups: 2-V baseline plus 3-V pulses (2-5 V); 5-V baseline plus 3-V pulses (5-8 V); and control treatment (0-0 V).

Procedure

Behavior was recorded during gestation and lactation. Water and feed intakes were measured daily, milk composition was evaluated once during lactation, and hematocrit, hemoglobin, glucose, total protein, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, albumin, globulins, and fatty acids values were measured at mating, weeks 8 and 15 of gestation, parturition, and weaning. Prolific ability of sows, mortality and disease of suckling pigs, and growth rate until 56 days of age were recorded.

Results

Gilts under voltage were lying down more often and performing less abnormal behaviors than were control gilts. Behavior of sows and suckling pigs was not affected by treatments. Water and feed intakes were similar among treatments, except during week 1 of lactation where feed intake was lower in the control group. Fecundity and prolific ability of sows, percentage of stillbirth, growth rate of suckling pigs, and milk composition were similar among treatments. More suckling pigs died in 2-5-V group than in other groups, but diarrhea was more frequent in the control group. Blood metabolites were similar among treatment groups.

Conclusions

Transient stray voltage at values up to 8 V did not impair the welfare, reproductive performance, or health of sows and suckling pigs. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1245-1249)

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate whether stray voltage reduces welfare of sows and their litters, causes reproductive problems, or impairs growth and survival of suckling pigs.

Animals

120 gilts assigned randomly to 3 treatment groups: 2-V baseline plus 3-V pulses (2-5 V); 5-V baseline plus 3-V pulses (5-8 V); and control treatment (0-0 V).

Procedure

Behavior was recorded during gestation and lactation. Water and feed intakes were measured daily, milk composition was evaluated once during lactation, and hematocrit, hemoglobin, glucose, total protein, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, albumin, globulins, and fatty acids values were measured at mating, weeks 8 and 15 of gestation, parturition, and weaning. Prolific ability of sows, mortality and disease of suckling pigs, and growth rate until 56 days of age were recorded.

Results

Gilts under voltage were lying down more often and performing less abnormal behaviors than were control gilts. Behavior of sows and suckling pigs was not affected by treatments. Water and feed intakes were similar among treatments, except during week 1 of lactation where feed intake was lower in the control group. Fecundity and prolific ability of sows, percentage of stillbirth, growth rate of suckling pigs, and milk composition were similar among treatments. More suckling pigs died in 2-5-V group than in other groups, but diarrhea was more frequent in the control group. Blood metabolites were similar among treatment groups.

Conclusions

Transient stray voltage at values up to 8 V did not impair the welfare, reproductive performance, or health of sows and suckling pigs. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1245-1249)

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