Effect of Sows’ Post-Farrowing Husbandry Methods on Preweaning Piglets’ Mortality Rate: A Case Study in Central Macedonia, Greece

  • Eirini Nikouli MSc, Department of Animal Production, School of Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece
Keywords: sow, husbandry methods, piglet, preweaning mortality


The present paper studies the husbandry practices of sows and how they affect the mortality rate of preweaning piglets. The research took place in pig farms located in the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece and was based on a questionnaire created specifically for the needs of this research. The questionnaire included three sections of questions related to reproductive, zootechnical and nutritional parameters of pig breeding. The results showed that the pig farms in the study area could be classified into four Clusters: a) low-efficiency pig farms characterized by a limited improvement effort, b) low-efficiency pig farms characterized by a potent improvement effort, c) relatively high-efficiency pig farms characterized by an average improvement effort with emphasis on nutrition and d) relatively high efficiency pig farms characterized by an average improvement effort with emphasis on reproduction. The first conclusion that emerged is that the use of technology is essential for the timely detection of sows’ reproductive problems. The second conclusion is that the use of proper husbandry methods can reduce stress and increase the fertility rate of sows. In addition, the presence of well-trained personnel for the care and supervision of animals is essential. Also, special attention must be taken for the nutrition of the sows, in order to avoid reproductive problems. In conclusion, it can be said that increasing the productivity of sows can be achieved by protecting the welfare of sows and piglets using appropriate husbandry practices.


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