A preliminary investigation of the causes of pre-weaning mortality on a large swine farm in southern Trinidad. (61)

Chrislyn Coolman, M. Phillips, R.B. Holder


The causes of pre-weaning mortality were studied on a large piggery in southern Trinidad. The data consisted of computer records on 635 sows and 1284 farrowings. Overall mortality between birth and weaning was 10.9% with overlaying of piglets accounting for 62% of the pre-weaning deaths. Deaths due to low viability and scouring accounted for 23.0% and 5.5% of the pre-weaning losses, respectively. The remaining pre-weaning losses were due to starvation, congenital tremors, congenital deformities, savaging, and unidentified causes. Stillbirths represented 1.5% of all piglets born. Neither parity nor season had any effect on stillbirths and pre-weaning deaths (P > 0.05). The level of pre-weaning mortality was comparable to levels reported for a number of developed countries. Underlying causes for the high proportion of overlain piglets require further investigation.


Piglets; Pre-weaning mortality; Starvation; Overlaying; Congenital tremors; Deformities; Savaging; Trinidad

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