Associations of conformation and locomotive characteristics in growing gilts with osteochondrosis at slaughter

D.B. de Koning, E.M. van Grevenhof, B.F.A. Laurenssen, W. Hazeleger, B. Kemp

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Osteochondrosis (OC) and abnormalities in conformation and locomotive characteristics (CLC) have been associated with premature culling in sows. Several CLC have been suggested to be associated with OC and might help as an in vivo indicator for and increased risk of having OC. The aim of this study was to investigate associations of OC with CLC assessed at several ages in growing gilts from 2 separate experiments over the effects of dietary restriction (Exp. 1) and floor type (Exp. 2) on OC prevalence. In Exp. 1, gilts (n = 211) were subjectively assessed for CLC at, on average, 4, 9, 11, 16, and 24 wk of age. In Exp. 2, gilts (n = 212) were subjectively assessed for CLC at, on average, 4, 9, 11, 16, and 22 wk of age. Assessment was done on 10 conformation and 2 locomotive characteristics using a 9-point grading scale by 2 observers. At, on average, 27 wk of age in Exp. 1 and 24 wk of age in Exp. 2, gilts were slaughtered and the knee, elbow, and hock joints were macroscopically assessed for OC. The CLC most frequently associated with OC were O shape or X shape of the hind legs, straight or bowed hind legs, and straight or sickled hock. X-shaped hind legs were associated with OC at slaughter in the knee joint at 4, 9, and 24 wk of age and at the animal level (all joints taken together) at 4, 9, and 16 wk of age. Straight or bowed hind legs were associated with OC at slaughter in the knee joint at 4 and 11 wk of age; in the hock joint at 11 wk of age; and at the animal level at 4, 9, 11, and 22 wk of age. Straight or sickled hock was associated with OC at slaughter in the knee joint at 4 wk of age, in the hock joint at 9 and 22 wk of age, and at the animal level at 9 and 22 wk of age. Results show that several CLC assessed at several ages were associated with OC, but consistent associations of a type of CLC in every assessment could not be found. The associations of CLC with OC are, therefore, difficult to be used as an in vivo indicator of increased risk for OC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-106
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume93
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • linear type traits
  • leg weakness
  • exterior traits
  • genetic correlations
  • epiphyseal growth
  • pigs
  • cartilage
  • sows
  • lesions
  • pathogenesis

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