Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts

D.B. de Koning

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WUAcademic

Abstract

Osteochondrosis (OC) involves the development of necrotic growth cartilage near the surface of a joint and is suggested to be associated with lameness in sows. Development of OC in pigs occurs at young age in a relatively short time frame of several weeks around 10 weeks of age. Due to this time dependency, one may wonder whether there are time dependent effects of factors or conditions associated with OC. The aim of this thesis was to assess whether OC prevalence is associated with conditions encountered in early life such as dietary restriction, floor type, conformation and locomotive characteristics (CLC), natural (auto-) antibodies (N[A]Ab), and carbohydrate levels. Indications for time dependent effects were found for dietary restriction on OC prevalence. This indicated that gilts receiving restricted feeding from 4 to 10 weeks of age and switched to ad libitum feeding until 26 weeks of age had a significantly higher prevalence of OC when compared to gilts receiving restricted feeding after 10 weeks of age. Time dependent effects of floor type were not clearly present, but gilts housed on a deep litter type system using wood shavings after weaning had a higher prevalence of severe OC when compared to gilts kept on a concrete partially slatted floor. Feed with a lower carbohydrate level increased OC prevalence compared to feed with a higher carbohydrate level. We hypothesized that the effects of dietary restriction, floor type, and dietary carbohydrate levels were mediated through loading of the joints either by, respectively, a short rapid increase in weight gain, higher incidence of play behaviors, or by an overall increased body weight. Although OC has been suggested to be associated with various CLC such as lameness, a consistent association of CLC at young age with OC at slaughter could not be found. This is likely due to CLC and OC both varying over time, making associations between the 2 entities complicated.  There were indications that a component of the immune system is associated with OC as N(A)Ab against several antigens were found after weaning in association with OC. However, as with the CLC, associations with OC were not consistent over time, making it difficult to discern the exact associations between N(A)Ab and OC. To conclude, several early life conditions were found to affect or be associated with OC prevalence in gilts. This indicates that if one wants to reduce OC prevalence, one needs to start early after weaning. However, the exact implications of OC on CLC such as lameness and, therefore, welfare remain uncertain and require further studies into the long term welfare effects of OC.

LanguageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Kemp, Bas, Promotor
  • van Grevenhof, Ilse, Co-promotor
  • Hazeleger, Wouter, Co-promotor
Award date16 Nov 2015
Place of PublicationWageningen
Publisher
Print ISBNs9789462575042
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

osteochondrosis
gilts
dietary restriction
lameness
weaning
restricted feeding
carbohydrates
joints (animal)
play activities
wood shavings
ad libitum feeding

Keywords

  • gilts
  • osteochondritis
  • pig feeding
  • floor type
  • conformation
  • locomotion
  • antibodies
  • carbohydrate-rich foods
  • arginine
  • feed supplements
  • animal health

Cite this

de Koning, D. B. (2015). Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts. Wageningen: Wageningen University.
de Koning, D.B.. / Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts. Wageningen : Wageningen University, 2015. 234 p.
@phdthesis{94b36ecaacdb47dfbf1ef46ce59be7ac,
title = "Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts",
abstract = "Osteochondrosis (OC) involves the development of necrotic growth cartilage near the surface of a joint and is suggested to be associated with lameness in sows. Development of OC in pigs occurs at young age in a relatively short time frame of several weeks around 10 weeks of age. Due to this time dependency, one may wonder whether there are time dependent effects of factors or conditions associated with OC. The aim of this thesis was to assess whether OC prevalence is associated with conditions encountered in early life such as dietary restriction, floor type, conformation and locomotive characteristics (CLC), natural (auto-) antibodies (N[A]Ab), and carbohydrate levels. Indications for time dependent effects were found for dietary restriction on OC prevalence. This indicated that gilts receiving restricted feeding from 4 to 10 weeks of age and switched to ad libitum feeding until 26 weeks of age had a significantly higher prevalence of OC when compared to gilts receiving restricted feeding after 10 weeks of age. Time dependent effects of floor type were not clearly present, but gilts housed on a deep litter type system using wood shavings after weaning had a higher prevalence of severe OC when compared to gilts kept on a concrete partially slatted floor. Feed with a lower carbohydrate level increased OC prevalence compared to feed with a higher carbohydrate level. We hypothesized that the effects of dietary restriction, floor type, and dietary carbohydrate levels were mediated through loading of the joints either by, respectively, a short rapid increase in weight gain, higher incidence of play behaviors, or by an overall increased body weight. Although OC has been suggested to be associated with various CLC such as lameness, a consistent association of CLC at young age with OC at slaughter could not be found. This is likely due to CLC and OC both varying over time, making associations between the 2 entities complicated.  There were indications that a component of the immune system is associated with OC as N(A)Ab against several antigens were found after weaning in association with OC. However, as with the CLC, associations with OC were not consistent over time, making it difficult to discern the exact associations between N(A)Ab and OC. To conclude, several early life conditions were found to affect or be associated with OC prevalence in gilts. This indicates that if one wants to reduce OC prevalence, one needs to start early after weaning. However, the exact implications of OC on CLC such as lameness and, therefore, welfare remain uncertain and require further studies into the long term welfare effects of OC.",
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author = "{de Koning}, D.B.",
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de Koning, DB 2015, 'Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts', Doctor of Philosophy, Wageningen University, Wageningen.

Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts. / de Koning, D.B.

Wageningen : Wageningen University, 2015. 234 p.

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WUAcademic

TY - THES

T1 - Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts

AU - de Koning, D.B.

N1 - WU thesis 6205

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Osteochondrosis (OC) involves the development of necrotic growth cartilage near the surface of a joint and is suggested to be associated with lameness in sows. Development of OC in pigs occurs at young age in a relatively short time frame of several weeks around 10 weeks of age. Due to this time dependency, one may wonder whether there are time dependent effects of factors or conditions associated with OC. The aim of this thesis was to assess whether OC prevalence is associated with conditions encountered in early life such as dietary restriction, floor type, conformation and locomotive characteristics (CLC), natural (auto-) antibodies (N[A]Ab), and carbohydrate levels. Indications for time dependent effects were found for dietary restriction on OC prevalence. This indicated that gilts receiving restricted feeding from 4 to 10 weeks of age and switched to ad libitum feeding until 26 weeks of age had a significantly higher prevalence of OC when compared to gilts receiving restricted feeding after 10 weeks of age. Time dependent effects of floor type were not clearly present, but gilts housed on a deep litter type system using wood shavings after weaning had a higher prevalence of severe OC when compared to gilts kept on a concrete partially slatted floor. Feed with a lower carbohydrate level increased OC prevalence compared to feed with a higher carbohydrate level. We hypothesized that the effects of dietary restriction, floor type, and dietary carbohydrate levels were mediated through loading of the joints either by, respectively, a short rapid increase in weight gain, higher incidence of play behaviors, or by an overall increased body weight. Although OC has been suggested to be associated with various CLC such as lameness, a consistent association of CLC at young age with OC at slaughter could not be found. This is likely due to CLC and OC both varying over time, making associations between the 2 entities complicated.  There were indications that a component of the immune system is associated with OC as N(A)Ab against several antigens were found after weaning in association with OC. However, as with the CLC, associations with OC were not consistent over time, making it difficult to discern the exact associations between N(A)Ab and OC. To conclude, several early life conditions were found to affect or be associated with OC prevalence in gilts. This indicates that if one wants to reduce OC prevalence, one needs to start early after weaning. However, the exact implications of OC on CLC such as lameness and, therefore, welfare remain uncertain and require further studies into the long term welfare effects of OC.

AB - Osteochondrosis (OC) involves the development of necrotic growth cartilage near the surface of a joint and is suggested to be associated with lameness in sows. Development of OC in pigs occurs at young age in a relatively short time frame of several weeks around 10 weeks of age. Due to this time dependency, one may wonder whether there are time dependent effects of factors or conditions associated with OC. The aim of this thesis was to assess whether OC prevalence is associated with conditions encountered in early life such as dietary restriction, floor type, conformation and locomotive characteristics (CLC), natural (auto-) antibodies (N[A]Ab), and carbohydrate levels. Indications for time dependent effects were found for dietary restriction on OC prevalence. This indicated that gilts receiving restricted feeding from 4 to 10 weeks of age and switched to ad libitum feeding until 26 weeks of age had a significantly higher prevalence of OC when compared to gilts receiving restricted feeding after 10 weeks of age. Time dependent effects of floor type were not clearly present, but gilts housed on a deep litter type system using wood shavings after weaning had a higher prevalence of severe OC when compared to gilts kept on a concrete partially slatted floor. Feed with a lower carbohydrate level increased OC prevalence compared to feed with a higher carbohydrate level. We hypothesized that the effects of dietary restriction, floor type, and dietary carbohydrate levels were mediated through loading of the joints either by, respectively, a short rapid increase in weight gain, higher incidence of play behaviors, or by an overall increased body weight. Although OC has been suggested to be associated with various CLC such as lameness, a consistent association of CLC at young age with OC at slaughter could not be found. This is likely due to CLC and OC both varying over time, making associations between the 2 entities complicated.  There were indications that a component of the immune system is associated with OC as N(A)Ab against several antigens were found after weaning in association with OC. However, as with the CLC, associations with OC were not consistent over time, making it difficult to discern the exact associations between N(A)Ab and OC. To conclude, several early life conditions were found to affect or be associated with OC prevalence in gilts. This indicates that if one wants to reduce OC prevalence, one needs to start early after weaning. However, the exact implications of OC on CLC such as lameness and, therefore, welfare remain uncertain and require further studies into the long term welfare effects of OC.

KW - gelten

KW - osteochondritis

KW - varkensvoeding

KW - vloertypen

KW - bouw (dier)

KW - voortbeweging

KW - antilichamen

KW - koolhydraatrijk voedsel

KW - arginine

KW - voedersupplementen

KW - diergezondheid

KW - gilts

KW - osteochondritis

KW - pig feeding

KW - floor type

KW - conformation

KW - locomotion

KW - antibodies

KW - carbohydrate-rich foods

KW - arginine

KW - feed supplements

KW - animal health

M3 - internal PhD, WU

SN - 9789462575042

PB - Wageningen University

CY - Wageningen

ER -

de Koning DB. Linking early life conditions to osteochondrosis prevalence in gilts. Wageningen: Wageningen University, 2015. 234 p.