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Effect of leg conformation of Duroc sow longevity

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Authors: X. Fernández de Sevilla, E. Fàbrega, J. Tibau, J. Casellas
Issue: 104-2 (145-148)
Topic: Animal Production
Keywords: Duroc, Leg conformation, Longevity, Survival analysis

Morphologic traits such as leg conformation can play a key role on sow longevity. Within this context, the effect of leg conformation was evaluated on longevity data from 587 Duroc sows, longevity being characterized as overall longevity (OS) or sow failure due to death (DE), low productivity (LP) or low fertility (LF; competing risk analyses). Overall leg conformation score influenced (P < 0.001) sow longevity in OS, LP and LF analyses, impairing sow longevity when leg conformation got worse. Abnormal hoof growth (P < 0.001) and presence of bumps or injuries in legs (P < 0.001) increased the risk of failure in OS, LP and LF analyses. Plantigrade sows showed a higher culling risk in OS (P < 0.001) and LP (P < 0.05) analysis, sows with sickle-hooked leg had a higher culling risk in the LF analysis (P < 0.05), whereas splayed feet increased sow failure in the OS analysis (P < 0.05). Estimates of heritability for sow longevity were 0.07 (GS analysis), 0.02 (LP analysis) and 0.08 (LF analysis).

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