Summary and Implications
Lameness has been incorrectly labeled as a “cow and not a sow” concern, and this has possibly arisen due to the majority of sows being far more stationary over their productive lifetime compared to dairy cows. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the rate of weekly lateral toe growth for parity one through three sows when housed in gestation stalls during a one month period. A total of 30 sows were used (Yorkshire [n = 3], Duroc [n = 14] and Yorkshire x Duroc crosses [n = 13]). There were 10 parity one sows (158.8 kg to 204.1 kg), 10 parity two sows (181.4 to 226.8 kg), and 10 parity three sows (204.1 to 249.5 kg) respectively. All sows were individually housed in stalls. Weekly lateral toe growth measurements were collected once a week by a single observer. Weekly lateral toe growth data were analyzed as repeated measurements with sow as subject using the PROC MIXED procedure of SAS. Average hoof growth was 1.2 mm per week (range between hoofs was 0.3 to 2.0 mm). Significant effects of hoof growth were reported for parity (P < .0001). The lateral toes from parity two sows grew faster when compared to sows from parity one and parity three. In conclusion, parity two sows showed a slightly accelerated rate of hoof growth. Although increased growth rate was relatively small, this data could be beneficial information from the production standpoint. Producers may choose to watch their parity two sows more closely for hoof overgrowth. Properly trimmed hooves have a reduced risk of catching on slats, cracking, and causing injury to the animal. If hoof overgrowth is monitored closely, it is possible that less lameness and locomotory problems will occur.
Iowa State University
Meiszberg, Allison M.; Johnson, Anna K.; Engblom, Linda I.; Stalder, Kenneth J.; Layman, Lori L.; and Karriker, Locke A.
"A Comparative Study of Hoof Growth in Sows When Housed in
Individual Stalls: How Does Parity Affect This?,"
Animal Industry Report:
AS 656, ASL R2548.
Available at: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/ans_air/vol656/iss1/69