ThePigSite Quick Disease Guide
Savaging of Piglets (Cannibalism)
This is a condition mainly in first litter gilts that may account for up to 3% increase in piglet mortality.
- Offending gilts can often be identified by their nervous apprehension at the onset of farrowing.
- They have a "wild eyed" look.
- It is thought to be related, in part at least, to the major hormone changes that take place around parturition.
Causes / Contributing factors
- A harsh or alien environment.
- Poor empathy between the gilts and the stockperson.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
- The effect of being placed in individual confinement for the first time.
- It may also be related to temperament.
- It seems to be more prevalent in some breeds than others.
- Alarming outbreaks have been experienced in new gilt herds where 100 - 150 pregnant animals have been reared together in straw yards. In such large groups no pecking order develops.