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Electrocution of sows and litters occurs sometimes in farrowing houses where electricity is used for heating. Farrowing crates are often connected together throughout the house by various pieces of metal and because of this several animals maybe killed - including piglets.


All Pigs
  • A variable number of animals are suddenly found dead in one house.
  • The sows' skin will often be burned or inflamed where it contacted the metal.
  • Blood and froth are commonly seen around the nostrils and mouth.
  • Bones may be fractured.
  • Paralysis in surviving pigs.
  • Faulty electricity lines and switches. Trip out switches should be provided in the electricity circuits.
  • A common cause however is damage by sows that escape from farrowing crates.


Post-mortem examinations are necessary to differentiate electrocution from other causes of sudden death. Veterinary certification is usually required for insurance claims.

Note - If you go into your farrowing house and find large numbers of dead animals STOP and THINK ELECTROCUTION or TOXIC GASES, and DON'T ENTER!

Further Reading

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