Stress factors in weaned piglet

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Daniel Mota Rojas
Patricia Roldán Santiago
Efraín Pérez Pedraza
Roberto Martínez Rodríguez
Elein Henrández Trujillo
María Elena Trujillo Ortega


Nowadays, modern swine production techniques promote early weaning. Weaning constitutes one of the most critical stages in the productive life of swine as it is a phase that entails a whole series of stressful factors and physiological changes. This review examines the most important factors that cause stress during this stage, including: separation from the sow, transport, changes in alimentation, lodging in different installations, and being grouped together with strange piglets. The interaction of young pigs with all these stressor factors exercises a cumulative effect that intensifies the level of stress they experience during separation from the sow during the weaning process itself, an event that frequently results in "delayed growth” accompanied by an increased susceptibility to disease-causing, enteric pathogenic agents. For these reasons, it is important to adequately control the variety of factors that affect the physiology, metabolism and behavior of piglets. The conclusion is that both knowledge of the biology of the species and suitable personnel training are necessary to reduce the problems that arise from these issues related to the welfare of weaned piglets. Finally, this study recommends some practices derived from the fndings presented, with a view to improving the welfare of recently weaned piglets.

Keywords: piglet, animal welfare, separation of mothers from young

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