Analysis of the stillborn piglet’s distribution in the Large White sows

Keywords: stillborn piglets, sows, parity number, entropy, the Large White breed pig.


The main aim of this paper was to estimate the piglet stillbirth incidence distribution in the Large White (LW) sows. The population used for the present study is from a pig farm managed by the Limited Liability Company (LLC) “Tavriys’ki svyni” located in Skadovsky district (Kherson region, Ukraine). The experimental materials used for this study consisted of 100 inds. of productive parent sows of the Large White breed. The estimation of reproductive performance was conducted for each animal included in this study. The total number of piglets born (TNB), number of stillborn piglets (NSB) and frequency of stillborn piglets (FSB) per litter were monitored in the first eight parities in the period of eleven years (2007–2017). The 800 farrowings averaged 11.3 piglets per litter. Of the 9037 piglets born, 7895 were live born and 1142 were stillborn. Stillborn pigs were observed in 63.3 ± 1.7 % of the litters and the pig stillbirth incidence was 12.6 ± 0.4 %. The percentage of pigs born dead in total pigs born, obtained in this study is within the range of rates (5 to 15 %) reported for commercial pig farms in other countries. The frequencies of litters with 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 or more stillborn piglets were 27.1, 14.8, 10.6, 5.8 and 5.0 %, respectively. The frequency of litters with at least one stillborn piglet varied from 44 % (2nd parity) to 76 % (6th parity). Significant factor in the analysis for frequency of litters with at least one stillborn piglet was parity number in sow (Chi-squared test: χ2 = 51.35; df = 7; P < 0.001). This frequency increased as parity number in sow increased (Pearson correlation coefficient: r = 0.929; P < 0.01). We noted that the piglet stillbirth incidence in the LW sow’s litter took place already during the first farrowing for almost half of the sows (46%). In general, this distribution is well approximated by the exponential model equation (y = 73.567*exp(-0.551x); R2 = 97.09 %). The LW sows with stillborn piglets in four out of eight farrowings were the most reported. The value of the entropy of the traits NSB and FSB varied significantly among sows of different parities (Chi-squared test: in both cases P < 0.001). At the same time, a significant increase in the entropy estimates for both traits from the 1st parity to the 8th parity was noted (Spearman's rank correlation: P < 0.001…0.002).


Biermann, A. D. M., Pimentel, E. C. G., Tietze, M., Pinent, T., & König, S. (2014). Implementation of genetic evaluation and mating designs for the endangered lo-cal pig breed ‘Bunte Bentheimer’. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 131(1), 36–45. doi: 10.1111/jbg.12041.

Borges, V. F., Bernardi, M. L., Bortolozzo, F. P., & Wentz, I. (2005). Risk factors for stillbirth and foetal mummi-fication in four Brazilian swine herds. Preventive Vet-erinary Medicine, 70(3–4), 165–176. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2005.03.003.

Canario, L., Cantoni, E., Le Bihan, E., Caritez, J.C., Bil-lon, Y., Bidanel, J.P., & Foulley, J.L. (2006). Between-breed variability of stillbirth and its relationship with sow and piglet characteristics. Journal of Animal Sci-ence, 84(12), 3185–3196. doi: 10.2527/jas.2005-775.

Fraser, D., Phillips, P. A., & Thompson, B. K. (1997). Far-rowing behaviour and stillbirth in two environments: an evaluation of the restraint-stillbirth hypothesis. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 55(1–2), 51–66. doi: 10.1016/S0168-1591(97)00007-5.

Hammer, O., Harper, D. A., & Ryan, P. D. (2001). PAST: Paleontological Statistics Software Package for Education and Data Analysis. Palaeontologia Elec-tronica, 4, 1–9. URL:

Koketsu, Y., Sasaki, Y., Ichikawa, H., & Kaneko, M. (2010). Benchmarking in animal agriculture: concepts and applications. Journal of Veterinary Epidemiology, 14(2), 105–117. doi: 10.2743/jve.14.105.

Kramarenko, A. S., Ignatenko, Zh. V., Lugovoy, S. I., Pidpala, T. V., Karatieieva, О. І., Yulevich, O. I., Artyuhova, O. V., & Kramarenko, S. S. (2020). Effect of parity number, year and season farrowing on re-productive performance in Large White pigs. Ukraini-an Journal of Ecology, 10(1), 307–312. doi: 10.15421/2020_48.

Kramarenko, S., Lugovoy, S., Lykhach, A., Kramarenko, A., & Lykhach, V. (2018). A comparative study of the reproductive traits and clustering analysis among dif-ferent pig breeds. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Vet-erinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Agricul-tural Sciences, 20(84), 21–26. doi: 10.15421/nvlvet8404.

Kramarenko, S., Lugovoy, S., Lykhach, A., Kramarenko, A., Lykhach, V., & Slobodianyk, A. (2019a). Effect of genetic and non-genetic factors on the reproduction traits in Ukrainian Meat sows. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Se-ries: Agricultural Sciences, 21(90), 3–8. doi: 10.32718/nvlvet-a9001.

Kramarenko, S. S., Lugovy, S. I., Lykhach, A. V., & Kra-marenko, O. S. (2019b). Analysis of biometric data in animal breeding and selection. Mykolayiv, MNAU (in Ukrainian).

Lavery, A., Lawlor, P. G., Magowan, E., Miller, H. M., O’Driscoll, K., & Berry, D. P. (2019). An association analysis of sow parity, live-weight and back-fat depth as indicators of sow productivity. Animal, 13(3), 622–630. doi: 10.1017/S1751731118001799.

Le Cozler, Y., Guyomarc'h, C., Pichodo, X., Quinio, P. Y., & Pellois, H. (2002). Factors associated with stillborn and mummified piglets in high-prolific sows. Animal Research, 51(3), 261–268. doi: 10.1051/animres:2002017.

Leenhouwers, J. I., van der Lende, T., & Knol, E. F. (1999). Analysis of stillbirth in different lines of pig. Livestock Production Science, 57(3), 243–253. doi: 10.1016/S0301-6226(98)00171-7.

Leenhouwers, J. I., de Almeida Junior, C. A., Knol, E. F., & Van der Lende, T. (2001). Progress of farrowing and early postnatal pig behavior in relation to genetic mer-it for pig survival. Journal of Animal Science, 79(6), 1416–1422. doi: 10.2527/2001.7961416x.

Lucia Jr., T., Corrêa, M. N., Deschamps, J. C., Bianchi, I., Donin, M. A., Machado, A. C., Meincke, W., & Matheus, J. E. (2002). Risk factors for stillbirths in two swine farms in the south of Brazil. Preventive veteri-nary medicine, 53(4), 285–292. doi: 10.1016/S0167-5877(01)00288-4.

Schwarz, T., & Kopyra, M. (2006). Influence of age on insemination process, and reproductive performance in sows. Animal Science Papers and Reports, 24 (suppl. 3), 229–239.

Segura Correa, J. C., Alzina-López, A., & Rivera, J. L. S. (2007). Evaluación de tres modelos y factores de ries-go asociados a la mortalidad de lechones al nacimien-to en el trópico de México. Técnica pecuaria en Méxi-co, 45(2), 227–236. URL: servlet/articulo?codigo=2310503.

Segura Correa, J. C., & Solorio-Rivera, J. L. (2013). Risk factors for stillborn pigs and mummified fetuses in two swine farms in southeastern Mexico. Livestock Research for Rural Development, 25 (Article #173). URL:

Tantasuparuk, W., Lundeheim, N., Dalin, A. M., Kunavongkrit, A., & Einarsson, S. (2000). Reproduc-tive performance of purebred Landrase and Yorkshire sows in Thailand with special reference to seasonal in-fluence and parity number. Theriogenology, 54(3), 481–496. doi: 10.1016/S0093-691X(00)00364-2.

Tummaruk, P., Lundeheim, N., Einarsson, S., & Dalin, A. M. (2000). Reproductive performance of purebred Swedish Landrace and Swedish Yorkshire sows: I. Seasonal variation and parity influence. Acta Agricul-turae Scandinavica Section A – Animal Science, 50, 205–216. doi: 10.1080/090647000750014331.

Weber, R., Keil, N. M., Fehr, M., & Horat, R. (2009). Fac-tors affecting piglet mortality in loose farrowing sys-tems on commercial farms. Livestock Science, 124(1–3), 216–222. doi: 10.1016/j.livsci.2009.02.002.

Zaleski, H. M., & Hacker, R. R. (1993). Effect of oxygen and neostigmine on stillbirth and pig viability. Journal of animal science, 71(2), 298–305. doi: 10.2527/1993.712298x.

Abstract views: 16
PDF Downloads: 6
How to Cite
Kramarenko, A., Kramarenko, S., & Lugovoy, S. (2021). Analysis of the stillborn piglet’s distribution in the Large White sows. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies. Series: Agricultural Sciences, 23(94), 25-30.

Most read articles by the same author(s)