Quantifying Individual Response to PRRSV Using Dynamic Indicators of Resilience Based on Activity

Current pig production systems challenge the pigs often more than once in their lives. Resilient pigs will be better able to cope with these challenges and recover quickly from a challenge.

Animal welfare might be enhanced for resilient pigs, since they are less disturbed by an inevitable challenge such as transport. Resilient animals are beneficial for the farmer since they require fewer treatments and maintain their growth better. Measuring resilience is difficult, since it requires high frequency measurements. Human observations are too labor intensive, which makes it also difficult for the farmer to distinguish between resilient and non-resilient animals. Automatic monitoring of resilience would help the farmer in maintaining high health and animal welfare on farm. Ear tag accelerometers were used in this study to automatically measure activity of pigs. This automatic recording is less labor intensive and provides information on activity. This study showed that ear tag accelerometer activity can be associated with resilience and mortality using a PRRSV challenge. More research is needed to quantify resilience more precisely for an early warning system for farmers.

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