A Large Scale Study Reveal New Knowledge on Piglet Mortality in the Danish Organic Pig Production

PhD defense, Friday 3 November 2017, Lena Rangstrup-Christensen.

2017.11.03 | Trine Berndt Turtiainen Scheelke

Lena Rangstrup-Christensen

Over the last three years, the demand for organic pork has increased dramatically. The confidence in a high level of animal welfare is a key motivator for consumers to purchase organic pork. However, a high piglet mortality within the Danish organic pig production is a challenge in order to meet these expectations. In a large scale study performed in nine commercial Danish organic sow herds during a one-year period, Lena Rangstrup-Christensen collected data in order to identify important risk factors for piglet mortality. Detailed recordings on piglet mortality throughout the lactation period from all farrowings was included. Additionally, post mortem examinations were conducted on ~ 3000 piglets to establish the cause of death. The piglets were collected once every season in all nine herds.


The study is the first large scale study investigating risk factors for piglet mortality and causes of death within a commercial organic production setting and new knowledge has been generated with a potential to lower piglet mortality in the future.  

The PhD degree was completed at Epidemiology and Management, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Friday 3 November 2017 at 12.30
Place: Auditorium, AU Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele
Title of dissertation: Risk factors for piglet mortality in Danish organic sow herds       
Contact information: Lena Rangstrup-Christensen, e-mail: rangstrup_christensen@yahoo.com, tel.: +45 22441584
Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Olli Peltoniemi, Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
Senior Researcher Emma Baxter, Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Animal behaviour & Welfare, Scotland’s Rural College, Scotland
Senior Scientist Jan Værum Nørgaard (chair), Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University
Main supervisor:
Professor Jan Tind Sørensen, Epidemiology and Management, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University
Co-supervisor:
Senior Scientist Lene Juul Pedersen, Behaviour and Stress Biology, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defense is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST,
Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 23.11.2017