Impact of the course of parturition and the thermal environment for piglet survival when sows give birth outdoors

PhD defence, Tuesday 20st of November 2018. Sarah-Lina Aagaard Schild.

2018.11.20 | Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Sarah-Lina Aagaard Schild.

The image shows a screenshot of the video recordings used to study the course of parturition in outdoor-housed sows. Research concerning how the course of parturition progresses when sows give birth in huts, such as organic and free-range sows do, is sparse. In her PhD project, Sarah-Lina showed that the course of parturition affected early piglet mortality and saw indications that at high hut temperature sows changed their behaviour during parturition.

During her PhD project, Sarah-Lina studied the thermal conditions inside farrowing huts and investigated how these affect the course of parturition, thermoregulation in lactating sows and early piglet mortality Sarah-Lina’s research revealed that, even in a temperate climate, farrowing hut temperature may exceed the upper critical temperature of lactating sows (~27°C) and that a high hut temperature can affect both early piglet mortality and sow behaviour.

The PhD study has increased our knowledge about what happens inside the farrowing hut during parturition and may contribute with knowledge useful for further development of outdoor pig production and further improvement of the welfare of outdoor-housed parturient and lactating sows and their piglets.

The PhD study was completed at AU Foulum, Aarhus University, Denmark.

This résumé was prepared by the PhD student.    

Time: Thursday 20. November 2018 at 9.00.
Place: The Auditorium, AU Foulum, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele, Denmark.
Title of PhD Thesis: Giving birth outdoors: Impact of thermal environment on sows’ parturition and piglet survival.
Contact information: Sarah-Lina Aagaard Schild,, +45 2830 4939.
Members of the assessment committee:
Senior Researcher, Dr Emma Baxter, Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Research Animal Scientist, Dr Jeremy Marchant-Forde, United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.
Senior Researcher, Dr Stig Purup Molecular nutrition and reproduction, Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, Tjele, Denmark
Main supervisor:
Section Manager, Prof Lene Juul Pedersen, Department of Animal Science, AU Foulum, Aarhus University, Denmark.
DVM, Dr Marianne Kjær Bonde, Center of Development for Outdoor Livestock Production, Randers, Denmark.
Language: The PhD thesis will be defended in English.

The PhD defence is public.

The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST, Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520 and 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
Comments on content: 
Olivia Elsebeth Belling-Nami

Revised 12.11.2018