Schwein Ethologie Studio, Im Brünneli 19, 8127 Forch

Castration of piglets under general anaesthesia

Baby pig castration is a procedure that is routinely conducted on male piglets in the European pig production. The presented trial has been conducted in a Hungarian large breeding unit. At an age of 3 days, there were two groups of baby pigs formed. Group one (n=678) has been castrated without anaesthesia, the animals of group two (n=678) has been castrated in ketamine and acepromacine general anaesthesia. The weight of the piglets has been measured on days 3.- 6.-, 10.-, 14.- und 28. At day 6 (the third day after castration) the piglets castrated in general anaesthesia showed significant (P<0.05) higher weights compared to the piglets castrated without general anaesthesia (2.75+/-0.69 kg vs. 3.22+/-0.37 kg). The significant differences (P<0.05) (4.23+/-0.51 kg vs. 4.74+/-0.45 kg) were still found at day 10 (7 days after castration). There were no significant differences detectable both at days 14 and 28. The authors suggest that castration in general anaesthesia has a positive impact on short term weight gain due to diminishing stressful events for the piglets, but exerts no effect on long term weight gain. Producers should be encouraged to castrate piglets in general anaesthesia.

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