Digital Evaluation of Structural Phenotypes Common among Higher Parity Crossbred Sows
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Two independent, commercial, crossbred sow populations were selected to compare feet and leg structure in order to identify commonalities among them that may contribute to their long herd life. Digital imagery was used to measure the angle of the knee, pasterns and hock joints as well as the overall rear stance in sows ranging from parity 5 to 14. Parity and population effects were evaluated for each angle analyzed. Significant population effects (P< 0.05) were observed for the angle of the knee. Significant parity effects (P<0.05) were observed for the angle of rear leg stance. Similar leg conformation values across populations and parities for the front and rear pasterns and the hock may suggest that these values are within an acceptable range to allow for long herd life.