Characterization and Symmetry Study of Objective Feet and Leg Joint Measurements in Five Separate Lines of Maternal Gilts
This study involves the initial measurement and joint description of five maternal gilt lines for the validation of objectively measured feet and leg joint angles in regards to sow longevity. The initial measurement was used to characterize all gilts used in the study based on age and line as well as to study the symmetry between the left and right sides of the animals’ body. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between lines were identified in both pasterns. Results suggest (P < 0.05) that the knee and the hock angles increase with age. Symmetry difference, difference between right and left, (P < 0.05) was observed in the knee. These measurements will be used in association with production records through the animals’ first parity to validate past joint measurements from sows that have remained in their respective herds longer than their contemporaries and to identify a range of acceptable joint angles that allow an animal to remain in the herd for a long production life.