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Early disease detection for weaned piglet based on live weight, feeding and drinking behaviour

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Michel Marcon et al., The European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF), 26-29 août 2019, Cork, Irlande, poster

Reduce antibiotic use is a major issue for pigs production because of World Health Organization recommendations and meat consumers concerns.
In order to reduce the needs of medication, one way is the early individual disease detection for isolate and treat only the sick animal. The subclinical
symptoms with the feeding and drinking behaviour can have a diagnostic value. A first automatic warning system has been built based on a statistic model who use data from automatic feeders, connected bowl drinker and connected scale.

PDF icon Michel Marcon et al., The European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF), 26-29 août 2019, Cork, Irlande, poster
2019

Effect of a beneficial flora colonization of pen surfaces on health and performance of pig weaners

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Eric Royer (ancien Ifip, aujourd'hui Idele) et al., 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), 26-30 octobre 2019, Ghent, Belgique, p. 566

The objective was to test the effects of a positive biofilm formation on the surfaces of post-weaning piglet facilities.
In total, 494 piglets were used in two experiments using a sanitary challenge. 48 h (d-2) before introduction of piglets, 2 identical rooms of 14 pens were sprayed either with water (Control) or a mix (LP) of selected bacteria strains.
Rooms were exchanged between Exp.1 and Exp.2. In Exp.1 rooms were sprayed again at d 15 and in Exp.2 at d 5, 12, 19, 26 and 33. Environmental challenge for piglets was stronger in Exp.1 than in Exp.2. Wiping samples indicated significantly (P<0.05) higher loads of aerobic bacteria (Lactobacillus spp., Bacillus spp.) in LP pen surfaces in Exp.1 at d 0, 5, and 14 and at d 0, 5, 7 and 35 in Exp.2, suggesting the development of the positive biofilm. Percentage of piglets with regular consistency of faeces was continuously higher in LP rooms in Exp.1 (from d 8 to 21) and Exp.2 (from d 5 to 28). Furthermore, mean scores were significantly improved at d 8 in Exp.1 (3.13 vs 4.50; P<0.01) and in Exp.2 at d 9 (2.19 vs 3.19; P=0.01) and 28 (2.03 vs 2.50; P<0.01). Disease outbreaks occurred two days later in Exp.1 (d 9 vs 7) and five days later in Exp.2 (d 12 vs 7) in LP rooms. However, total numbers of deaths from diarrhoea were similar in both treatments in Exp.1 and 2. In Exp.1, LP piglets had numerically better overall ADFI (794 vs 781 g/d; P>0.10) and ADG (510 vs 499 g/d; P>0.10), and had slightly higher weight at d 42 (29.8 vs 29.4 kg; P>0.10). In Exp.2, ADFI (259 vs 219 g/d; P<0.001) and ADG (211 vs 154 g/d; P<0.001) were significantly increased in the LP treatment in phase 1 (d 0 to 15). Weight was significantly higher for LP piglets at d 15 (11.9 vs 11.0 kg; P<0.001), although it was similar at d 41 (P>0.10). In conclusion, the spraying of a beneficial flora on surfaces may result in a protective positive biofilm that would help the piglets to deal better with the weaning challenges.

PDF icon Eric Royer (ancien IFIP, aujourd'hui Idele) et al., 70th EAAP, 26-30 octobre 2019, Ghent, Belgique, p. 566
2019

Early disease detection for weaned piglet based on live weight, feeding and drinking behaviour

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Michel Marcon et al., 70th Annual Meeting of the European Federation Animal Science (EAAP), 26-30 août 2019, Ghent, Belgique, p. 547

Early disease detection is one of the key to effective disease control in farms and reducing antibiotics usage. A batch of 153 weaned piglets was used to test a first machine learning algorithm in order to predict the individual health state of each animal. In order to build the early disease detection algorithm, nine boxes of 17 piglets has been set up with automata. In real time within this section we knew the number of times each animal went to the drinker or the feeder, the quantity of water and feed it took and its weight. As the golden standard to know either a piglet seems healthy or not, the clinical signs will be observed by trained operators on each pig every workday and recorded on a standardized grid (diarrhoea, cough, lameness…). Then, data collected from this batch of 153 piglets were used to create an algorithm with the software R, based on bagging and random forest machine-learning method. The database was split into learning (70%) and testing (30%). We obtained a global success of 86% of good prediction. 
In order to validate the accuracy of the model, a second batch of 153 piglets was used. Every day, a list of predicted sick pigs was printed automatically, indicating the individual identification of the animal, and its pen. Then, the results of these predictions were compared with the golden standard (observations of clinical signs by trained operators). Out of 3,437 observations (including predictions that the piglet is not sick), the algorithm correctly predicted the status of the piglets 2,462 times. Artificial intelligence has made 72% of good predictions. Regarding the true positive results, 96 alerts out of 117 were actually associated with observations of animals suffering mainly
from diarrhoea within two days (82% of success). Now, the aim is to improve this algorithm in different ways: to test accelerometers to check the activity of each piglet; to be more accurate on recording cough by a microphone (SOMO, Soundtalks); to test if some trajectories of behavioural change are linked to specific diseases (lameness, digestive or respiratory disease) and not only to generic disease. These studies will be part of the Healthylivestock project (EC funded H2020 research project).

PDF icon Mchel Marcon et al., 70th EAAP, 26-30 août 2019, Ghent, Belgique, p. 547
2019

Elaboration of an experimental model of the oxidative stress in weaned piglets

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Visuels de Eric Royer et al., 67th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), 29 août-02 septembre 2016, Belfast, Irlande, Royaume-Uni

An experimental model was established as tool for the study of the oxidative stress in weaning pigs. In two experiments, 360 weaned piglets were randomly allocated to eight groups in 2×2×2 factorial designs. In Exp.1, the factors were the sex, a vaccination at weaning against porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) or not, and phase 1 diets with NRC (2012) levels for vitamin E and selenium (SA) or extra supplementation in vitamin E, selenium yeast and superoxide dismutase-rich melon supplement (HA). In Exp.2, a double vaccination against PCV2 and porcine influenza, heat stress at d 9-10, 23 24 and 37-38 (36.5 °C over 6 h period) or controls, and SA or HA diets were applied. Blood samples were taken from 6 piglets per treatment at d 13, 28 and 40 in Exp.1 and d 13 and 40 in Exp.2. Serum haptoglobin, glutathione peroxidase activity (GPx), blood lipid peroxides and protein carbonyls were determined. Half-hemolysis time (HT50) of whole blood (WB) and red blood cells (RBC) exposed to a controlled free radical attack were determined. The HA supplementation increased HT50 of WB and RBC (P<0.02) in Exp.2, as well as HT50 of WB at d13 (interaction, P=0.04) and RBC of non-vaccinated pigs (interaction, P=0.05) in Exp.1. In Exp.2, GPx increased (P=0.01), whereas lipid peroxides (P=0.01) and protein carbonyls (P=0.05) decreased as a result of HA diet. Vaccinations increased haptoglobin in Exp.1 and 2, as well as lipid peroxides in Exp.2 (P=0.05). Moreover, the double vaccination decreased GPx activity for HA fed pigs at d 40 (interaction, P=0.05) in Exp.2, and protein carbonyls in Exp.1 and 2 (P<0.06).

Vaccination × heat stress × time interactions (P<0.05) were observed on HT50 values in Exp.2. At d 40, heat stress decreased WB (P=0.01) and RBC HT50 (P<0.01) for the vaccinated piglets, whereas such effects were not observed for the non-vaccinated piglets. In conclusion, a model based on heat stress and vaccination may be efficient to assess strategies limiting oxidative stress.

PDF icon Visuels de Eric Royer et al., 67th EAAP, 29 août-02 septembre 2016,Belfast, Irlande
2017

Monitoring of the individual drinking behaviour of healthy weaned piglets and pregnant sows

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8e European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF), le 12-14 septembre 2017, Nantes, in : Precision Livestock Farming 17, 2017, par Yvonnick Rousselière, Anne Hémonic et Michel Marcon

Trials were conducted on the experimental station of Ifip in Romillé (Brittany, France) to assess the individual dinking behavior of healthy weaned piglets and pregnant sows. To collect this type of data, a specific connected drinker has been developed. It is composed of an antiwastage bowl drinker surrounded by shoulder partitions, a precision water meter (± 0.01 l for piglets and ± 0.1 l for sows) and a RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) antenna to detect animals near the drinker thanks to the electronic and individual ear tag on each pig. Observations on animals have been made twice a week to evaluate their health status. This study only focuses on healthy animals. Weaned piglets were bred in pens of 19 animals. On average, the individual water consumption was 10.7% of body weight. Sows were bred in a dynamic group equipped with 6 connected drinkers and automatic feeders. On average, the daily water consumption was 8.2l/day (1.6l during the meal and 6.6l directly to bowl drinker). For the two types of animal, it exists an important inter and intra individual variability on the water consumption (more than 30%). Thus, working only on the health status of piglets or sows only thanks to the drinking behavior seems to be difficult. The next step is to cross this information with other data (feeding system, automatic weighing station, accelerometer…) to determine a behavioral pattern of healthy animals.

PDF icon 8e ECPLF, 12-14 septembre 2017, Nantes, par Yvonnick Rousselière et al.
2017