Parity 2 sows showed a slightly elevated rate of hoof growth in a study at Iowa State University's Lauren Christian Swine Research facility.

Although increased growth rate was relatively small, producers may wish to observe Parity 2 sows more closely for hoof overgrowth. Properly trimmed hooves have less chance of catching on slats, cracking and injury. Close monitoring of hoof overgrowth may reduce lameness and locomotory problems.

Sow removal from the breeding herd due to lameness occurs too early in some breeding herds, mainly in Parity 1-3 sows.

To evaluate sow soundness, the rate of weekly lateral toe growth was studied in 30, Parity 1-3 sows when housed in gestation stalls for a month. Sows ranged from their first to fifth week of gestation.

On the first day of the trial, each lateral toe was marked and then checked for four weeks while sows were in the standing position. Lateral toe growth was measured from the initial mark at Day 0 to the coronary band.

Average hoof growth was 0.05 in./week. The lateral toes from Parity 2 sows grew faster compared to Parity 1 and 3 sows (Figure 1).

Researchers: A.K. Johnson, A.M. Meiszberg, L.I Engblom, K.L. Stalder, L.L. Layman and L.A. Karriker, all of Iowa State University. For more information, contact Johnson by phone (515) 294-2098, fax (515) 294-4471 or e-mail