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broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:56 am
by dingdar
Lets talk about hump/ broken back pigs.
Im on a mission to figure out what causes this.
Every spring/winter i get a few in each litter.
Ive been told its the hot feed, ive been told its genetic, ive been told its the boar side, ive been told its the cold.
in my opinion its neither of the above, and ill explain why.

Hot feed, no. because i feed the same feed in the warm summer and get significantly less hump backs, almost 0 hump backs in the summer.
Genetics no, because again i have the same sows in the summer farrow with less hump backs, almost 0 humps in the summer.
The boar side??? nah i use the same boars and similar bred boars in the summer. Again, few -0 broken backs in summer.
cold???? now this is where we can debate its the cold...........sorta. But here is my take on that. i dont get hump backs until i wean. if its the cold why not develop humps on the sow. my farrowing house and weaned barn are similar temps. while on the sow they look nice and full and fat. When i wean i get hump backs.................but only in the winter.

So after i do the comparisons, i almost could say i have a disease in the herd that is alive in the winter but the heat of the summer it kills it?

im asking for some help here. im not a vet, just a guy trying.....trying to raise pigs.

think about this also. in the summer i get a wasting disease on my weaned pigs. i dont get any wasting in the winter. again a temperature controlled disease. does anyone understand what im saying, does anyone else that this problem? As long as they are on the sow, everyone is fine. its wean i wean.

BTW, i have posted multiple of pigs that die of the wasting and every time the results are inconclusive.

is there anyone out here in pig land that will help me be successful?


Also, i follow the 4 star vet vaccine protocol. so am i missing a vaccine?

Re: broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:10 pm
by BrianWit
I had the same problem! it was strep that settles in the spine. We treat all of our baby pigs with excede and it took care of the problem

Re: broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:19 pm
by dingdar
i use excede at 2 days old and again when we castrate at 10 days. should i treat with excede again like ASAP?

Re: broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:02 pm
by Showgirl123
Interested to knows thoughts on this issue as well. I've got a litter of 12 with 4 showing varying different levels of "hump back". Pigs are mid-January born, have been off the sow for almost two weeks, and are on high quality starter feed. Sow did not have any like this in her first litter....different boar this time around but high dollar semen from a reputable boar stud. Pigs received Excede at 24 hours and again 10 days later, have not scoured, and are in a warm, enclosed barn with two heat lamps.

Re: broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:15 pm
by buckibri
I think you need to define this to get a better answer.

There are several physical reasons why the loin edge at the shoulder is taller than the shoulder, however this is typically just a dip in the front and while showpig judges will discount a pig for the condition it has little to no impact on the pig. On the other hand - are you describing a huge structural issue that limits the pig physically?

If it is the former condition it is likely genetic and what you describe is typical. I experience much the same as it is a condition/trait that has no economic significance and you can work through with some risk of pigs with the same smaller front end.

I have used Exceed for years at birth with two shots and has no impact on the genetic trait. Nothing seasonal, nothing related to feed. The stress at weaning makes the condition show.

In the 1980’s I worked with several great hog breeders across the nation and I asked the same question you are asking - primary response was that the loin muscle is just larger than the front end and the top just pops up a bit. I found that to be a very good observation.

Reality is that yours and my sample size of the population is way to small for empirical analysis of the condition thus you get the absolute cause and effect comments.

Re: broken back/ hump backs

Posted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:29 pm
by Showpigsforkids
I have the same problem as you and agree with noticing them having that condition in the winter spring and not in the summer. I'm started to wonder if it's the lack of vitamin D in the winter months? I absolutely hate this too! I wish we could get it figured out!