The cause of stillborns in pig production varies widely, but it’s often connected to sow parity or infectious disease. Either way, stillborns are costly and need to be minimised for profitable, efficient production.
Sometimes it’s difficult to determine whether pigs were actually stillborns or if they were born alive and died shortly afterward. One way to tell the difference is by examining the lungs for signs of aeration. For instance, if the lungs are pink and inflated, that indicates respiration occurred and the pig was born alive. You can also tell by removing the lungs and placing them in water. If the lungs float, the pig was born alive.