09-06-2020 - Alex Thomsett BVetMed(Hons) DPM RCVS - 0 comments
Preventing heat stress in pigs

The sun has been out for what feels like weeks on end. The long, wet winter which felt like it would never end is now a distant memory as fields have turned to concrete and pigs are getting hot.

Pigs lose heat by:

  • Convection - therefore good ventilation is essential for efficient heat loss into the air
  • Evaporation - pigs cannot sweat therefore access to liquid in which to wallow is necessary for heat loss
  • Conduction - pigs will modify their lying posture to lose heat into a solid surface
  • Radiation - if the temperature difference between the pigs body and surrounding surfaces is insufficient then heat loss does not occur. Maintaining building or arc insulation and painting external surfaces white maintains a wider temperature differential and facilitates heat loss by radiation.

If pigs experience heat stress productivity suffers in all ages. Fertility deteriorates with reduced conception rates and therefore increased returns. Boars may have a drop in sperm production which can manifest 8 weeks or more after the period of hot weather. In the feeding herd heat stress can present as an increase in vice issues and deterioration in growth rate.

Our latest newsletter "Talkshop" addresses what you can do to reduce the risk of heat stress in your pigs.


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