Avoiding a common condensation problem

by 5m Editor
17 November 2004, at 12:00am

UK - In slatted accommodation for young pigs (first and second-stage flat-decks), lying mats or plastic boards are commonly used to improve comfort. When dry, these raise the effective temperature of the pigs by 3ºC. However, they can get soiled and wet and thus fail to fulfil their purpose or even cause scouring.

JSR Genetics on

One reason why this happens is that the mats are cold on entry, says Mark White, JSR Genetics' consultant veterinary surgeon.

It can often be observed that, despite being dry on entry, unheated second-stage rooms become damp once the pigs have been in them for an hour or so.

This is the direct result of condensation arising from the pigs breathing on cold surfaces - just as happens with single-glazed windows in winter.

To avoid this happening to lying mats, if the whole room cannot be pre-heated, it is wise to stand the mats in a warm atmosphere, such as an occupied first-stage room until immediately before or after the pigs enter their new accommodation.

If soiled or wet, the mats should be either overturned or removed.

Source: JSR Genetics - 17th November 2004

5m Editor