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Take the heat out of stress

by 5m Editor
30 June 2006, at 12:00am

UK - Pig units traditionally experience production losses of up to 10% over summer. But the seasonal dip can be countered by adopting measures to reduce heat stress, says Neville Kingston of the East Yorkshire-based Garth veterinary partnership.

Mr Kingston told delegates at a BPEX-organised meeting that services between May and October produced an average 5-10% fewer piglets.

Sow mortality also rose sharply.

The decline in litter size was partially because sows tended to eat less in warmer weather, said Mr Kingston.

"Units should switch to three-times-daily feeding and use fans to keep animals cool, with the aim of a 7kg a sow daily feed intake from farrowing to weaning."

Boar infertility, shorter heat periods and disease challenge were also responsible for the production decline, he added.

"More than 50% of blood samples sent for fertility testing come in during August and September.

Source: FWi

5m Editor