Whole farm approach to combatting heat stress in pig production

Heat stress could be limiting the productivity of UK and Irish pig units more than expected, so there are significant gains to be had by making simple changes to both the environment and nutrition.
calendar icon 1 June 2020
clock icon 4 minute read

“Through making small changes, like painting arcs with white reflective paint and by carrying out a full spring MOT on vents, back doors of arcs, and pig sheds, producers can help to prevent production dips caused by heat stress,” said Andrew.

When looking at combating heat stress, nutrition is another key area which should be considered.

David Saornil, swine product manager at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, covered this and explained that in the instance of heat stress, prevention is better than a cure.

“We’ve seen fantastic results in maintaining feed intakes when pigs have been given probiotic supplementation in their diet, mainly in their ability to adapt their eating behaviour to the heat stress conditions,” said David.

“We have found that when using the specific probiotic live yeast, S. c. boulardii CNCM I-1079 (Levucell SB, Lallemand Animal Nutrition), normal feeding behaviour, feed intake and growth in fattening pigs, can all be maintained during a significant heat stress period.

“We’ve also had plenty of field experience using the probiotic to ensure sow performance under heat stress, with improved piglet growth during lactation and at weaning.”

He added that it is not just about what is in the feed but also when the pig consumes it.

“It’s far better to feed sows during the cooler periods of the day as they will be more likely to consume food. Producers could also feed sows smaller portions regularly throughout the day, as this can help limit a decrease in feed consumption,” he added.

“As we’re beginning to experience sustained levels of heat, producers should start preparations to prevent heat stress before peak summer arrives. Managing the environment of pigs, combined with diet supplementation in feed, will help ensure that you are one step ahead when sustained high temperatures come along,” concludes Mark.

For more information on tackling heat stress in pigs you can watch the full webinar here.

The AHDB has also launched a new podcast on the subject which can be accessed here.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.