How to avoid heat stress in farrowing pens

It is getting hot in here… so we would like to share 4 important tips about how to avoid heat stress in the farrowing pens.

Although all over the world we experience different climates, in general, high temperatures and humidity are giving all sows, especially during lactation a challenge. This impact of higher temperature and humidity on sow performance is better known as heat stress. But did you know that heat stress for the sow also indirectly has an effect on the piglets?

Heat stress, what is it and how does it affect piglets?

Heat stress in sows occurs when the ambient temperature rises and the animal is less able to get rid of its excess body heat. This has a direct negative effect on the feed intake of the sows and thus on the milk production of the sow. This, in turn, has a negative effect on the milk intake of the piglets.

So, how to avoid heat stress in farrowing pens?

4 important tips for keeping a good milk intake for the piglets:

  1. Give the sow some extra water directly after farrowing
    For sows to start up milk production as optimally as possible, it is important to provide them with extra water around and after farrowing. Extra water improves the feed intake and performance of the sow. The higher the ambient temperature, the more important this point becomes.
  2. Provide good ventilation
    Adjust the ventilation in such a way that there is a good climate in the farrowing house or make it a bit cooler. In hot weather, check the ventilation daily for capacity and operation.
  3. Clean feeding bowls
    Warm weather increases the risk of spoilage of the feed. You can avoid this risk by feeding (smaller amounts) several times a day and by keeping the food bowls clean. In addition, clean the feed silos regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
  4. Provide extra moisture in the farrowing pen next to the creep feed/ pre-starter
    Provide extra moisture in the farrowing pen in addition to feeding a creep feed or pre-starter. This can be in the form of water or milk. For example, Porcolac, Porcolac Power, and Porcolac Quick can be used directly after 24 hours of the birth of the piglet. In addition to the fact that the piglets absorb extra nutrients and energy in this way, it also supports the sow, and it is not at the expense of the sow’s milk yield.

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