Summer is here: mitigate swine heat stress
An animal health specialist says heat stress prevention should be at the top of the management list for swine producers this time of year.
Tim Nelson with Brookside Agra based in southern Illinois tells Brownfield heat stress costs the hog industry over $300 million annually.
“It reduces production of the gilts and sows when they aren’t getting bred or staying pregnant. Heat also reduces feed consumption so gain goes down. So, you need to look at diets and maybe bump them up on protein, lysine and amino acids so you are still getting the bang for your buck even though they are eating less.”
He says producers should be sure waterers are working efficiently, pigs are drinking and there is plenty of air flow and mist to keep animals cool.
“When people walk through a barn, we are at 5 to 6 feet high and it might not feel too bad, but hogs at the 3 feet level could be suffering – so I always say get on your hands and knees and see what the air is like down there.”
He recommends talking to a ventilation specialist to create the best airflow in your barn and consider adding electrolytes to water to entice pigs to drink more.