Management of lactating sows during heat stress: effects of water drip, snout coolers, floor type and a high energy-density diet.

J. J. McGlone, W. F. Stansbury, L. F. Tribble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two experiments using 120 sows were conducted to determine the effects during heat stress of two floor types, snout coolers or a water drip system, and a high energy-density diet. During both studies, air temperature was maintained at or above 29 degrees C. Floor types included partially slotted concrete and plastic-coated, expanded metal. In Exp. 1, in addition to floor-type treatments, snout coolers were on or off and the water drip was on for 3 min each 10 min or off. Snout coolers increased (P less than .05) sow feed intake and decreased (P less than .05) sow lactation weight loss. Water drip increased (P less than .002) sow feed intake and reduced lactation weight loss. The drip X floor-type interaction was significant for most measures of piglet performance. Drip was beneficial for piglet weights when piglets were on plastic, whereas drip was detrimental to piglet performance while they were housed on concrete. In Exp. 2, two floor types, drip or no-drip and a high energy-density diet or control diet were examined during heat stress. The high energy-density diet reduced (P less than .01) sow feed intake but provided no measurable increase in piglet performance during heat stress. We conclude that water drip is an effective cooling technique for heat-stressed sows, especially when floors are plastic. Snout coolers, partial concrete slots and high energy-density diets provided only minor benefits to heat-stressed sows and were not of benefit to piglets nursing heat-stressed sows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-891
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume66
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1988

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