It has been a quiet week in my swine consulting business. As a result, I’ve had time to catch up on some of my reading of recently published scientific papers and conference proceedings.
One paper that caught my eye was some work from Europe that looked at the impact of temperature on space requirements of group housed finishing pigs. With summer heat approaching its time to put in place the strategies that will mitigate some of the impacts of summer heat.
It also increases the amount of time spent lying since the effort to stand and move generates heat so a first response to hot conditions is to spend more time lying. At the same time, it changes its posture in the lying position.
In cooler conditions, the pig prefers to lay with its sternum touching the floor (ventral posture). The amount of space required for lying is very similar to the amount of space required to stand. In cold conditions the pig huddles with other pigs and the amount of space required for lying is less than that required for the group of pigs to stand.