With summer approaching, pork producers must prepare now for higher temperatures and the effects on production. Luiz Souza, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota, warns that it is not always possible to avoid negative effects of high temperatures (above 73.5 - 77.0 °F) on pig performance even though most swine herds are managed in controlled facilities,
Heat stress is a major concerns in pork production during summer and may lead to reduced feed intake and increased respiratory rate. As a result, pigs exhibit poor growth rate and feed conversion, reduced milk production during lactation, impaired fertility and increased mortality rates.
These events occur over a range of temperatures in which the pig can increase heat loss and decrease heat production, and are of great impact in the productivity because many times they are not noticed until impacts have already occurred.
Feed intake, respiratory rate, water consumption and transportation are among topics that Souza says require extra attention through the hot days that lie ahead.
Read more about heat stress.
Source: University of Minnesota