Keeping Pigs Cool in the Summer Heat
The hot days of summer can be a drag, especially for pigs because they do not have functional sweat glands. As a pig producer, this can lead to impaired production from your pigs due to heat stress induced health problems, reduced growth rates, and reproductive performance problems. Mature pigs are most comfortable when air temperatures are between 50-75°F. Once temperatures exceed 80°F, pigs over 100 lbs. These short duration heat waves facilitate acute and repeated instances of heat stress for pigs.
Acute heat stress can be more taxing to your pigs and herd production than heat waves that last a few days because pigs do not get the chance to adapt to the heat. Repeated heat stress and repeated feed refusal events compound to reduce the growth rate of your pigs. As a caretaker, providing adequate resources for your pigs to cool off in addition to good husbandry can reduce the overall effects of heat stress on your herd. Regardless of how your pigs are housed, here are some ways to mitigate heat stress:Provide plenty of water: Offer your pigs with at least twice as much water on hot days as they drink normally, both in amount of water and times offered during the hottest parts of the day. Allow pigs to use water to facilitate evaporative cooling by setting up water drip lines or sprinklers to let pigs get wet.
Pig’s appetite should return in cooler temperatures, use this to your advantage when moving pigs. Utilizing these tips in combination with good husbandry can minimize the effects of heat stress on your pigs and on herd performance. Gabler, N. K. & Pearce, S. C.
The impact of heat stress on intestinal function and productivity in grow-finish pigs.
Egypt To Pigs: Off With Your Heads
Egypt began slaughtering the roughly 300,000 pigs in the country Wednesday as a precaution against swine flu even though no cases have been reported here, infuriating farmers who blocked streets and stoned vehicles of Health Ministry workers who came to carry out the government’s order. At one large pig farming center just north of Cairo, scores of angry farmers blocked the street to prevent Health Ministry workers in trucks and bulldozers from coming in to slaughter the animals. Some pelted the vehicles with rocks and shattered their windshields and the workers left without killing any pigs. Most in the Muslim world consider pigs unclean animals and do not eat pork because of religious restrictions. Pigs are banned entirely in some Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Libya.
In Jordan, the government decided Wednesday to shut down the country’s five pig farms, involving 800 animals, for violating public health safety regulations. Half the pigs will be killed and the rest will be relocated to areas away from the population, officials said. In Egypt, pigs are raised and consumed mainly by the Christian minority, which some estimates put at 10 percent of the population. Health Ministry spokesman Abdel-Rahman Shaheen estimated there are between 300,000-350,000 pigs in Egypt. Global health experts said the mass slaughter of pigs is entirely unnecessary and a waste of resources.
Experts suspect swine flu, a strange new mix of pig, bird and human flu virus, originated with pigs then jumped to humans and is now spreading through human-to-human contact. In the northern suburbs of Cairo Wednesday, health authorities killed 250 pigs and buried them.
Guinea Pig Welfare » Cold Weather Advice…
Insulation will only keep guinea pigs as warm as their current temperature, it will not warm them up! Where water bottles are freezing the temperature has obviously reached freezing point and the environment is too cold! Domesticated guinea pigs cannot seek out shelter like their wild ancestors would. Small holes can be drilled in the shed in places where they will promote air circulation and exchange but won’t cause draughts for the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs need a constant temperature, even those that live in the house can be the victims of a change in temperature when the heating goes off.
Keep the room they are in at a constant temperature by using an oil filled electric radiator to heat the environment when the heating goes off. Guinea pigs that are ill will be more vulnerable as will the older ones. The body will shut down gradually if it gets too cold, if the guinea pig is ill or old it is likely to happen faster leaving an even smaller window of opportunity for catching and treating any illness. If you find your guinea pig suffering from cold related issues bring them inside to a warmer environment but do not try to warm them up too quickly. A Snugglesafe heatpad that has been covered can be used as a source of heat but the guinea pig must be ‘turned over’/moved every 20 minutes if they are not moving themselves or other issues can occur. ‘Phone your vet for further advice based on how the guinea pig has responded to the immediate treatment you have given.
Taking the guinea pig’s temperature is not overly important in these cases, responding to symptoms is. Get to know what is ‘normal’ for your guinea pig’s appearance so recognising signs of illness are easy.