Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 01-07

Effect of different systems for the control of environmental temperature on the performance of sows and their litters

Ernesto dos Santos Morales, OscarAntônio Dornelles Gonçalves, MárcioAlves Storti, AndressaLourdes Bernardi, MariWentz, IvoPandolfo Bortolozzo, Fernando

Background: In tropical and subtropical regions, temperature values above thermoneutrality for pigs are often experienced and lactating sows maintained outside the thermal comfort zone might have their performance compromised. The use of ventilation or evaporative cooling to maintain animal thermoregulation might be alternatives to minimise animal production losses. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of three different systems for the control of environmental temperature on the productivity of sows and their litters. Materials, Methods & Results: Three systems of environmental temperature control were evaluated: air-conditioned: AC (n = 79), with farrowing facility temperature controlled by a system of evaporative cooling pads combined with negative pressure ventilation; snout cooler: SC (n = 82), with a cold air outlet directed toward sows, combined with management of curtains; and management of curtains: MC (n = 83). Piglet weight was recorded at cross-fostering, and at 14 and 20 days of age. Temperature (TEMP) and relative humidity (RH) were measured daily at five time points (8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 h). The variables concerning the sows were analysed with the MIXED procedure of SAS, including the fixed effect of system and random effects of period and period × system interaction. The weight of piglets, TEMP and RH inside the farrowing

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