Avoiding heat stress in pigs

Heat stress in pigs can reduce growth rates, farrowing rates and litter sizes. Find out how to identify heat stress and what you can do to minimise the risk.

Heat stress happens when a pig’s body temperature rises above certain limits.

First, the pig’s respiration rate rises, then it will search for environmental opportunities for cooling – wallowing, soiling its pen and lying in urine.

If the pig cannot cool itself sufficiently, it will collapse and, in the worst scenario, die.

Avoiding heat stress in pigs: indoor herds

Stress from overheating can have a serious effect on your indoor herds, leading to reduced fertility, poor growth rates and even death. Here’s how to avoid it.

Find out how to avoid heat stress indoors

Avoiding heat stress in pigs: outdoor herds

Pigs kept outdoors are particularly vulnerable to radiant heat gain, and it is important that they have access to shade. Here are some practical steps you can take to minimise heat stress.

Steps for avoiding heat stress outdoors

Useful links

Temperature requirements of pigs

Control systems in pig buildings

Water quantity and quality

AHDB weather hub

How to manage the impact of agricultural drought

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