Q2E on the comfort zone of pigs regarding environmental temperature
EURCAW-Pigs received a question on the comfort zone of pigs regarding environmental temperature. Heat stress is a major factor for discomfort in pigs and may also be the cause for tail biting. When does heat stress start and when is welfare reduced?
In short the answers are:
- Heat stress starts at the Upper Critical Temperature of the thermoneutral zone;
- Reduced welfare (discomfort) starts earlier: from the Upper Critical Temperature of the comfort zone;
- Sensitivity for heat stress can vary between pigs, so an individual pig can experience heat stress from a lower temperature than the average pig;
- To prevent heat stress, a cooling system like a misting system to moisten the skin should be used from the Upper Critical Temperature.
The full answer:
Introphoto: Thermoregulation (©WUR)