Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Berry,R.J.; Lewis,N.J
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Reference: Canadian Journal of Animal Science 81, 199-204


The response and tolerance of early-weaned piglets to transport are not well documented. It is believed that the additive stress incurred by transporting early-weaned pigs predisposes them to increased disease risk and compromised performance. The objective of this work was to investigate the relationship between two primary transportation stressors, duration and temperature, and their effects on piglet performance. Prior to housing on flatdecks at 30 oC, transport was simulated by placing 17-d old weaned piglets into wooden boxes of dimensions 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.0 m (space allowance range 0.18 to 0.36 m2 / pig) with straw bedding. Tow trials were conducted. In each trial, 96 piglets were randomly mixed in groups of four and assigned to the following simulated transport duration: no transport (control), 6 h, 12 h and 24 h. Piglets undergoing transport simulation were kept at one of the following temperatures 20, 25, 30 and 35 oC. There was a significant interactive effect between transport duration and transport temperature upon live weight change in the first 24 h. The animals that incurred the greatest weight deficit after weaning relative to untransported control groups were predominantly either those that had been transported for 24 h at high temperature (35 and 30 oC) or those transported for 6 h at 20 oC and 35 oC. The effect of simulated transport was measurable for up to 5 d post transport. However, by 14 d post transport there was no detectable influence of transport treatment on feed consumption or weight gain. The study found pigs are able to recover and perform adequately in the early post-weaning period if extremes of transport duration and temperature are avoided.

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