Prairie Swine Centre

 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): C. J. Bench, and H. W. Gonyou
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Reference: Centred on Swine Vol. 9 no. 1 (Spring 2002)
Country: Canada


Regardless of its effect on the health and productivity of growing swine, thermoregulation is an area with little data for producers to rely on, especially in the case of early weaned piglets. It is up to the producer to choose a setpoint temperature for the barn environment. With little or no access to thermal requirements of early weaned piglets, producers must make a decision based on thermal preferences of grow finish pigs. Because of this lack of information, a study was designed to inform producers of the optimal temperature for early weaned piglets in which the piglets would control their own thermal environment. With the use of operant conditioning, piglets controlled the temperature through a lever placed in one of the nursery pens. When the lever was hit, an infrared heat lamp would turn on above the piglets in addition to the room gas heater. Room temperature was monitored every 5 minutes and averaged to find temperature preferences. Results show that as age increases, average preferred temperature decreases by approximately 1A?A?C/week for early weaned piglets. The temperatures ranged between 22A?A?C and 29A?A?C each week and reflected a circadian sinusoidal pattern in which the piglets preferred higher temperatures during the day and lower temperatures at night. Results from this study agree with trends found in studies done in grow finish hogs and provides the information hog producers need to consider for more fuel efficient ways of monitoring the thermal environment of early weaned piglets

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