Reducing Temperature Requirements for Group Housed Sows to Save Costs
Sows in group housing systems maintain room temperatures between 9 to 12°C which reduces energy consumption by 78% compared to gestation rooms at a pre-set temperature of 16.5°C. Since sows can interact with each other, they have more control over their thermal environmental conditions. If a lower temperature can be used in group sow housing, costs can be decreased. Some issues with this may be higher aggression and activity levels in the sows, which are heightened when feed is restricted, such as gestational periods. High fiber diets allow the sows to feel more full, and increase heat production while not altering digestible energy. When fed this, average temperature was 12.5°C and had a slightly better average daily gain compared to standard gestation diet.