NAFB– Pig care and comfort is a top priority for not only U.S. pork producers, but show pigs as well. As temperatures continue to rise, adjusting building mechanics to maintain pig comfort is a big priority. Dr. Chris Hostetler, director of animal science with the National Pork Board, says animals reduce feed consumption in the heat, inevitably challenging growth.
One of the first warning signs pigs are getting overheated is a change in their eating habit times, going from day to night feeders. The bottom line is feed consumption is reduced by 10 percent. Recent checkoff funding research from Iowa State University looked how the animals absorb feed during warm days.
Dr. Hostetler says pigs in heat stress give off a variety of warning signs beyond growth performance.
Dr. Hostetler stresses the importance of evaluating how 4-H and FFA members are watering their pigs, both at home and at the show.
For more information on pig performance in summer heat, producers can visit porkcheckoff.org or call the Producer Service Center at 800-456-7675.