Summer heat can be tough on both swine and the people responsible for their care. It's essential to take necessary measures to minimize the risks associated with high temperatures. By implementing proper strategies in barn management, during transportation, and for caretakers, we can ensure the well-being of both animals and humans on the farm.
In The Barn:
- Clean fan blades, shrouds, air inlets, and motors to maximize efficiency.
- Check and optimize ventilation controls, including thermostats, inlets, louvers, motors, belts, cool cells, and sensors.
- Monitor water intake closely, especially during extreme heat. Check the flow rate of nipple waterers and test the pressure and temperature of water on sprinklers and misters.
- Be mindful of reduced feed intake caused by higher temperatures. Consider increasing the nutrient density of the ration to compensate for decreased intake.
- If pigs are housed outside, provide sufficient shade to protect them from direct sunlight.
- Avoid transporting pigs during the hottest part of the day, benefiting both the animals and the transporters.
- Open all possible openings and vents on the transport vehicle to improve airflow.
- Adjust the loading density to allow for better air circulation.
- Avoid using straw bedding during hot weather.
- Load and unload pigs as quickly as possible and avoid forcing heat-stressed animals to move.
Tips for Keeping caretaker in the Summer:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Wear light and loose-fitting clothing to stay comfortable.
- Apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat when working outdoors.
- Take frequent breaks to rest and cool down.
- Adjust work schedules to avoid strenuous activities during the hottest hours of the day.
By following these guidelines, we can help reduce the stress caused by summer temperatures on swine and caretakers. Maintaining a cool environment for pigs leads to improved animal health and performance. Additionally, ensuring the safety of farm employees is of utmost importance. Let's all do our part to care for our animals, ourselves, and our employees, staying safe during the scorching "hog days" of summer. Source : wisconsinagconnection