Keeping your pigs cool is a key part of having successful, showring-ready projects. Whether you have barrows or gilts in the barn, there is no doubt that they can feel the summer heat. Pigs can’t sweat like you or I, so when they get hot it is harder for them to cool down. In an effort to get their temperature back to normal, hot pigs resort to breathing heavily and panting. All this extra energy and stress spent on keeping cool leads to loss of appetite, loss of gains, less milk production in sows and in extreme cases even death. Needless to say, it’s important your pigs keep their cool.
One of the simplest ways to make sure your pig stays cool is to make sure they have plenty of fresh, cold water. If their water is too hot, too old or too dirty to look appealing to you, then it likely doesn’t seem very refreshing to the pig either. This means emptying waters more than normal on warm days, so your swine have access to the finest, freshest and coolest water around.
Just like kids love to play in a sprinkler on sweltering summer days, pigs enjoy a nice spray of cool water to keep their temperature regulated. Some owners will simply spray their pigs with a hose several times throughout the heat of the day, others will use soaker hoses or other hoses with hole to let the water mist their pigs. There are even misting systems you can get for your barns to keep your swine counterparts feeling fine. But remember, spraying is only part of the equation, the water sprayed on the warm animals must be able to evaporate to fully cool them down.
Air It Out
That brings us to our next tip. Pigs are fans of barn fans. Carefully placed fans will not only provide a refreshing breeze through the barn, but they will also keep the air flowing in a manner that will help wick away the water left by the misters.
The last way to keep your pigs cool is to simply provide shade for them in their enclosures. Pigs should never be left in the direct sunlight without access to a shaded area. Not only does this increase the chances of them overheating, but it can also cause sunburn. Sunburn on pigs can be very painful and also hurt their performance and general well-being.
Stay cool this summer!