Submitted to: Swine Summit
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 7, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This paper discusses research findings which demonstrate the effects of high air temperature on the production of swine as well as the management needed for pigs to cope with high air temperatures. As temperature increases, food consumption reduces, along with growth. If the diet is unbalanced, it is likely that changes in the proportion of fat and lean tissue will occur along with changes in growth rate. This might ultimately lead to a fatter product. Management of high temperature conditions requires decisions to be made on many factors including housing, diet mixture, genetics, and cooling mechanisms. Selection of the best options for the greatest profit is complex. Since many factors affect growth, feed consumption, and lean tissue content, a computer model can be a valuable tool to help make management decisions. This paper presents the use of a computer model to help make those management decisions.
Heat stress in swine can cause reduced feed intake, higher feed:gain ratios, and reduced growth rates. The approach to management of growing-finishing swine production under heat stress conditions has often been segmented into a nutritional management question or a facilities/equipment management question. However, the animal is a system, and a systems approach to management of swine production is called for under conditions of heat stress, particularly with the higher lean growth potential of today's genetics. Recent research has demonstrated the importance of considering heat stress effects on growing- finishing pig performance. Modeling, as a means of systems analysis, offers an opportunity to assess factors that influence swine performance under heat stress, and can be an impetus for producers to change production practices to allow pigs to better cope with heat stress conditions.