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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Research Project #433558

Research Project: Determining the Thermal Preferences of Swine

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Project Number: 5020-32000-013-01-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2017
End Date: Sep 23, 2019

Objective:
The overall objective of this project is to determine the temperature at which swine are most comfortable, and those temperatures at which heat is aversive.

Approach:
Heat stress events during the summer can have devastating effects on swine welfare and productivity. To date, no temperature-humidity index has been developed for swine. This project will be the first step in this development. We will build a thermocline in which pigs can move about and choose to stay in their preferred temperature environment while avoiding temperatures that are not preferred. This will determine their preference. Later these data will be paired with physiologic data during heat events to draw a comprehensive view of the impact of thermal environments on swine.