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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Research Project #442018

Research Project: Improving the Environment of Piglets and Sows to Enhance Performance and Welfare

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Project Number: 5020-32000-014-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2023
End Date: Jan 1, 2025

The overall project objective is to mitigate the negative effects of heat stress on swine health, performance, and welfare through the use of nutritional supplements with antianxiety properties.

To accomplish the project objectives, this project seeks to reduce the heat-stressed gestating sow stress response through the provision of nutritional supplements that act on the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and decrease anxiety. In turn it is expected that by reducing the gestating sow stress response during heat stress exposure, we will improve thermoregulatory, behavioral, and physiological stress indicators in heat stressed gestating sows and in turn, prevent the negative postnatal responses to stress that we and others have commonly observed in newly weaned in utero heat-stressed pigs. If successful, results from this project will provide swine producers with an effective means of improving health, performance, and welfare of their pigs when raised under heat stress conditions.Funds to support this project will be directed towards funding the Cooperator's graduate student who will be responsible for overseeing animal husbandry, live animal data collection, laboratory analyses, data analyses under the guidance of the Cooperator PI and the ARS PI, and eventual writeup of the scientific reports.