Location: Livestock Behavior ResearchTitle: INITIAL EVALUATION OF SOW COOLING PAD COOLANT PROTOCOLS ON PERFORMANCE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS MEASURED BY PRECISION ANIMAL DATA SYSTEM
|CABEZON, FRANCISCO - Purdue University|
|SCHINCKEL, ALLEN - Purdue University|
|STWALLEY, ROBERT - Purdue University|
Submitted to: Applied Engineering in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/8/2022
Publication Date: 1/8/2022
Citation: Cabezon, F., Johnson, J.S., Schinckel, A.P., Stwalley, R. 2022. INITIAL EVALUATION OF SOW COOLING PAD COOLANT PROTOCOLS ON PERFORMANCE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITIONS MEASURED BY PRECISION ANIMAL DATA SYSTEM. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. https://doi.org/10.13031/aea.14699.
Interpretive Summary: Research is increasingly showing that heat stress in swine is significant and potentially the most substantial unaddressed factor currently reducing swine welfare and reducing producer profitability. Some researchers speculate that climate change may make this factor an even more critical issue. Floor cooling has previously been shown to reduce the impact of some of the adverse effects of heat stress, but multiple issues with previous cooling concepts have prevented any progress beyond exploratory experimentation. Animal Science (AnSci) and Agricultural & Biological Engineering (ABE) researchers at Purdue University and USDA-ARS have developed a low-cost technology that utilizes cool water as a circulating coolant to remove thermal energy from reclining swine and has significant commercialization potential. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of these pads under laboratory or animal production conditions in removing heat from lactating sows under heat stress conditions. It was determined that the cooling pads were effective in removing excess heat from lactating sows and allowing sows to maintain a normal body temperature. Results from this study provide further evidence that the cooling pads can effectively allow sows to remain comfortable under heat stress conditions.
Technical Abstract: Thermal stress in swine has numerous documented negative effects on the production and well-being of the animals. Currently, there is no commercially recognized solution to this problem that does not introduce health issues for the animals, require extra work for the operations staff, or consume significant installation or operational resources. Researchers from Purdue University have developed a hog cooling pad that past testing has determined to be efficient in removing heat from a simulated animal, effective in its use of coolant, and simple to build and maintain. Members of the Purdue and USDA-ARS research groups were able to conduct some initial live animal experimentation with a single second prototype design at the conclusion of that unit’s bench testing. The cooling pad was installed in one farrowing crate of a twelve stall farrowing building, and the first live animal heat transfer data were collected with the unit. Two series of tests were conducted, triggering the coolant flow by set time cycles and by temperature limits. Three different sets of ambient barn conditions were examined (23oC, 28oC, and 33oC). In addition to the thermal reaction of the cooling device, animal temperatures and respiration rates for the test subject and a control animal were also collected during the experimentation. During time-controlled testing, the results indicated that the rectal temperature of the cooled sow was lower than the control sow (t(16)=2.35, p=0.02), the skin temperature of the cooled sow was lower than the control sow (t(16) =1.94, p =0.04), and the respiration rate of the cooled sow was lower than the control sow (t(16) =2.24, p=0.02). The results indicated that temperature-controlled cooling worked well for ‘maintenance’ operations, while a time-controlled flow could potentially be used to extract greater levels of energy from an overheated animal. Further testing with larger sample sizes to confirm these results for both control protocols is planned.