Pigs cool, pork

Keep your pigs cool when it’s hot

Pigs can suffer from heat stroke. Pigs suffering from heat stress will lie down, pant and be unwilling to move. Pigs are sensitive to heat because they cannot sweat, so the only way they can cool down is by panting, and on very hot days this may not be enough.

There are a few things you can do to keep pigs cool when it’s hot. If they’re outdoors, make sure that there’s enough shade for all the pigs to be able to lie down without crowding.

Pigs enjoy a mud wallow which helps to keep them cool.

If they are indoors make sure there is enough air movement to stop the temperature from getting too high on hot days. The roof should be light coloured or shiny to reflect as much heat as possible. There should be enough space between the roof and the top of the wall to allow air through in summer.

Most pig houses have an air space along the ridge where the two sides of the roof come together. This helps air circulation and cooling because hot air rises and is drawn out through the top of the roof, while cooler air can enter from the sides.

Pigs cool
Clean, accessible drinking water – at all times – helps pigs overcome heat stress.

Make sure that the pigs have enough cool water to drink. This will also help them to cool down.

Watch your pigs as the day heats up and throw some water over them before they get really uncomfortable. If they lose consciousness because of heat stroke it may not be possible to revive them.

For advice or discussion, mail experts@africanfarming.com

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