Effects of Fluctuating Temperatures on Isowean Pigs
This study quantifies responses of isowean pigs (10 to 12 days of age, PIC breed) to potential in-transit temperature fluctuations for 54 h, followed by a 14-day growth period under thermoneutrality. The 54-h temperature regimens included a constant air temperature of 26.7°C (as control) and three cyclic air temperatures of 26.7 ± 2.8°C, 26.7 ± 5.6°C and 26.7 ± 8.3°C, all using woodshavings bedding atop rigid board insulation. The pigs received an average dosage of 0.91 kg/pig water replacement supply during the 54-h treatment period, and ad-libitum feeding and watering during the growth period. Pigs in all three treatments and the control had similar growth performance, physiological, and energetic responses during both treatment and growth periods. At the end of the treatment period, the pigs had elevated concentrations of hematocrit, plasma protein, blood urea nitrogen, sodium and chloride, but declined concentration of glucose (P < 0.05). Potassium and bicarbonate levels remained relatively constant (P > 0.05). Concentrations of the blood constituents returned to normal during the growth period. The results suggest that the isowean pigs respond well to air temperature fluctuations of up to ±8.3°C around the thermoneutral condition of 26.7°C air temperature coupled with woodshavings bedding.
This article is from Transactions of the ASAE 43, no. 2 (2000): 433–438.