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Review Article Open Access

Production Performance of Young Pigs in Varying Ambient Temperature and Cold Stress Response and Management: A Review


Younger pigs tend to be more sensitive to environmental stresses such as changes in temperature (cold stress) because of the failure of their body to thermo regulate properly. The weaning process is one of the most stressful events in the pig’s life that can contribute to reduced pig growth, feed intake, and feed conversion efficiency. The review paper describes how temperature can impact subsequent production efficiencies such as average daily gain (ADG) and gain/feed (G/F) ratio as well as discuss cold stress adaptation, survival, and management methods in young pigs. The researchers also incorporate gathered swine experiment data and were classified according into two body weight stage: 0 to 10 kg and 10 to 20 kg BW. Extracted data of ADG (kg/day) and Gain/Feed ratio (kg/kg) were analyzed in response to ambient temperature. During the weaning stage, pig’s digestive system was still developing and adjusting to the feed ration thus lower ADG was to be expected especially to the lower weight range pigs. Low feeding level elevates the newly-weaned pig’s thermal requirements. In extreme cold temperatures, piglets survive by physical, physiological, and behavioral adaptation techniques until they regain thermo stability as they mature. Alternative methods like heating sow diet manipulation, and providing oxygen has been used to relieve cold stress. Nevertheless, high ambient temperature within the weaning pig’s thermo neutral zone produces better ADG and G/F ratio in younger pigs. Understanding the basic concept of interaction between the animal and ambient temperature as well as the animal’s adapting mechanism in times of stress can be a basis to further enhance swine productivity and modern cold stress alleviating strategies.

Jamila Fatima L. Saturno, Hong-Seok Mun, Gyeong-Il Kim, Dae-Hun Kim and Chul-Ju Yang

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