Cold breeding results in heavier piglets
Piglets, housed in cold temperatures of about 13-15ËšC, will have a higher
feed intake and a quicker growth. That was established by Wageningen
University's Animal Sciences Group (ASG) in the Netherlands.
At delivery to finishing units, due to a higher weight, the animals yield
about €5 more than pigs housed at conventional temperatures of 22ËšC. Apart from
the growth advantage, housing the animals in relative cold saves on the heating
bill, about €0.80 per piglet.
At weaning, the
'cold' piglets housed are 1.4 kg heavier than pigs grown under conventional
temperatures. Two weeks after weaning they are 2.2 kg heavier, after four weeks
the difference is 2.3 kg.
There are disadvantages of raising piglets
in colder surroundings: more piglets are crushed by sows. In addition, the pigs
have a bigger fat layers and a lower meat percentage.
The ASG advises to house the piglets warmly in the first two to
three weeks to prevent crushing by sows. After these weeks, the heating could be
switched off. This stimulates feed intake and saves energy.
temperature should not be much lower than 15ËšC to prevent the animals from
creating too much backfat, the researchers advised.
â€¢ Wageningen University
and Research Centre
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