A fan bank can help pigs in stationary lorries

21-12-2016 | | |
Pigs leaving a farm in North Carolina. Photo: Vincent ter Beek
Pigs leaving a farm in North Carolina. Photo: Vincent ter Beek

During warm weather, the use of a supplemental fan bank ventilation system enhances the effectiveness of water sprinkling in regulating the body temperature of pigs, Canadian research showed.

That conclusion was reached in a study conducted on behalf of the Canadian research initiative Swine Innovation Porc. The supplemental fan bank especially enhances the effectiveness when the swine transport vehicles are stationary, reported Farmscape.

Vibration and micro-climate control

The research mostly focused on the effect of vibration during transport on swine behaviour and the effectiveness of micro-climate control in improving pig comfort when swine transports are stationary.

Dr Luigi Faucitano, a meat scientist with the Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, told Farmscape that the objective is to determine the effectiveness of a supplemental fan bank ventilation system placed outside the stationary truck on the farm after loading or at the plant before unloading. The research is in response to a previous study, which assessed water sprinkling to cool pigs.

Water sprinkling is effective in cooling pigs

Dr Faucitano said, “The results of the study showed that water sprinkling was very efficient in cooling off the pigs but also that, as we were sprinkling water inside the truck, there was an increase in relative humidity inside the truck.”

He continued, “Compared to temperature, this can be even more dangerous in terms of pig welfare and pig comfort in the truck. The solution to remove this excessive humidity in the truck is to ventilate the truck in order to cool off the pigs and remove the humidity at the same time.

Fewer dehydrated pigs at slaughter

“We wanted to test this new equipment, which was installed at the slaughter plant in Ontario, completely new and redesigned for our needs,” he continued. “We found that the system was very efficient. Pigs that were cooled off with this system had lower body temperature and, at a decreasing body temperature, they were less dehydrated at the slaughter point.”

He said other measures of pig comfort and welfare are still being analysed.

ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world
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