Mature sows perform best when room temperatures are between 18-21°C (65-70°F), while young piglets require a warmer environment around 35°C (95°F) when they are born. So how can producers most successfully maintain the right environment for these 2 different stages of animal production simultaneously?
Most modern farms utilise farrowing stalls to protect and monitor the health of both sows and piglets. Farrowing stalls are generally rectangular in shape, keeping both sows and piglets in the same general area. With the trend in the US toward wean-to-finish, weaned piglets are older and heavier and require more room before they are moved from the stalls. Many newer designs of farrowing stalls are transitioning to a wider and longer size to accommodate the bigger piglets, which require larger building designs and bring challenges of maintaining the right environment.
Producers face many challenges when it comes to farrowing healthy piglets. Disease, pre-wean mortality, and unassisted births can negatively affect production. One area producers can control to help minimise these challenges is to provide the right environment for both sows and piglets.
There are 2 key focuses: