Hot weather – including record temperatures in parts of the country – has prompted reminders for pig producers to review the heat settings in their piggeries.
It could seem odd to actually lift the temperature when it is hot but finishing houses are typically run at 18oC, says Farmex director Hugh Crabtree. When the outside temperature is well above this, the inside of buildings will be consistently higher.
“It might be worth raising the set temperature by 2-4oC so that the day/night variation is reduced. By raising the set temperature to, say, 22oC the pigs will experience a reduced day/night swing, and so will be more comfortable and less stressed.”
Routine monitoring is always worthwhile as it tells the producer what is actually happening and when. This can often be done
remotely on monitored farms, where environmental conditions can be tracked on screen.
An effective alarm system is a legal requirement to ensure pigs have sufficient ventilation.
An upgrade introduced by Farmex further safeguards pig health and welfare when alarms are set in controlled-environment buildings.
The alarm ensures people cannot permanently deactivate the alarm, for example when emptying pens. If an operator mistakenly leaves a room ‘inactive’ when restocking or while it still has pigs in it, the high, or low, temperature will still trigger the alarm.
The alarm upgrades the software on Dicam controllers for pig housing. Mr Crabtree said: “With multi-room controllers, the ability to inactivate individual rooms when they are empty, or when the power is to be turned off, is obviously handy.
“The upgrade overcomes the problem of human error if a person forgets to re-activate the room when restocking. The change means that despite a room being set inactive, temperature alarms are still active in the background.”