photo: Harry Bowler

Lower Critical Temperature is the temperature below which a pig must expend additional energy to maintain normal body temperature and essential body functions such as eating, drinking, playing and moving about.The Upper Critical Temperature is that which adversely effects pig performance and normal bodily functions including decreased feed intake and rate of gain due to heat stress. The range between the both is called the Thermo- neutral Zone or Comfort Zone.The Comfort Zone varies by the age and size of our pigs with larger pigs generally tolerating extremes in temperature. This is especially true for the Lower Critical Temperature, which is much higher for younger pigs than older ones. Young pigs up to 18-22kgs are very sensitive to low temperatures and become chilled quickly. On the other hand, finishing pigs and lactating sows are much less sensitive to cold but do not tolerate high environmental temperatures, 2019 and Summer this year was testament to that as there was losses due to the hot summer we had due to heat stress.


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