Effects of various Cooling Methods and Drinking Water Temperatures on Reproductive Performance and Behavior in Heat Stressed Sows
Received: Mar 18, 2022; Revised: Apr 20, 2022; Accepted: Apr 29, 2022
Published Online: May 10, 2022
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of multiple cooling systems and different drinking water temperatures (DWT) on the performance of sows and their hair cortisol levels during heat stress. In this study, the effect of four different cooling systems: air conditioner (AC), cooling pad (CP), snout cooling (SC), and mist spray (MS), and two drinking water treatments (DWT), namely low water temperature (LWT) and high water temperature (HWT) on 48 multiparous sows (Landrace × Yorkshire; 242.84 ± 2.89 kg) was tested. The experiment is based on the use of eight replicas during a 21-days test. Different behaviors were recorded under different cooling treatments in sows. As a result, behaviors such as drinking, standing, and position change were found to be lower in sows under the AC and CP treatments than in those under the SC and MS treatments. Lying behavior increased under the AC and CP systems as compared with that under the SC and MS systems. The average daily feed intake (ADFI) in sows and weight at weaning in piglets was higher under the AC, CP, and LWT treatments than under the SC, MS and HWT treatments. Sows subjected to SC and MS treatment showed higher hair cortisol levels, rectal temperature, and respiratory rate during lactation than those under AC and CP treatments. Hair cortisol levels, rectal temperature, and respiratory rate were also higher under the HWT than under the LWT treatment. As per the results of this study, the LWT has no significant effect on any of the behavioral factors. Taken together, the use of AC and CP cooling treatment is highly recommended to improve the behavior and to reduce the stress levels in lactating sows.