LYING MATS or plastic boards used in slatted housing for young pigs can raise pig temperature by 3C, but they can become soiled and wet and can cause scouring, says JSR Genetics.

This happens when mats are cold on entry, says JSR Genetics’ consultant vet Mark White.

“Despite being dry on entry, unheated second-stage rooms become damp once pigs have been in them for an hour or so. This is a direct result of condensation from pigs breathing on cold surfaces.”

To prevent this from happening – when the whole room cannot be pre-heated – mats should be stood in a warm atmosphere, such as an occupied first-stage room until before or after pigs enter their new accommodation, he says.