7 June 1996

Keep pigs out of the hot sun

SUNBURN and respiratory diseases related to warmer, sunnier weather are the concerns for pig producers.

"Sunburn can cause returns to service, especially in gilts," says Humberside vet Mark White.

He advises constructing shades and digging wallows which contain sufficient mud to provide a protective coat before the pig leaves.

As for indoor pigs, there is increased risk of respiratory disease due to differences in day and night temperatures. "Nights can still be cold and indoor temperatures can fluctuate by 20C in 24 hours which depresses the pigs immune system.

"Better insulation is the long-term answer, but for now concentrate on close monitoring of temperatures and careful ventilation management," says Mr White.

"It may be necessary to shut down ventilation during the day and heat buildings at night to narrow the range of temperatures," he says.


PIGS: WATCH FOR


&#8226 Respiratory problems if weather changes.

&#8226 Ensure Erysipelas vaccination undertaken.

&#8226 Sunburn when weather changes.

&#8226 Streptocooccal meningitis with environmental changes.

&#8226 Mange.

&#8226 High piglet mortality.