Do sows in Denmark suffer from subclinical heat stress?
2. July 2020

Do sows in Denmark suffer from subclinical heat stress?

With summer temperatures easily rising to reach 25 degrees celsius, the temperature inside the animals’ housing units is even often 2-3 degrees higher – and thereby exceeding the pig’s thermo-neutral zone, which is between 18 and 24 degrees. On top of this, there is the intensified effect of heat caused by increased air humidity.

In the farrowing section, efforts are often made to create an optimum indoor climate for the piglets, because they, compared to sows, depend on temperatures which are substantially higher than the temperatures that are ideal for sows. If this aspect is not taken into consideration, the sows are at risk of being exposed to temperatures which are too high and, therefore, are harmful to their general wellbeing. Furthermore, as a result of the high metabolic rate, lactating sows generate a considerable amount of metabolic heat.

When the ideal temperature for pigs exceeds the interval known as their comfort temperature, the pig’s body undergo physiological changes. If the air humidity is very high, heat stress occurs at relatively low temperatures.

The hazards from too high temperatures
Among the biggest consequences of the physiological changes is the negative impact on metabolism, which means that the feed intake decreases and, as a result, productivity too.

In terms of nursing sows, this is particularly hazardous: the comfort temperature zone of sows is lower than that of younger animals. And the younger animals, in particular, should have a very high feed intake in order to be able to produce enough milk for large litters.

One effect of heat stress is an increased loss of bodily electrolytes and, consequently, cell integrity. This is what makes it important to maintain a balanced interaction between the bodily electrolytes. 

Suplex Sommer contains electrolytes which prevent imbalances of the body’s natural electrolyte levels.

When the pig shows symptoms of heat stress, the level of oxidative substances goes up – and, vice versa, the efficiency of the enzymes, which would normally break down the substances, decreases. It should be noted that the energy conversion is also regulated by the heat-sensitive enzymes.

Suplex Sommer contains vitamins and minerals that strengthen and supplement the effect of the natural antioxidants through a stimulation of the function and regeneration of the substances, as well as the body’s enzyme-regulating energy conversion