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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005  701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18356)
Authors:   M. Barbari, F. Sorbetti Guerri
Keywords:   Drip cooling, snout cooling, behavior, lactating sows

In an experimental farrowing room 16 crates were used to study systems for heat protection of the sows. The crates were provided with 3 different solutions in comparison: drip cooling (5 crates), drip and snout cooling (6), drip cooling and a full steel sheet placed under the body of the sow (5). The snout cooling was realized by means of pipes bringing outside air near the head of the sow. Air velocity was 7.2 m/sec, the air flow rate was 88 m3/h.

During 3 cycles the following data were collected: body and skin temperatures, fat thickness and body condition score of the sows. A closed-circuit television system was also installed to collect information about the behavior of the sows cooled by the drip system only or by both drip and snout cooling.

The differences concerning body and skin temperatures of the sows cooled with the compared systems were not significant. Also fat thickness and BCS of the sows measured at the beginning and at the end of the cycle were not significantly different.

The behavioral patterns of the sows kept in the crate with drip cooling and snout cooling showed how sows appreciated the use of snout cooling. The farrowing crate must be long enough to allow the sow to choose the more comfortable position inside.

In conclusion a good system for heat protection of the sows could be realized arranging together the 3 systems: drip and snout cooling with a full floor placed under the head of the animal.

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