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Static space requirements for creep area as influenced by temperature and piglet resting behavior

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  074085.(doi:10.13031/2013.23107)
Authors:   Eileen Fabian Wheeler, Knut E Bøe, Guro Vasdal, Andreas Flø
Keywords:   Temperature, resting pattern, space requirement, piglet, infrared heat

Eight litters of 10 pre-weaned piglets were evaluated for resting behavior patterns in a 1x2 m creep box with uniform environment conditions (within 1oC of set point; 0.7 to 2.8oC variation) The space occupied by a litter of 10 piglets at the recommended infrared floor temperatures was AL = 0.29*M 0.53; with AL, area occupied (m2); M, individual piglet mass (kg). Under 4oC too-warm or too-cool conditions the piglets occupied approximately 10% more or less area, respectively. Huddling and fully-sternum (versus fully-recumbent) positions were significantly more common at cool conditions. The area recommended for 10 average-sized piglets at comfortable temperatures at 1-week (3.7 kg), 2-weeks (6.1 kg) and 3-weeks (8.6 kg) of age is 0.58, 0.76, and 0.91 m2, respectively.

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