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Optimal cooling for high productive sows in hot climate

Granted by Inovation Fund Denmark (2018-2022)

The vision is to develop and achieve a substantial world-wide sale of innovative climate systems for housing of high productive sows, which can effectively mitigate heat stress, improve animal welfare and production, and simultaneously maintain optimal thermal conditions for suckling piglets in farrowing pens. The overall objective of this project is to develop new systems for sufficient cooling of high productive sows in regions where traditional ventilation methods are insufficient to avoid heat stress. Intermediate objectives are to generate and combine knowledge on: • Heat production from high productive and heavy modern sows. • High productive gestating sows` responses to heat load. With increased number of live-born, the heat production from foster growth has also increased especially in the last weeks of pregnancy. The focus will be on the increased heat production in late pregnancy period; how fosters heat production is released from the uterus, and physiological response (respiration rate etc.). • The responses of lactating sows to the heat load, utilising parameters of productivity (growth & feed intake), health (survival & disease frequencies), behavioural (huddling & crushing of piglet), reproduction (fertility rate & piglets/litter) and physiological response (respiration rate etc.). • How sow’s perception of heat load is affected by the different thermal parameters as air temperature, air humidity, air velocity and floor temperatures. • Based on the achieved knowledge on how high productive sows react in hot climate, to develop most efficient cooling methods, system design and control for sows. It includes optimal cooling and distribution of precooled air, increased air speed especially on certain part of the sow’s body and floor cooling.