Pig producers are being reminded to check the set temperatures of pens following routine inter-batch pressure-washing and disinfection.
After cleaning, many operatives set the minimum temperature very high to keep the fans operating to help dry out house interiors before the next lot of pigs is moved into the building, says Tim Miller, an environmental specialist with ARM Buildings.
“I have come across cases recently where the stock person has forgotten to turn down the minimum temperature after restocking the pens and has then found that the occupants have become too cold. Chilling can be particularly dangerous in young pigs, if it is not picked up quickly.”
Mr Miller also warns farmers against setting the minimum temperature too low in an effort to keep pigs warm, by reducing the amount of cold air entering the building. Care has to be taken to ensure that air is changed, whatever the outside temperature, he says.
“If the building is not warm enough at minimum temperature setting then supplementary heating should be considered,” he says. With low outside temperatures at this time of year, farmers should also check that their alarm systems are working properly.