Vacca, Giuseppe Massimo and Mura, Angelo and Dettori, Maria Luisa and Mura, Maria Consuelo and Carcangiu, Vincenzo and Pazzola, Michele (2011) Influence of environmental conditions on growth of weaned piglets. Italian Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 10 (Suppl. 1), p. 104. eISSN 1828-051X. Article.
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To evaluate the effect of temperature and humidity, and housing conditions on productive performance of piglets during the postweaning period, 120 male piglets (Pietrain × Pic), with an age between 28 and 84 days, were assigned to groups of 30 each, in two farms (A and B) and two different seasons, winter and spring. All the groups were fed with the same diet. Farm A had lower housing conditions in comparison with B. Each piglet was weighed throughout the experiment, and average daily weight gain (ADWG) was calculated as the ratio of the difference of weight between two successive weighing and the number of days between the weighing. Feed consumption, and temperature and relative humidity for calculating temperature humidity index (THI) were daily registered. Data regarding ADWG and feed consumption were examined by means of a two-way ANOVA, including the farm and the season as random factors. Maximum THI was higher in farm B, where it reached uncomfortable values during the spring (78 vs 76) while during the winter it did not exceed the threshold for heat stress (72 vs 69). Bacterial enteritis and respiratory syndrome had the same incidence in the two farms. Eight piglets (4 in A and 4 in B; 5 in winter and 3 in spring) died by the age of 49 days, because of bacterial enteritis.
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