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Impact of single or repeated short-term heat challenges mimicking summer heat waves on thermoregulatory responses and performances in finishing pigs

Abstract : The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of single or repeated short heat stress (HS) challenges that mimicked summer heat waves on performance and thermoregulatory responses in finishing pigs. A total of 45 crossbred castrated males were tested in three consecutive replicates of 15 pigs. Within each replicate, pigs were assigned to one of five treatments. Pigs in treatment group TTT were maintained in thermoneutral conditions (22 degrees C) for the entire experiment (45 d). Pigs in treatment group HHH were subjected to an HS challenge (32 degrees C for 5 d) at 113, 127, and 141 d of age (in experimental periods P1, P2, and P3, respectively). Pigs in treatment groups HTT, THT, and TTH were subjected to the HS challenge at 113, 127, or 141 d of age, respectively. Each 5-d challenge was preceded by a 3-d prechallenge period and followed by a 7-d recovery period. Pigs were housed in individual pens and fed ad libitum. HS significantly reduced average daily feed intake (ADFI) and the average daily gain (ADG). Expressed as a percentage of the performance observed during the prechallenge period, ADFI decreased by 12%, 22%, and 26% and ADG decreased by 12%, 43%, and 72% in the HTT, THT, and TTH groups, respectively. Regardless of the experimental group, no compensatory performance was observed during the recovery period, suggesting that HS has a long-lasting effect on animal performance. Pigs subjected to HS had an immediate increase in core body temperature (T-core), skin temperature, and respiratory rate, all of which gradually decreased during the HS challenge. Based on T-core measurements, hypothermia was observed during the recovery period in each of the three experimental periods, especially for pigs in the HHH and the HTT groups but only during the first HS cycle. Repeated exposure to HS for the HHH group resulted in heat acclimation responses characterized by a lower increase in T-core and lower decrease in ADFI during P2 and P3 than during P1.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03138775
Contributor : Emilie Bernard <>
Submitted on : Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 2:09:49 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 10:26:01 AM

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David Renaudeau. Impact of single or repeated short-term heat challenges mimicking summer heat waves on thermoregulatory responses and performances in finishing pigs. Translational Animal Science , 2020, 4 (4), ⟨10.1093/tas/txaa192⟩. ⟨hal-03138775⟩

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