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Effect of heat stress and of feed provision modification on growth and thermoregulation in pigs

Abstract : With the increasing global mean temperature and more frequent summer heat waves, there is a need to find techniques to mitigate heat stress (HS) consequences on pig production. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of HS and of increasing feed provision frequency on performance and thermoregulation responses in finishing pigs. A total of 48 pigs (66.1±1.7 kg) were allocated to 4 experimental groups in 3 replicates. After being housed at thermoneutrality (TN; 22 °C) during 7 days (P1), pigs were subjected to either TN or HS (32 °C) conditions during 20 days (P2). In each environment, the diet (14.9%CP, 9.64 MJ NE/kg) was provided either ad libitum (AL; 2 distributions/day) or pair-fed (PF8; 8 distributions/day) with HS pigs fed-AL as the reference group. Thus, there were four experimental groups: TN-AL, HS-AL, TN-PF8, and HS-PF8. In PF8 groups, the calculated daily ration was divided into 8 feed provisions distributed at every 90-min intervals from 09:00 to 19:30. In P2, HS-AL and PF8 pigs had lower ADFI (-19% on average; P<0.01), ADG (-25% on average; P<0.01), and a reduced final BW (-6.1 kg on average; P<0.01) than TN-AL pigs. Rectal temperature was increased by HS (+0.32 °C on average; P<0.05) but did not significantly differ within HS nor within TN groups (P>0.05). The PF8 groups had lower total viscera percentage than TN-AL pigs (-2.1% on average; P>0.05), while HS-AL had intermediate results. Pigs in HS-AL and in PF8 groups had similar slaughter BW (P<0.05) but HS-PF8 had more perirenal fat than TN-PF8 (+1.6%; contrast at P<0.05). Plasma insulin on d 8 of P2 was higher in HS-PF8 than in TN-PF8 pigs (P<0.05). Heat stressed pigs had lower plasma TT3 (P<0.05) even compared to TN-PF8 with the same feeding level. Plasma creatinine was higher in HS pigs within AL (P<0.05) and within PF8 groups (P<0.05). In AL groups, reduced growth performance in HS pigs was mostly due to a reduced feed intake. Increasing feed provision frequency during HS did not seem to improve pig performance. However, the increased fat deposition in internal depot in HS-PF8 could be an adaptation response related to direct effect of HS on pig metabolism.
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Contributor : Emilie Bernard <>
Submitted on : Monday, February 15, 2021 - 11:51:57 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 19, 2021 - 12:16:02 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-03141428, version 1



Aira Maye Serviento, Etienne Labussière, M. Castex, David Renaudeau. Effect of heat stress and of feed provision modification on growth and thermoregulation in pigs. 71. Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), EAAP, Dec 2020, Virtual meeting, Portugal. ⟨hal-03141428⟩



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