Summer is a critical period for all animal production, and pigs too are sensitive to heat stress. High temperature often lead to digestive upset in pigs, and farmers often experience higher sudden death loss in fattening pigs, making preventive measures an economic necessity.
Hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS) causes the sudden death of 4-6 months-old fattening pigs (70-120 Kg). Usually, there is no clinical or pathological previous history, and no premonitory signs that could alert the farmer. In most of the cases, the weight and health conditions of the affected animals are perfectly normal. Due to the absence of premonitory signs, the diagnosis of HBS is mainly done post-mortem.
When the temperature rises, both feed hygiene and animal behavior are affected. High temperature leads to the development of potential pathogenic microbes in liquid feed. It has been observed that heat stress affects pig-feeding behavior, with changes in both feeding frequency and feed intakes, with pigs often only eating at night, resulting in either too rapid consumption or over-consumption. These tendencies are compounded by the animals' natural tendency to eat more but less often as they get older and heavier pigs are less capable to dissipate heat.
While there is no treatment or effective solution to eradicate summer sudden deaths, some key success factors that could help prevent the fatal culmination of effects have been identified, including feeding behaviour and feed safety and intestinal balance.
For more of the article, please click here
Article made possible through the contribution of Lallemand Animal Nutrition.