PERFORMANCE AND WELFARE OF FINISHING PIGS SUBJECTED TO CLIMATECONTROLLED ENVIRONMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY LIGHTING

Resumo

ABSTRACT An adequate thermal environment in pig farming facilities is essential to ensure productivity and animal welfare. The objective of this study was to evaluate the behavior and performance of finishing pigs, subjected to climate-controlled environments and supplementary lighting. Twenty-seven pigs (3/4 Duroc, 1/4 Pietrain) were kept in pens with no climate control, pens with forced ventilation and pens with adiabatic evaporative cooling system, associated with 12 h of natural light, 12 h of natural light + 4 h of artificial light and 12 h of natural light + 6 h of artificial light. The experimental design was completely randomized, in a 3x3 factorial arrangement and the means were compared by Tukey test (p<0.05). Meteorological variables, temperature and relative humidity, were recorded and the zootechnical performance of the animals was evaluated by weight gain, feed intake and feed conversion. Behavioral analysis was performed using the frequency of ingestive and comfort behaviors (exploratory activities and social interactions). Better performance was found for animals subjected to evaporative cooling, and the program with supplementary lighting for 6 hours promoted better feed conversion. Pigs subjected to evaporative cooling showed higher frequency of comfort behaviors and higher frequency of ingestive activity, stimulated by better thermal conditions in the housing.


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Assunto

animal ambience, behavior, thermal comfort, weight gain

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