Why Do Pigs Toil In Mud In The Summer?

Pigs are animals that don’t sweat and they tend to overheat or to have heat stroke as well, mostly during summer. They wallow in mud to keep themselves cool most especially during summer when it is humid, and there is not enough wind but plenty of heat going around. 

Pigs overheat easily, so unless they get used to the temperature on the farm, they can easily perish when heatstroke hits them. 

There are ways caretakers help the pigs cool down as providing them with enough water where the pigs can wet themselves, but there should be enough water to go around, or else the pigs will fight over it. 

Here Are Other Ways to Help The Pigs Keep Cool During Summer

Provide Shade

Let them rest in a man-made shelter where there are tree covers where the pigs can rest, and keep away from the heat. There should be enough shade to cover them and protect them from the sun. Choose materials that can deflect the sun instead of going for materials that will enhance the heat further. 

Fans Can Help

Installing fans can help the air circulate outside, and this can help the pigs cool off. This is ideal if there is not enough natural breeze to go around. With the help of fans, you are making sure that it can go around for all the pigs to enjoy. 

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Cover Windows Where Direct Sunlight Penetrates. 

Make the necessary rounds and check up on your pig barn and see where the sunlight infiltrates more. If the windows are the issue, then this should be covered with a deflective material, as this will help keep the sunlight out. 

Adjust Feeding

During summer, the pigs require less food to get by. Food that is low in fiber during summer will help as well. During winter, they need a bigger portion of the food, but not during summer. 

The digestion of fiber requires heat during digestion, and this will not be good for pigs in hot and humid weather. 

Change the Feeding Time

You may need to make some adjustments to their feeding that instead of feeding between 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, avoid giving them any, but instead work around the time so they won’t need to use up energy and make their bodies warm during digestion. 

Provide Them With Mud

There should be enough mud for the pigs to wallow in. They need enough to cool their bodies during summer, plus mud should have the required moisture as well, so the pigs can comfortably immerse in it. 

Mud is also a protective layer for the pigs and acts as a sunscreen for them, especially once it dries out.

Combining the mud with a sprinkle of water will ensure enough moisture to keep it soft and mushy.

Give Them Enough Water

Cool drinking water will be a big help for the pigs during summer to ensure that they are getting their fill every time and that there is enough to ration every pig in the barn. 

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You should also ensure that their water troughs are constantly filled with clean water.

Provide insulation

Insulate the internal parts of the barn using lighter colors. External insulation should be something that should deflect the sunlight instead of absorbing it. 

Insulation helps to lessen the heat being absorbed during the summer. 

Misting Spray

For pigs where water spray is allowed, a misting system will help to hold down the heat as the evaporating water in the pig’s skin gives them the comfort and cooling they need. 

Provide Them With The Essential Nutrients And Vitamins.

This is important to keep them robust and healthy, especially during summer. They can get through the hardships when they are healthy as compared to when their health is compromised. 

Signs that your pigs may have a heat stroke

  • Increased panting. Your pig will have increased breathing, their tongue may also be sticking out trying to cool themselves. They may even have difficulty breathing at some point and need immediate cooling. 
  • They show lethargy. When your pig suddenly walks in a swaying manner and seems to be confused, they may have a heatstroke. Sometimes the pig may even show difficulty walking, and worst if they fall and show signs of breathing trouble.
  • Drooling. When you notice your pig drooling and panting, this is another sign of heatstroke. You must immediately keep them away from the heat and lower their body temperature. Do not wait until your pigs have a glazed look because there is also organ failure in pigs once heatstroke is not treated. 
  • Vomiting. Another sign that your pig is already having a heat-stroke and may have excessive dehydration. This is a progressive sign of heatstroke in pigs, plus their gums will show dryness, and their delicate skin around the eyes will also turn bright red. 
  • Seizures. If the elevated body temperature is not treated, he may suddenly stumble or collapse, and then a seizure will follow. Do not wait for this to happen, and immediately give first aid to your pigs once you notice them acting strange and having difficulty with a simple task such as walking. Once you see the sunlight is in full swing and you are also having issues cooling yourself, your pigs are surely having the same problems badly.
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Who Is More Prone To Heatstroke?

  • Outdoor pigs and those that are in barns.
  • Heavy pigs are more prone to overheating because they get exhausted fast. They should be carefully monitored.
  • Pigs that are medically-compromised may need help in regulating their temperature cause they will have raised temps fast compared to those who are healthy. 
  • Piglets need access to water and must not be left out in the sunlight. They will have difficulty with too much heat, just like adults. We must place them in a well-ventilated location. 
  • Pregnant pigs need their well-ventilated place as well. Keep them away from other pigs if possible cause they have a higher body temperature, as compared to the regular pigs. They will doubly feel the heat fast and can even experience heat stroke faster.

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