Date Full Report Received12/13/2004
Date Abstract Report Received07/26/2006
Funded ByNational Pork Board
Early weaning is a stressful period as reflected by high serum cortisol levels. Transport can add to this stress. In winter, cold environmental temperatures result in cold truck temperatures, lower ear temperatures and fatigue. Piglets try to cope with the lower truck temperatures by huddling and reducing other activities such as establishing the dominance hierarchy. Theoretically, the most desirable situation in winter was to be exposed to the environment a minimum amount of time (< 25%). This was achieved by 35.9 % of piglets. Piglets exposed for 50-75 % and 25-50 % represented 29.7 % and 25.8 % of the piglets and indicated room for improvement with changes in density or bedding type and depth. At the higher density in summer piglets have higher air temperatures to contend with, which is reflected in higher ear temperatures. They also have more difficulty staying exposed to the air and run the risk of hyperthermia. Production was also lowest in summer in this trial compared to winter in the previous trial.