Do not forget the intelligent Heat Lamp

Challenge: The sow prefers temperatures below 20 degree. Newborn piglets prefer almost 40 degree. They are all in a farrowing pen, and the demand of sow and piglets has to be met.

 

 

You may set the temperature in-between as 25°. However, this creates a problem. The slurry and the slats get warmer too, which in turn produces more ammonia, odour and moisture. Piglets inhale air few centimetres above the floor and get the ammonia straight into the lungs giving them a bad start.

The higher temperature also has impact on the sow. New research has proven that modern sows reduces milk production from as low as 20°.

It is common sense to keep ambient temperature below 20°. This increases the demand on the resting area of the piglets.

  • The canopy must fit tight to the penning walls.
  • The canopy must not exceed 0.45 meter above floor.
  • The floor must be insulating and nonconductive so body heat is not lost.
  • Thick and light plastic boards are fine as well as rubber boards with cell structure. Do not use any metal, concrete is fair but takes a long time to heat, rubber boards can be bad if they are solid.

Having designed a good creep area you must heat it so piglets seeks it and prefer to stay there. Often floor heat in combination with a heat lamp is used. Floor heat sounds positive but it is a bad way heating a creep area.

In a good creep area, control the heat intelligent. It is not sufficient to rise the heat lamp every second day or activate a half heat switch. The creep area has piglets 24 times a day and is empty in-between. You must control heat in relation to whether piglets are in or out.

Normal recommendation is either 150-Watt heat lamp or 50-Watt floor heat + 100 Watt heat lamp. Fourteen piglets in the creep area give off 140 Watt, so the heat doubles when they go in. Consequently, they feel too warm and move out. This is waste of energy and causes crunched piglets.

Here the intelligent heat lamp makes the difference. It adjust constantly the heat to the demand. You do not see piglets lying outside.

Video Intelligent Heat Lamp 

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