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Senior Advisor

Hog killing weather

When I was a boy and we raised lots of hogs, we used to refer to this kind of heat as "hog killing weather". Not because that is when we butchered but because the heat would result in deaths. We used to build sunshades and get hoses and water wagons out to sprinkle the hogs down.
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10 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Hog killing weather

This weather is not good for man, beast or machine. Cattle deaths have been high with the high nighttime temperatures. With confinement, hogs have plenty of shade, wind, and water. As long as the blackouts don't start rolling. Smiley Sad

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

I remember (maybe not so fondly) getting out the hose to 'refill the waller' when the breeding sows would get hot.  If you didn't get up EARLY to start filling it, and the sows were getting hot when the water started flowing, some pretty nasty fights would ensue as 20 sows would fight for the first bit of mud.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

Well, here in NC, with it over a hundred again, we have 72 fans running 24/7, and plan on having to pay for some diesel fuel to pump our lagoons of quite a bit of water the pigs are playing in, to stay cool these days. 

 

We keep a backup generator fueled and tested weekly, alarm systesm with thermalarms on every house, also tested on a weekly maintenance schedule.  

 

I have gotten two calls today, from the pigs, saying it is hot at their house.  Mike makes a round of the farm to check and be sure it is just the alarms pegging in the houses, and not a vent or power loss in any of them, with every call, and hourly in the heat of the day, regardless of a call or not.   

 

Livehauls have to keep moving, until they can back up to any chute.  One load due here yesterday had to roll around the neighborhood for almost two hours, due to a snafu in their scheduling, and a resultant biosecurity issue. 

 

Hard on hogs AND humans.  We do the best we can, and I think pigs are safer in hot weather here than are humans in most places. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

Out here, we can park the truck/trailers as long as we wet the hogs down.  Those of us who would haul hogs with a trailer behind a pickup would just wet them with a hose through the slots in the sides, but some of the semi drivers would have hookups to attatch a hose to fogger nozzles in the pot.  One trucker I know had dual 200 gallon fuel tanks on his truck.  He turned one into a water tank, added a pump, and pumps his own water to fog the hogs down when he has to wait in line.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

Spoiler
 

Weaned pigs cannot withstand wetting down, you may as well just invite pneumonia to kill them all. 

Our buildings, being nurseries, do not have foggers and timers, or even drip emitters, as we did with top hogs and sows in our own smaller operation years ago. 

 

I am sure that the pigs in our buildings were cooler than any happening to be outdoors in NC this week.  My husband does an excellent job of monitoring animal welfare compliance here.

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Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

Kay, I'm not versed in much of the intricasies of confinement hog husbandry...but I think I remember a system installed in a greenhouse I walked through one time that had a fiber mat with water seeping into it that had fans blowing through it to create a type of "evaporative" cooler. I believe in the Southwest they use types of evaporative cooling too. Is there potential to use such things in confinement buildings? Maybe they would save pumping the water out,...or do you think the humidity involved would be detrimental to herd health? (Sorry, I don't get on the Hog Talk section very often...but like to know about what's going on every now and then).

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Hog killing weather

Granted I don't know the weather where you are at, but in Nebraska, I can't say we ever had a weaned pig under 80 pounds or so ever overheat, as long as they had water.

From 70 pounds or so, up to 100 pounds or so, we had good luck just having a trickle of water going along the floor.  They could lay their bellies down in it to stay cool, but didn't get fully 'wet'.

Above 100#, we had fogger nozzles on a timer.  If it got hot enough to need to turn them on, they shut off themselves in 4 or 6 hours, depending on setting.

Honestly, weaning pigs in hot weather was worse on the sows, and us, than the new weaned pigs.

However, here in Nebraska, the nights usually aren't as hot as in the South, and the concrete in the buildings would cool down, and by the time it got really hot, it was evening.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Hog killing weather

Evaporative coolers work best where the outside air is dry, such as in the Southwest and West. When the humidity gets high, the extra water in the air doesn't do that much good. Humid places tend to use fans and alternating misters, foggers and drippers more to cool their pigs.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Hog killing weather

They are quite common in broilers in the south, correct?

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