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The effects of ambient temperature and air movement on heat loss from the pig

  • W. H. Close (a1), R. P. Heavens (a1) and D. Brown (a2)


The heat losses of 24 individually housed pigs (initial body weights 20·0 to 31·8 kg) were measured for periods of 7 days at environmental temperatures of 10, 20 and 30°C. Within each environmental temperature three levels of air movement, 3, 33 and 56cm/s, were applied for a 2- or 3-day period either in an increasing or decreasing order.

Heat loss was dependent on the environmental temperature and level of air movement to which the animals were exposed. The decrease in total thermal insulation at the highest air movement was equivalent to reducing the air-ambient insulation to almost zero. In terms of its thermal effect a 5cm/s increase in wind-speed was equivalent to a 1°C decrease in temperature.

The lower critical temperature increased with increase in air movement from 19° at 3cm/s to 25° and 30°C at 33 and 56cm/s, respectively. Between air movement rates of 33 and 56cm/s, a 1°C decrease in critical temperature resulted from a 5·3cm/s decrease in air movement.

The effect of increasing air movement from 3 to 56cm/s was to increase the animal's maintenance energy requirements from 706 to 881 kJ/kg0·75 per day at 10°C, from 490 to 715 at 20°C and from 517 to 625 at 30°C.



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