The high temperature in summer has a considerable impact on the livestock industry, which is mainly manifested in low productivity of breeding boars, weak fertility and non-estrus or dull estrus of sows, various reproductive diseases, miscarriage and premature birth of farrow sows as well as less ADFI and slow weight-gaining of finishing livestock. Therefore, it is a vitally important task in livestock production to lower the temperature in summer, which is also a headache for many livestock farm operators. To solve this problem, the author summarizes some effective measures to lower the temperature and prevent heatstroke in summer for farmers’ reference, such as the insulation of livestock house, facility cooling, feeding management and feed formula, etc.
First, appropriate external walls and roof structural material are required for the insulation of livestock house to achieve ideal heat insulation effect. Finish the roof and sunny side wall of livestock house with a light-colored and flat outer surface, use white foam board (above 5 cm in thickness) as the isolation layer for the roof of livestock house, and install shading nets and awnings outside livestock house. It is also feasible to plant trees and grasses around the livestock farm area for shade, and the liana is better, but there should not be too many tall trees, so as not to affect ventilation and attract wild birds, which is adverse to epidemic prevention.
Second, take proper cooling measures based on the actual situation of the livestock houses.
- To improve ventilation. Install exhaust fans or air coolers if conditions permit, and for livestock houses with poor conditions, open the front and rear windows to lower the temperature through convection wind.
- To water livestock farms. Wash livestock body with water when the temperature is high at noon, which can effectively alleviate the heat stress. At the same time, the purpose of cooling can be achieved by sprinkling the ground and spraying the roof and the inside of the livestock house.
- To install evaporative honeycomb cooling pads. A cooling pad with continuous water is installed at the air inlet of mechanical ventilation. When the air passes through the cooling pad, the air temperature will be lowered due to the evaporation of water, and then the low-temperature air will enter the livestock house to lower its internal temperature.
Third, Strengthen feeding management
- Adjust the feed formula in time. At high temperatures, the feed intake of livestock will decrease, so it is quite necessary to appropriately increase the nutrient concentration of the feed and the fat content and add some anti-heat stress additives.
- Turn the feed from dry mash to wet feed stuff with 30% water and 70% feed, and freshly mix the feed for livestock to prevent mildew. Increase the number of night feeding through frequent small meals. Feed farrow or lactating sows with green and juicy stuff, such as water spinach and watermelon peel.
- Ensure adequate and clean drinking water, and check the water supply at any time to avoid any occurrence of water shortage. Regularly check the water output and the water temperature in the drinking fountain to prevent the water temperature in the water supply pipeline from being too high due to the exposure of the water tank to the sun and affecting the drinking of livestock. It is also possible to add multiple vitamins of electrolyte in drinking water, which can reduce the adverse reactions of heat stress.
- Adjust the farrowing time of sows. Sow farrowing at high temperature may cause short breath and insufficient oxygen supply in the uterus, which can lead to dystocia or sudden death. Therefore, scientific methods should be adopted to make sows farrow at night.
To sum up, only if effective heatstroke prevention measures are taken to make sure the livestock spend the summer safely, can the livestock farms still maintain good economic benefits successfully in summer.