Air-conditioned sows; does keeping cool influence suckling success in free-range pigs?

There is a significant decrease in productivity in outdoor units in summer. Fewer pigs are weaned per litter and conception rates are lower. This project will test whether providing cooling for sows improves survival and growth of piglets. Sow behaviour will be recorded, including time spent in hut, positional changes, suckling frequency, visits to feeder, waterer and wallow, and time and cause of piglet death. This project aims to run over summer, so would suit a mid-year start. Pork CRC will provide a total scholarship of $10,000 which includes a $5,000 stipend and $5,000 to cover operating costs for the research. More information: contact Trish Fleming