Successful farrowing starts with the right livestock equipment, including proper heat placement. Piglets are born wet and cold and experience a significant temperature change after birth. For a healthy start, it’s crucial to dry your piglets immediately after birth and get them to a warm spot. These rooms should be kept at a consistent, warm temperature between 72 and 75 degrees throughout the piglets first few weeks. Supplemental heat is normally provided through special pads and lamps.
Heat rises, which means it’s important to have a warm surface for farrowing and nursing animals. This is referred to as bottom-up heat.
The most popular bottom-up livestock equipment for keeping piglets warm is a heating pad. They are an ideal fit for farrowing stalls and maintain a larger, spread-out heat source. However, piglets are also at risk of being accidentally crushed by the sow as they seek out a warm spot. The pad creates a 6-inch gap between the heat source and sow, which helps keep piglets away from danger.
Heat lamps provide warmth from above and are often best for wean to finish. They provide a comfortable spot for animals to explore other areas of the farrowing room, such as livestock feeders or water troughs, before returning to their heating pad.
The ideal location for heat lamps is at the rear of the crate over your mat. However, they need to be consistently adjusted to ensure heat is reaching the piglets. Heat lamps tend to transfer warmth primarily to the sow, which encourages piglets to get closer to stay warm. As mentioned, this heightens the risk of the piglets accidentally being crushed or laid on.
For a healthy start when farrowing, trust the livestock equipment at Vittetoe Inc. in Keota, IA. Their direct-fired L.B. White® Guardian® forced air heater provides consistent, dependable heat that helps control livestock building climate. Their heaters can be used in all swine production environments and phases, including gestation, nursing, and wean to finish. Learn more about their livestock equipment online or by calling (641) 636-2259 today.