By NONOY E LACSON
Heat stress in swine, caused mainly by elevated body temperatures, can result in reduced feed intakes as well as lower pregnancy and fertility rates that impact overall growth performance, and is a particular challenge in tropical countries like the Philippines, a US animal nutrition expert said.
Dr. Ken L. Bryant, who holds a doctorate degree in swine nutrition, said there is a need for new nutritional strategies to help prevent the elevation of the animal’s body heat or temperature during the digestive process to mitigate heat stress.
Dr. Bryant is Vice President of Akey, a nutrition solutions provider based in Ohio, which is dedicated to serving the needs of the feed, livestock, and poultry industries all over the world. He was one of the featured speakers during the 24th National Hog Convention and Exhibits held at the PICC Forum in Pasay City from March 19 to 21 this year.
“In a tropical country like the Philippines, strategies to lower body temperature will be very helpful and useful because these will help reduce heat stress and result in the improved overall swine performance in hot environments,” Bryant said.
He said their research showed that a balanced dietary regime with the right amount of certain amino acids helps maximize pig performance, and thus ensure more profit for both big farms and small backyard hog raisers.
“Our research shows that the right balance between proteins and amino acids ensures metabolic efficiency. And this is what we have shared with our long-time partner here in the Philippines, UNAHCO,” he said.
For his part, UNAHCO Marketing Director Clint Escondo said Akey’s new “Advanced Cooling System to Lower Heat Stress in Swine” has already been incorporated in their flagship Pigrolac Premium Hog Feeds and Pigrolac Mama Pro to help local hog raisers maximize animal growth.
“This exclusive nutrition technology offered by Pigrolac should be very helpful to our local hog raisers to prevent swine heat stress, which is usually characterized by animals that are panting or out of breath, refusing to eat, or sows refusing to nurse their young because their teats are inflamed due to intense heat,” he said.
Escondo said that the average temperature in the Philippines is between 25 and 28 degrees Celsius, while the ideal temperature for pigs is between 21 and 24 degrees, thus the need for Pigrolac’s Advanced Cooling System to prevent swine heat stress. — Nonoy E Lacson