Piglets' Surface Temperature Change at Different Weights at Birth

  • Received : 2013.08.15
  • Accepted : 2013.10.07
  • Published : 2014.03.01


The study was carried out in order to verify the effects of piglets' weight at birth on their surface temperature change (ST) after birth, and its relationship with ingestion time of colostrum. Piglets from four different sows were weighed at birth and divided into a totally randomized design with three treatments according to birth weight (PBW): T1 - less than 1.00 kg, T2 - 1.00 to 1.39 kg, and T3 - higher than or equal to 1.40 kg. The time spent for the first colostrum ingestion was recorded (TFS). Images of piglets' surface by thermal imaging camera were recorded at birth (STB) and 15, 30, 45, 60, and 120 min after birth. The air temperature and relative humidity were recorded every 30 min and the indexes of temperature and humidity (THI) were calculated. A ST drop after 15 min from birth was observed, increasing again after sixty minutes. Positive correlations were found between the PBW and the ST at 30 and 45 min after birth. The PBW was negatively correlated with the TFS. The THI showed high negative correlations (-0.824 and -0.815) with STB and after 15 min from birth. The piglet's surface temperature at birth was positively correlated with temperature thereof to 15 min, influencing therefore the temperatures in the interval of 45 to 120 min. The birth weight contributes significantly to postnatal hypothermia and consequently to the time it takes for piglets ingest colostrum, requiring special attention to those of low birth weight.


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