The Dangers of the Sun to Your Pig

Shade and temperature control are both extremely important when caring for a pig. Pigs do not sweat like humans do so they are very limited on ways to cool down. Heat can be dangerous to a pig causing, sunburn, heat stress, and possibly even death.

Pigs exposed to high temperatures suffer heat stress. When the body temperature of your pig rises beyond its normal limits it is likely becomes heat stressed. The first sign of this is panting. If the body temperature does not decrease, the pig may collapse and die. Heat stress not only causes suffering but it also affects fertility and productivity.

When it is too hot a pig will not eat or drink. For a pregnant sow this could mean reduction of milk available and even affect their piglets. Not having an appetite will greatly affect the growth of your pig. In show pigs this could mean not making weight and in pets this could mean malnutrition. Being too hot to eat can also cause the death of your pig.

Sunburn for humans is very uncomfortable. This is the same case with pigs. A sunburned pig can have blisters and wet dermatitis. Sunburns can also cause the reabsorbing of embryos and abortions. When a pig gets sunburned they try to move as little as possible. This could cause infections like bedsores and also curb eating habits.

With these risks you should always keep your pen ventilated and shaded. Add a few fans here and there to circulate the warm air. Also make sure there is a lot of shading, but do not shade the entire pen. Also try to find a way for the pig to have a shaded damp area to lie down and cool off. Keep your pig alive. Minimize the heat.