Temperature and body weight affect fouling of pig pens

A.J.A. Aarnink, J.W. Schrama, M.J.W. Heetkamp, J. Stefanowska, T.T.T. Huynh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Fouling of the solid lying area in pig housing is undesirable for reasons of animal welfare, animal health, environmental pollution, and labor costs. In this study the influence of temperature on the excreting and lying behavior of growing-finishing pigs of different BW (25, 45, 65, 85, or 105 kg) was studied. Ten groups of 5 pigs were placed in partially slatted pens (60% solid concrete, 40% metal-slatted) in climate respiration chambers. After an adaptation period, temperatures were raised daily for 9 d. Results showed that above certain inflection temperatures (IT; mean 22.6°C, SE = 0.78) the number of excretions (relative to the total number of excretions) on the solid floor increased with temperature (mean increase 9.7%/°C, SE = 1.41). Below the IT, the number of excretions on the solid floor was low and not influenced by temperature (mean 13.2%, SE = 3.5). On average, the IT for excretion on the solid floor decreased with increasing BW, from approximately 25°C at 25 kg to 20°C at 100 kg of BW (P <0.05). Increasing temperature also affected the pattern and postural lying. The temperature at which a maximum number of pigs lay on the slatted floor (i.e., the IT for lying) decreased from approximately 27°C at 25 kg to 23°C at 100 kg of BW (P <0.001). At increasing temperatures, pigs lay more on their sides and less against other pigs (P <0.001). Temperature affects lying and excreting behavior of growing-finishing pigs in partially slatted pens. Above certain IT, pen fouling increases linearly with temperature. Inflection temperatures decrease at increasing BW
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2224-2231
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • excretory behavior
  • lying behavior
  • growing pigs

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Temperature and body weight affect fouling of pig pens'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this