A new fish food made from fly frass is helping fish farmers raise larger, healthier catfish.
Keeping Sows Comfortable
Scientists with the ARS Livestock Behavior Research Unit in West Lafayette, IN, recently looked at the temperature preferences of sows, with an eye toward keeping them more comfortable before and during pregnancy. Current temperature guidelines are more than 30 years old and may not be what today’s larger and faster-growing pigs need. They also don’t specifically address pregnant sows. Heat stress in pigs reduces welfare, feed intake, and growth rates, so keeping them comfortable is important.
Along with collaborators at Purdue University and the University of Illinois, the scientists studied nonpregnant sows and those in mid- to late pregnancy. They designed a system that allowed the sows to choose which temperature they wanted to be in. The temperatures in the test apparatus ranged from 50.7° F to 86.9° F, which was a greater range than what is currently suggested to keep pigs comfortable (50° F to 77.0° F). Results showed that the sows preferred temperatures between 54.7° F and 61.5° F, and the sows in late pregnancy preferred the cooler end of that range. This knowledge could benefit sow welfare and may provide an economic benefit to producers by reducing energy costs related to heating animal facilities during cooler times of the year.
Explore Other Discoveries
Fly Frass Forms Fabulous Fish Food
Growing Bigger Fish: A Tough Roe To Hoe
Researchers developed an improved line of trout germplasm that the nation’s second largest commercial egg retailer is selling to trout farmers.
Sweet Alternative For Fly Control
Learn how scientists are finding alternatives to chemical insecticides to control flies.
Mosquito Repellency Of Pineapple Weed
ARS scientists conducted a study of essential oil from dried pineapple weed for repelling mosquitoes.
Cattle Fever Tick Control Goes High Tech
Researchers are bringing high-tech tools to the fight against cattle fever ticks along the U.S.-Mexico border and in Puerto Rico.
Advancements Against African SFV
ARS scientists have made two important advancements against African swine fever virus which causes a lethal disease in swine.