Heat causes stress in Iberian pigs and reduces their growth.

Dietary supplementation with betaine and zinc in Iberian pigs Does not prevent the negative effects of heat stress during growth. This is one of the main results of a study published by the Animal Nutrition Group. Zaidin Experiment Station (EEZ) Scientific Research High Council (CSIC) in the magazine Journal of Thermal Biology. Betaine and zinc have been used. promoting the growth of pigs in optimal conditions temperature and some theories have shown that they can reduce thermal stress.

Pigs are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. due to its high metabolic heat production and rapid growth. Moreover, lack of sweat glands and insulation of the skin They make this mammal particularly susceptible to heat stress because of the thickness of the subcutaneous fat,” explains researcher Zaira Pardo of the EEZ.

Pigs are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. due to its high metabolic heat production and rapid growth. Moreover, lack of sweat glands and insulation of the skin They make this mammal particularly susceptible to heat stress because of the thickness of the subcutaneous fat,” explains researcher Zaira Pardo of the EEZ.

This environmental variable threatens pig production worldwide and can lead to huge financial losses. The main areas of pig production in Spain endure the harshness of the Mediterranean climate in summer, when maximum ambient temperatures range from 31ºC to 36ºC on average. Despite being a global concern, Little is known about the effects of this stress on native breeds. Although this animal is thought to be perfectly adapted to its environment, the thick layer of fat can make Iberian pigs more susceptible to high temperatures,” adds Pardo.

about the research animals were randomly assigned to two environments (comfort and stress) and three different diets (control, betaine supplemented and zinc supplemented). The temperature used in the experiment, 30ºC, causing stress, similar to the average temperature of the hottest months Features of the Mediterranean climate. “The comfort zone of pigs ranges from 18 to 25°C, so temperatures above 25°C activate thermoregulatory responses,” explains the EEZ researcher.

In countries with hot climates, programs can be a tool to avoid heat stress It is useful for reducing the growth problems of pigs in the face of more frequent heat waves due to climate change. The next step in this research will be to identify the effects of heat stress at other stages of this species’ production cycle and seek new strategies to mitigate it.

Source: Informacion

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