Maintenance Tips to Prevent Swine Heat Stress


Warm weather means temperature control and proper ventilation are critical to help protect pigs from heat stress that can compromise their health and performance. Mark Oberreuter, senior technician and ventilation expert with Automated Production (AP), talks about how producers can give hogs an optimal environment during hot weather.

“The first thing you think about is making sure all our fans are turning on that are expected to; make sure you open them up, have them turned on, making sure they’re functioning, and one of the best ways is most controls nowadays have what’s called a test mode. And in there, you can actually simulate room temperature within that control, so you can drive up that simulated room temperature and it will turn on fans as needed and open things, so it’s just a great way to simulate what happens with your system as the temperature increases. Make sure all the fans are clean and all intact and working.”

Oberreuter says checking fan shutters, fan belts and tunnel curtains is also important.

“Things like cleaning a shutters is a big thing; You know, anytime your shutters get dirty, that’s gonna have more resistance and remove less air. That fan needs to look and feel like it was new. A lot of your big fans are belt-drive fans and even though they may have an automatic tensioners on them, we still need to look at that belt; make sure it’s not worn, make sure that you know everything is tight. We allow that air coming into the room also, and that’s through usually a tunnel curtain, so you have to make sure that tunnel curtain goes open like it should, just make sure the curtain is working.”

Finally, he recommends keeping a sharp eye on the weather forecast.

“The big thing is this time of year is a great time of year to be looking forward, and it’s gonna get hot, so we need to get prepared for it. Don’t wait until the hot weather comes. Now it’s time to check out all these things that we mentioned of all your components and your system entirety. Just check on things, and you’re ready for the hot weather to come.”

For additional information about barn environmental equipment, hog producers can contact their dealers or visit For AP technical support, call 712-239-1011.