Heat stress reduces boar libido and can reduce the viability of semen for up to eight weeks according to a timely tweet posted by AHDB Pork, who moved to remind farmers of hot weather issues as temperatures soared this week.
The tweet directed farmers towards an advice note on heat stress for outdoor herds which covers a number of ways in which producers can minimise heat stress problems in their stock.
In addition to dealing with the impact on boar performance in such conditions, the note highlights the value of “wallowing” for outdoor pigs.
“Wallowing and rooting in the cool earth are the two primary methods used by pigs to cool down, as heat is lost through the evaporation of water from the skin,” it is stated in the note which was produced in BPEX times.
“It is important that the wallows are muddy, as the layer of mud on the body can reduce sunburn.”
There’s also input on sunburn risks, the most severe of which can cause pregnancy failure in affected sows.