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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Production

Modeling response to heat stress in pigs from nucleus and commercial farms in different locations in the United States1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 94 No. 11, p. 4789-4798
    Received: Apr 07, 2016
    Accepted: Aug 18, 2016
    Published: October 13, 2016

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. B. O. Fragomeni 2*,
  2. D. A. L. Lourenco*,
  3. S. Tsuruta*,
  4. S. Andonov,
  5. K. Gray,
  6. Y. Huang and
  7. I. Misztal*
  1. * Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia, Athens 30602
     Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
     Smithfield Premium Genetics, Rose Hill, NC 28458


The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of seasonal losses due to heat stress in different environments and genetic group combinations. Data were available for 2 different swine populations: purebred Duroc animals raised in nucleus farms in Texas and North Carolina and crosses of Duroc and F1 females (Landrace × Large White) raised in commercial farms in Missouri and North Carolina; pedigrees provided links between animals from different states. Traits included BW at harvest age for purebred animals and HCW for crossbred animals. Weather data were collected at airports located close to the farms. Heat stress was quantified by a heat load function, defined by the units of temperature-humidity of temperature–humidity index (THI) greater than a certain threshold for 30 to 70 d before phenotype collection. Heat stress responses were quantified by a linear regression of phenotype on heat load. The greatest coefficient of determination occurred with a length of 30 d before phenotype measurements for all states and genetic groups. In the crossbreed data, THI thresholds were 67 in Missouri and 72 in North Carolina. For pure breeds, heat load had the best fit for THI thresholds greater than 70 in North Carolina, although differences in coefficient of determinations were negligible. On the other hand, no optimal THI threshold existed in Texas. In this study, heat stress had a greater impact in commercial farms than in nucleus farms and the effect of heat stress on weight varied by year and state.

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