U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska



Stephen D. Kachman

Date of this Version



Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture Vol. 18(3): 347–350.


Prior work has shown that the tympanic temperature of swine increases during an eating bout. An experiment was conducted in a hot environment using timing of misting as a way of reducing the body temperature during meal events. Three treatments were applied to pigs in a constant temperature 30³C environment: no misting, misting just prior to meals, and misting between meals. Two response variables were examined: feed intake and meal duration. Three environmental chambers were used in a Latin–Square layout with each chamber hosting each treatment. Analysis showed feed intake was significantly (P < 0.05) increased by misting just prior to the meal, when compared with no misting or misting between meals. Similarly, meal duration was significantly greater (P < 0.05) for misting just prior to the meal than for the other two treatments. The meal effect appears to result from cooling the pig, thereby reducing the tympanic temperature spike that normally occurs during an activity event such as a meal. The moderation of the body temperature apparently allows the pig to eat for a greater period of time before thermoregulatory controls restrict the meal duration and hence the meal amount. While not conclusive from these short–term observations, increased feed intake should benefit growth performance.