Influence of high cyclic ambient temperature and water drinker design on growth performance and water disappearance of growing-finishing pigs

Katherine D. Vande Pol, Nicholas S. Grohmann, Thomas E. Weber, Matthew J. Ritter, Michael Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to determine effects of room temperature and drinker design on growth and water disappearance of growing-finishing pigs (26.9 ± 3.67 to 130.9 ± 5.10 kg live body weight). A split-plot design was used with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments: Room Temperature (RT) [Thermoneutral (TN) vs. High (HI); main plot], Drinker Design (DD; Nipple vs. Cup; sub-plot). A total of 316 pigs were used, housed in 32 pens in 4 rooms (8 pens/room; 7 pens of 10 pigs and 1 pen of 9 pigs). Two rooms were on each RT treatment. Room temperature for the TN treatment was constant throughout each day but decreased from 24°C at the start to 20°C and 18°C on d 14 and 45 of the study period, respectively. For the HI treatment, a single, cyclic RT protocol was used throughout the study (30°C from 08:00 to 19:00 h and 20°C from 20:00 to 07:00 h, with 1-h transition periods). Pens had fully-slatted concrete floors and 1 feeder and drinker (either nipple or cup); floor space was 0.67 m2/pig. Pigs had ad libitum access to standard corn-soybean diets, formulated to meet or exceed NRC (2012) nutrient requirements. Water disappearance was measured using a meter fitted to the water line supplying each drinker. There were no interactions (P > 0.05) between RT and DD treatments. Drinker Design did not affect (P > 0.05) growth performance; water disappearance was 7.3% greater (P ≤ 0.05) for Nipple than Cup drinkers. Compared to the TN treatment, the HI treatment had no effect (P > 0.05) on gain:feed ratio, but resulted in lower (P ≤ 0.05) average daily gain (6.5%) and average daily feed intake (5.5%) and greater (P ≤ 0.05) average daily water disappearance (16.8%). These results suggest that both drinker design and RT can affect water disappearance, and that the high, cyclic RT regime used reduced growth performance of growing-finishing pigs. Further research is needed to determine the contribution of water intake and wastage to treatment differences in water disappearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbertxac117
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • ambient temperature
  • drinker design
  • growing-finishing pigs
  • growth
  • water disappearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of high cyclic ambient temperature and water drinker design on growth performance and water disappearance of growing-finishing pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this