Static space requirements for piglet creep area as influenced by radiant temperature

Eileen Fabian Wheeler, Guro Vasdal, Andreas Flø, Knut Egil Bøe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Eight litters of 10 pre-weaned piglets from 6 to 22 days of age were evaluated for resting space occupied in an experimental 1 x 2 m creep box. Piglets were evaluated at setpoint temperatures of 30°C, 34°C, and 38°C at one week of age; 23°C, 27°C, and 31°C at two weeks of age; and 21°C, 25°C, and 29°C at three weeks old. Floor temperature, as provided by radiant heat lamps, was the primary environmental variable. Floor temperatures of 34°C, 27°C, and 25°C were evaluated as the recommended condition for piglet comfort for weeks 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The other two temperatures each week were considered mildly challenging in being too cool or too warm. The objective of the study was to quantify the space occupied by a litter of piglets under recommended conditions and when challenged by less comfortable radiant temperatures in an oversized, uniformly heated creep area. Creep box floor temperature was quantified as typically within 1°C of setpoint (variation within the space: SD = 0.7°C to 2.8°C) as measured with an infrared temperature sensor. The space occupied by a litter of 10 piglets at the recommended floor temperatures was A LR = 0.29*M 0.53, where A LR is the area occupied (m 2) and M is the individual piglet mass (kg). Under 4°C too warm or 4°C too cool conditions, the litter of piglets occupied approximately 12% more or 9% less area, respectively. The area recommended for 10 average-sized piglets at comfortable temperatures at 1 week (3.7 kg), 2 weeks (6.1 kg), and 3 weeks (8.6 kg) of age is 0.58, 0.76, and 0.91 m 2, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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