Effect of birth weight on the surface temperature of piglets
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of birth weight of piglets on the behaviour of their surface temperature after birth. Litters from four sows were used. After separation of the umbilical cord, the piglets were weighed. The piglets were divided into a completely randomised design with three treatments: T1 - less than 1.000 kg, T2 - 1.000 to 1.399 kg, and T3 - higher than or equal to 1.400 kg. Thermograph images were taken of all piglets at birth and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 120 and 180 minutes after birth. Data were subjected to Spearman's correlation. In terms of birth weight, approximately 22.8% of the piglets were in range 1 (<1.000 kg), 42.9% in range 2 (1.000 to 1.399 kg) and 34.3% in range 3 (> 1.400 kg). Positive correlations between piglet weight at birth and surface temperatures at 30 and 45 min postpartum were observed. The higher the piglets' weight at birth, the higher the surface temperatures during this interval and the temperature drop due to postnatal hypothermia is small. The temperature of the piglet at birth was positively correlated with the temperature at 15 min postpartum, consequently influencing temperatures in the 45-120 min range. Between 60 and 120 min postpartum there was an increase in piglet temperature, which explains the high positive correlation between these variables. The greater the piglet's weight at birth the higher the body temperature during the first hours of life.