This time of year can be very tricky for pigs, as they, like us humans, do not like massive fluctuations in temperature. Over the last few weeks we have seen snow, bitter easterly winds, heavy rain, strong winds and some warmer spells.
Even the most modern of buildings can become a draughty shed when those thin winds from the east find every nook and cranny to penetrate. Cold draughts are particularly harmful to young piglets, who will quickly lose their body heat. Indoor sheds with a high roof can be difficult to keep warm if draughty or when snow sits on the roof. Heat lamps might be needed or a covered area provided where a sow and litter can go under. A sow can generate a lot of body heat so if you can stop this escaping to the ceiling it will help keep her piglets warm.
Of course, there is a big difference between draughts and good airflow. Ventilation is essential especially on damp, warm days when pneumonia.
Despite the cold northern winds of May, which can be very strong, on sunnier days white pigs can become pink very quickly with sunburn. It is therefore essential for outdoor pigs to have dry well ventilated arks and lots of shade with a wallow for the hot days.
A happy pig is a growing pig!