A review of swine heat production: 2003 to 2020

Brett C. Ramirez, Steven J. Hoff, Morgan D. Hayes, Tami Brown-Brandl, Jay D. Harmon, Gary A. Rohrer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Swine heat production (HP) data are an essential element of numerous aspects affecting swine production sustainability, such as, housing environmental control design, energetics and thermoregulation modeling, as well as understanding of feed energy partitioning. Accurate HP values that reflect the continuous advances in growth, nutrition, health, and reproduction are needed to update outdated models and data; hence, this review of swine HP values is a critical contribution. This review updates the last previous review conducted in 2004, by reviewing literature from growing and breeding pigs from 2003 to 2020. In total, 33 references were identified that provided relevant HP data and from these references, 192 records were identified for pigs ranging in weight from 12.5 to 283 kg and exposed to temperatures between 12.0°C and 35.5°C. For growing pigs at thermoneutral conditions, a 4.7% average increase in HP was observed compared to HP data summarized from 1988 to 2004. Only five records were identified for gestating sows and the 43 records for lactating sows plus litter. This sow data shows high variability and inconsistent trends with temperature, most likely attributed to variation in experimental protocols, management, and limited reported information. There is still a lack of data on growing pigs greater than 105 kg, gilts and gestating sows housed in different systems (stall, pen, mixed, etc.), and latent HP values that reflect different housing systems. Further, there is a need to standardize reporting of HP values (with an example provided) across different disciplines to drive documentation of increased swine production efficiency, environmental control design, and energetics modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number908434
JournalFrontiers in Animal Science
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Ramirez, Hoff, Hayes, Brown-Brandl, Harmon and Rohrer.


  • calorimetry
  • genetics
  • growth
  • moisture production
  • nutrition
  • temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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