Hog farmers could take the temperature of their sows by using an infrared camera, avoiding herd upsets and the work of using a thermometer on each sow, says Danish researcher Dennis Dam Sørensen from the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University.
By detecting fevers early, farmers can provide prompt treatment and reduce piglet mortality rates.
Sørensen says fever detection is particularly important just after farrowing when piglet survival depends on the health of the sow.
"A systematic or automatic monitoring of all sows with an infrared camera would be very useful for detecting the sows that may have problems, and then to follow this up with a more accurate measurement with a thermometer," says Sørensen.
He also found that it’s important that the sow’s skin is dry when the infrared camera is measuring temperature. Wet skin is cooler.