Dr. Bernardo Predicala, an engineering researcher at the Prairie Swine Centre, has found that sows prefer cool temperatures.
His team developed a supplemental heating system that allows the sows to use a switch to increase the temperature of the room.
A normal temperature is 16.5 Celsius, but when he gave sows the ability to choose a temperature they like, they lowered the thermostat by about five degrees.
That amounts to an energy saving of seven to eight per cent.
Predicala’s research is based on trials over two winters and he plans to continue the trials for one more winter.