Evaluating the influence of noise emitted by environmental enrichment equipment in routine farrowing management practices

Authors

  • Gisele Dela Ricci Universidade de São Paulo.FZEA - Pirassununga.
  • Rafael Teixeira de Sousa Instituto Federal - Campus Boa Viagem
  • Késia Oliveira da Silva Miranda Universidade de São PauloEsalq - Piracicaba
  • Elder Tonon Universidade de São PauloFZEA - Pirassununga.
  • Ana Laura Alves Alves de Matos Passere Universidade de São PauloFZEA - Pirassununga.
  • Cristiane Gonçalves Titto Universidade de São PauloFZEA - Pirassununga.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5965/223811711942020434

Keywords:

rooftop sprinklers, decibel meter, swine, rectal temperature, surface temperature, fans

Abstract

The installation of fans and rooftop sprinklers in swine housing and management facilities can increase noise intensity and may impair workers' hearing health over longs periods of time; therefore, an assessment of the piglets’ stress during invasive practices was made. This study set out to evaluate the noise intensity emitted by environmental enrichment devices (fans and rooftop sprinklers) and by piglets restrained for body temperature assessments and its effect on animal welfare and on the hearing health of workers exposed to it for long periods. Twenty piglets ranging in age from five to twenty days were observed. The sow gestation area was divided into a cooled (fans and rooftop sprinklers) and uncooled area. Two decibel meters were used to measure noise intensity, one for the general noise in the facilities and the other for the piglets, with five-minute intervals between assessments. Digital thermometers were used to take the rectal temperature, and infrared thermometers were used to take the body surface temperature. Fixed-effects ANOVA for the housing environment and periods and multiple comparisons at a significance level of 5% were applied. The average dorsal temperature of the piglets was 36 °C ± 1.2 in the cooled area and 38.4 °C ± 0.5 in the uncooled area. In both periods, the average maximum noise intensity was over 100 decibels. In the afternoon, the maximum intensity was higher for the uncooled environment. The results indicate that neither the fans nor the rooftop sprinklers installed in the facilities nor the squealing piglets during restraint affect the noise intensity of the environment. However, the noise intensity demonstrates the piglets’ stress and the need for protective equipment to preserve the workers’ hearing health.

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Published

2020-12-14

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Section

Research Article - Science of Animals and Derived Products