With temperatures increasing steadily throughout the last century, the swine production industry is beginning to confront an increasingly urgent dilemma. Ambient barn temperatures are now regularly exceeding ideal conditions for optimal milk production, as well as maximum litter size. Temperatures that exceed these conditions can lead to heat stress among sows, which can ultimately lead to death. With sows usually being housed in larger group settings, keeping track of an individual sow’s temperature has never been harder. The focus of this project is efficiently tracking the internal vaginal temperature of a sow. A prototype probe was developed and consists of a 3010 Wi-Fi module, a 2200 mAh battery, and two thermocouples. It was created to track the internal temperatures of individual sows over a span of 21+ days. The probe assembly is made of six components: the base, the front cover, the front seal, the back cover, the O-ring plate, and the top cover. In total, three different iterations of the probes were designed and prototyped using 3D printing to ensure correct fits with the required electrical components. Due to the high risk of heat stress in sows over the summer months, developing a probe that tracks internal temperatures constantly will ultimately give hog farmers a chance to catch the warning signs of heat stress in nursing sows, which could ultimately save animals and earn millions of dollars for the hog industry.
"Sow Temperature Probe Design,"
American Journal of Rising Scholar Activities: Vol. 2
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/ajrsa/vol2/iss1/6