Biotemp System

BIOTEMP SYSTEM is an automated system which, by means of programmable control units with customisable heating curves, makes it possible to fully satisfy the heating needs of piglets and sows.

The uniqueness of  BIOTEMP SYSTEM is only possible because the OMEOTERM® panels, equipped with a temperature probe and controlled by the control unit, have an extremely wide and flexible Duty Cycle(*), operating in a range from 0 to 100%. This allows the required temperature to be set and achieved precisely, without the risk of malfunctioning and with minimum energy consumption.

Our technical service has also developed Warm-App, an app for Android, iOS, Windows and macOS, to facilitate the management, control and quality of the work of operators and farm technicians. Warm-App allows you to remotely monitor and vary the specific curves set for the Vital Heat Cycle, based on the real-time needs of the piglets.

(*) Duty Cycle is the ratio between the time a load or circuit is active (ON) and the time it is inactive (OFF).

Thermal reactivity and BIOTEMP SYSTEM

The thermal variations of  OMEOTERM® panels dictated by the programmable control unit are practically instantaneous, with a remarkable thermal reactivity that allows the achievement of the THERMONEUTRAL ZONE (TNZ) specific for piglets and specific for sows, something that cannot be achieved with lamps and mats, which are characterised by a great thermal inertia(*) due to the coating materials they are made of. Furthermore, the use of modulating systems such as with BIOTEMP SYSTEM does not affect the duration of the panel components, contrary to what happens with incandescent lamps.

(*) Thermal inertia refers to the ability of a material or structure to vary its temperature more or less slowly in response to changes in external temperature or an internal heat/cooling source.

Why BIOTEMP SYSTEM is fundamental

“Pigs are homeothermic animals. Homeothermic animals maintain a constant body temperature under varying environmental conditions by balancing heat loss and heat production”

(Mount, 1979)

Unfortunately, newborn piglets have very low energy reserves to maintain a correct internal body temperature (proportionally 12 times less than those of a human infant) and these are basically made up of fat, which amounts to 1-2% of body weight, and glycogen(*). A determining factor in the piglet’s poor thermoregulatory capacity is the absence of brown fat(**), which is essential for classic thermogenesis without shivering (a metabolic process that cannot occur in the absence of brown adipose tissue)(***). Therefore, newborn piglets can rely almost exclusively on shivering thermogenesis (shivering – repetitive contractions of muscle fibres to produce heat) for their thermoregulation.

The lack of brown fat reserves underlines the importance of tissue glycogen as an energy reserve. The total amount of glycogen stored at birth can be estimated at 30-35 g/kg body weight, 90% of which comes from muscle glycogen, with the remaining 10% stored in the liver(*).

It is essential to intervene with a vital thermal “support” such as OMEOTERM® BIOTEMP SYSTEM in the first 48-72 hours of life.

OMEOTERM® BIOTEMP SYSTEM, through the beneficial and revitalising action of REAL FIRs, promotes vasodilation and microcirculation, thus making the glycogen reserves stored in the muscles more readily available.

(*) Le Dividich J., & Noblet J. (1983): “Thermoregulation and energy metabolism in the neonatal pig”. Annales de recherches veterinaires. Annals of veterinary research, 14(4), 375-381.

(**) Herpin, Patrick & Damon, Marie & Le Dividich Jean. (2002): “Development of thermoregulation and neonatal survival in pigs”. Livestock Production Science. 78: 25-45; Berg F., Gustafson U., & Andersson, L. (2006): “The uncoupling protein 1 gene (UCP1) is disrupted in the pig lineage: a genetic explanation for poor thermoregulation in piglets”. PLoS genetics, 2(8), e129; Lianjie Hou, Ching Yuan Hu,Chong Wang (03 October 2018): “Pig Has No Brown Adipose Tissue”.

(***) Cannon B., & Nedergaard J. (2004): “Brown adipose tissue: function and physiological significance”. Physiological reviews, 84(1), 277-359.

The efficiency of the thermoregulatory and cardiovascular capacity increases rapidly after the first few days, favouring blood flow to the skeletal muscle and enhancing the capacity for shivering thermogenesis, which plays an important role in preserving homeothermia. Even in this new situation, it is essential that the heat supply is perfectly regulated and proportional to the actual need, and for this, OMEOTERM® BIOTEMP SYSTEM represents the best technical and physiological solution without harmful thermal excesses(****).

(****) Zhou, Hongsen & Xin, Hongwei (1999): “Effects of Heat Lamp Output and Color on Piglets at Cool and Warm Environments”. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 15.

BIOTEMP SYSTEM is a guarantee of well-being

Thanks to the OMEOTERM® BIOTEMP SYSTEM technology, we can easily achieve the THERMONEUTRAL ZONE (TNZ). In the TNZ an optimal specific temperature is maintained and guaranteed for piglets and sows respectively.

The THERMONEUTRAL ZONE (TNZ) lies between two limits:

UPPER CRITICAL TEMPERATURE (UCT), the limit beyond which the body expends energy to cool itself: practically the sow limits the ingestion of food and the amount of milk produced, while the piglets move away from overheated areas and tend to lie on their backs to disperse heat.

LOWER CRITICAL TEMPERATURE (LCT), the limit below which piglets in the farrowing and weaning rooms risk hypothermia, may become ill and die, while sows limit their reproductive performance. The piglet, which at birth has a lower critical temperature of 32-35 °C, finds thermal and physical ‘comfort’ by approaching the udder, which maintains a constant temperature of 36-37 °C, i.e. 5-8 °C higher and more stable than the sow’s back, but risks crushing. At weaning, the piglets’ critical temperature falls to 24-25 °C.

The THERMONEUTRAL ZONE (TNZ) is variable, especially for piglets, depending on age and weight.

BIOTEMP SYSTEM guarantees the achievement and maintenance of the TNZ with maximum precision, respecting the physiology and welfare of the piglets and the sow, without compromise!

In fact, it is important to underline the presence of compromises: a high temperature in the farrowing unit is able to better satisfy the thermal needs of the piglet, can cause a reduction in ingestion by the sow and a consequent lower milk production, which has repercussions in a lower growth of the piglets, as well as a worsening of reproductive performance. It would therefore be preferable to create two different microclimates, one colder for the sow and one warmer for the piglets(*).

(*) Makkink C.A. & Schrama Johan (1998): “Thermal requirements of the lactating sow”. In: The Lactating Sow, M.W.A. Verstegen et al (eds.), Wageningen Pers (1998) 271-283; Malmkvist J., Pedersen L. J., Kammersgaard, T. S. & Jørgensen E. (2012): “Influence of thermal environment on sows around farrowing and during the lactation period”. Journal of animal science, 90(9), 3186-3199; Muns R., Malmkvist J., Larsen M. L., Sørensen D. & Pedersen L. J. (2016): “High environmental temperature around farrowing induced heat stress in crated sows”. Journal of animal science, 94(1), 377-384; Welch A. R. & Baxter M. R. (1986): “Responses of newborn piglets to thermal and tactile properties of their environment”. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 15(3), 203-215.