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Keeping Show Pigs Cool in the Summer

Show pigs in a barn with fans

Living in Oklahoma, I’ve learned that keeping my show pigs cool during the hot summers is crucial to their performance and health!

Although this may seem like a straightforward task, all pigs are different and it’s important to pay close attention to their well-being. If a pig experiences heat stress, it can lead to several health issues and potentially serious consequences.

Read these tips to help you keep your pigs happy and healthy during the summer!



Although simple, it’s extremely important that all pigs have adequate access to fresh, clean and cool water at all times. In my barn, we have cup waterers that hold water in the dish. For this kind of watering system, I have to remember to regularly clean out the water dishes to not only remove debris but also because the water can get hot sitting in the dish. Providing clean and cool water will encourage the pigs to drink more throughout the day.

Another tip can be to add ice to water to keep it cooler longer or even add ice to their pens as a cooling option!

Fans & Misters

Fans can be strategically placed in a barn to maximize airflow and keep pigs as cool as possible. Place fans throughout the barn, blowing in the same direction. This means air will enter from one side and exit from the other, creating a continuous flow of fresh air throughout the barn.

To implement extra cooling methods, misters can be attached to fans. This will help cool the air temperature and will lightly wet the areas around the pigs. My favorite fan in my barn is a swamp cooler which uses its water tank to cool the air it blows. You might catch me brushing the pigs closer to the swamp cooler a little longer than the others… haha!

Show pigs in a barn with swamp cooler


If pigs are not kept in a barn with continuous shade, providing a place for shade is key! This can be natural shade or a small shade structure, but keep in mind air ventilation is also important. Even in a barn, there are times of the day when pigs may not be completely shaded. For these areas, a shade cloth can come in handy to provide shade for the animals, while still ensuring there is good air circulation.



During the summer, temperatures can get very hot in the middle of the day. This means that pigs must be checked on periodically throughout the day to ensure they are comfortable. It can also be very beneficial to get pigs out to a wash rack in the middle of the day and spend a few minutes rinsing them with cool water. Before rinsing pigs, make sure all hot water is drained out of the hose!

It’s also important to not directly spray cold water on a hot pig. You should introduce the cold water slowly to the pig on their nose and feet to prevent causing shock, potentially leading to death. If your wash rack is in direct sun like mine, you should pay attention to the amount of time you keep your pig there, or invest in a pop-up tent to place over the wash rack!

Show pig drinking water
Did You Know?

Pigs don’t sweat! Pigs don’t have sweat glands like humans do. Instead, they regulate their body temperature primarily through other means like seeking water, shade and cool air. This is why it is so important to provide your show pigs with these essentials!


Cool Diets

Feeding ShoMax® diets actually helps cool your pigs too! These feeds reduce heat of digestion which promotes maintained feed intake during hot summer temperatures. This is very important because keeping show pigs on feed is critical!

When pigs go off of feed, it can be detrimental for their gut health, weight gain and development. Feeding ShoMax feeds, such as Krave, Surge, or Crease It, can benefit your show pigs health during the summer and keep them on track for your target shows! ShoMax diets are the coolest!




ShoMax Feeds

ShoMax Feeds - Keep Pigs Cool with Cooler Diets

Maximize your pig’s genetic potential and keep them cool during the hot summer months with ShoMax® feeds. Providing a balanced and targeted diet is crucial for your pig’s health and performance.

ShoMax® Nutrition Benefits:

  • Keeps Pigs Cool: Formulated to reduce the heat of digestion, helping your pigs stay cool and comfortable.

  • Meets Nutrient Requirements: Provides all the essential nutrients your pigs need for optimal health.

  • Optimizes Growth: Supports targeted tissue growth for better show ring performance.

  • Promotes Consistent Feed Intake: Ensures your pigs stay on feed, even in high temperatures.

  • Supports Overall Health: Enhances gut health and overall well-being, keeping your pigs at their best.


The Journey to the Ring

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