Agricultural heat pads

Heat pads consume 70% less power than traditional heat lamps and have lower annual energy and maintenance costs.

Heat pads are fibreglass mats embedded with heating elements. They form a warm bed midway along one side of the farrowing crate. Compared to heat lamps, heat pads offer an improved environment for piglets and sows. They have a higher initial cost than heat lamps, but heat pads use about one-third the electricity and last up to 15 years, compared with only 5,000 hours for a heat lamp.

Benefits

In comparison with traditional heat lamps, heat pads provide the following benefits:

  • larger comfort area that minimizes piglet piling;
  • piglets tend not to seek warmth from the mother sow, which reduces crushing losses;
  • piglets are protected by blocking drafts rising through the grating floors of the farrowing crates;
  • sows can stay cooler, eat more, and produce more milk;
  • pads can be washed down with a high-pressure washer, and last up to 15 years;
  • the potential fire hazards of heat lamps and broken lamps are eliminated;
  • lower energy and maintenance costs;
  • piglets raised on heat pads show no significant difference in weight gain and mortality when compared with those raised on heat lamps;
  • piglets show a preference for the comfort and warmth of heat pads;
  • quick evaporation of birth fluid on newborns.