Decision three to predict respiratory rate of piglets submitted to cold conditions
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Pigs subjected to thermal conditions outside their comfort zones may show altered physiological and behavioural responses, which may consequently cause productive losses. For these reasons, the aim of this paper is to develop a decision tree for the prediction of respiratory rate (RR, mov min-1 ) of piglets exposed to different thermal situations. The experiment was carried out in an experimental pig farm of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia Campus Medellin, located at the San Pablo Agraria Experimental Station located in the eastern sector of the department of Antioquia, during August 2019. A database containing the raw data for dry bulb temperature - tdb (°C), and relative humidity - RH (%) as input variables, and RR (mov min-1 ) of six piglets were assessed every two hours as output variable for piglets was generated. The experimental database was composed of 78 observed data. The decision trees were developed to conditions of tdb between 19.2 to 29.5 °C and RH between 50.2 to 88.4%. In the experimental period, RR of piglets submitted to tdb higher than 27.1 °C the RR was around 60 mov min-1 , tdb smaller than 27.1 °C the RR varied from 36 to 46 mov min-1 . These low values of physiological responses may indicate that the piglets are not in a comfortable situation, so their development, welfare and production can be affected. The decision tree developed can be useful to provide a quick understanding of the piglet’s welfare condition based on the environmental variables and physiological responses.