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Author(s): Nicks, B., A. Desiron and B. Canart.
Publication Date: January 1, 1995
Reference: Journees de recherche porcine en France. 27: 337-342.
Country: Belgium

Summary:

An experiment was realized in two identical rooms that could accommodate 17 growing pigs. The pigs were on deep litter, one room using sawdust and the other straw. For the sawdust, a 50 cm layer thick layer was place at the beginning of the experiment and 4 consecutive fattening periods were realized. Once a week the feces produced were dung in the litter and a microbial product was added to it. Addition of fresh sawdust was done along the fattening period and the total amount needed was evaluated at 100 kg per pig. After the 4th fattening period the composted resulting from the litter degradation was 109 kg and 0.18 m3. The straw litter was managed the same way than the saw dust however after the first fattening period, the litter was removed and replaced by sawdust for the remaining of the experiment. The labor needed to mix the straw bed was more important than for sawdust and considered to heavy to be continued. For the 3 fattening periods remaining, the microbial product was added weekly in this room however it was not incorporated to the litter. The total amount of straw used equaled 49 kg/pig and the total compost produced from the 3 fattening period on sawdust equaled 164 kg/pig. The ammonia concentration was 68% higher in the room with the sawdust litter compared to the straw litter however the odour was stronger in the room with the straw bed. The growth rate of the pigs raised on deep litter was significantly higher than for pigs kept on slatted floor however no significant differences could be noticed in the carcass quality.

The research realized by this team showed that different litter material have different impacts on the ambient conditions. Higher dust concentrations have been measured with the sawdust litter and higher NH3 concentration were obtained with straw deep-litter.

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