Environment

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Author(s): Airoldi, G. (1), P. Balsari (1) and R. Chiabrando (2)
Publication Date: January 1, 1993
Reference: Livestock Environment IV. Fourth International Symposium. Coventry, England. 6-9 July 1993. p. 701-708.
Country: Italy

Summary:

In Italy, natural Zeolites are added to the pigs diet by the farmers in order to: improve the feed efficiency, reduce the incidence of intestinal diseases, and lower the emissions of odor and ammonia from the manure produced. Natural Zeolites are tektosilicates that are characterized by a high Cation Exchange Capacity (as high as 300 to 400 meq/100g) and some Zeolites are known for their selective absorption of ammonium ions. Two trails were carried out in order to evaluate the real capacity of Zeolites to lower odor and ammonia emissions in ambient air of livestock buildings. The first trial was done on 2 groups of 200 fattening pigs one control group (no Zeolite in the diet) and one treatment group (phillisite at 5%). The control and treatment group were kept in 2 different rooms in the same building that was naturally ventilated and where manure was temporarily stored under the slatted floor. The second trial was realized in laboratory with manure where Zeolites were directly added to the manure at 2 different concentrations (5 and 10% of concentrates in the ration). In the first trial, no significant differences were measured for the ammonia emissions and for the feed efficiency, the improvement could not be economically justified. For 2nd trial, only manure treated with Zeolites concentration of 10% resulted in a reduction of the ammonia emissions.

This experiment was realized with a important number of pigs which represent better the production conditions. The benefits from Zeolites addition to feed or fresh manure couldn’t be proved as the ammonia reduction was not significant and the improvement in the feed efficiency noticed on the group fed with the 5% Zeolite ration was not significant also.

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