Deep Litter Fermentation Systems for Fattening Pigs (technical Improvements, Nutrient Balance)

Author(s): Kaufmann, R.
Publication Date: January 1, 1997
Reference: Livestock Environment V. Proceeding of the Fifth International Symposium. Edited by R.W. Bottcher and S.J. Hoff. American Society of Agricultural Engineering. St Joseph, Michigan 49085-9659. p.718-724.
Country: Switzerland



The performances obtained in swine production with a deep litter system were verified under Swiss conditions for fattening pigs. The experiment took place in a poorly isolated building that was naturally ventilated and could accomodate 160 fattening pigs. The experiment helped finding optimal parameters for the production system: sawdust bed of 45 to 50 cm, sawdust prefered over wood chips or straw, the horizontal spreading or the feces is more important than intensive vertical mixing, thorough mixing can be done only every other week, the amount of sawdust needed for the growing-fattening period is 1.2 kg/kg weight gain, the work load associated with such system is less than for partially slatted floors. The growth performances obtained were above average and this system is appropriate when considering the remodelling of existing buildings. Even if the nitrogen losses are more important for such system compared to conventional liquid manure systems, the overall nitrogen efficiency is higher.

The total nitrogen emissions under the form of ammonia and nitrous oxide are not presented. It is mentioned however that the N losses with deep litter are high in the building and as a result the nitrogen available to plants is smaller with this system, the total N losses with deep litter system being 76,6% compared to 49,5 % for slurry system (compared to N content of the manure entering the systems). No information in given on the handling systems used for partially slatted floor so it is difficult to understand how the deep litter system requires less labour.


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