In a trial with 4 × 500 growing pullets of Bovans brown hybrid, the effect of access to litter material (wood shavings) from day 1 on (E1) in comparison to offering litter from day 10 on (E10) was compared up to week of age 16. Pullets were kept in an aviary system of Harmony 3A-type. Of each pen, 375 randomly chosen pullets were moved into the layer house in week of age 18, where a Voletage-aviary system with a total of four units had been installed. During the growing period, lower animal weights (E1: 1’392 g, E10: 1’452 g), better weight uniformity (E1: 73,0 %, E10: 69,5 %) and decreased feed consumption (- 3,9 %) were determined for the E1-pullets. The largest differences were seen in mortality rate in the E1-groups (E1: 11,2 %, E10: 1,6 %). They were mainly due to losses by getting crushed to death during dimming the light in the evening in weeks of age 6 and 7. During the laying phase (weeks of age 21 to 80, including a moulting period beginning in week 50), differences in laying performance, feed consumption, egg weight and egg classes were neglectable. Furthermore, lower mortality rates (E1: 3,2 %, E10: 6,5 %) due to less cannibalism losses as well as a slightly improved plumage condition resulted in the E1-groups. It was concluded, that access to litter material should be offered to chicks from day 1 on although high losses during the growing period may occur.
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.