Floors and especially indoor exercise areas in cattle housing are exposed to high chemical and mechanical stresses. Dung/urine mixtures were analysed to obtain data relating to stresses on exercise area materials. These results, together with information from 52 working farms on the state and animal welfare promotion of exercise area materials, were used as the basis for developing a procedure to determine the durability of mastic asphalt exercise areas in cattle housing. The studies were conducted by Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART Research Station and the Institut für Materialprüfung IFM, D-Rottweil. The newly developed procedure allows the durability of mastic asphalt to be tested and its composition established (initial test). These findings can also be used for the evaluation of other exercise area materials. The results of a comparison of conventional mastic asphalt mixes made it possible to optimise their formulation and surface treatment. The optimised formulation had a positive effect on abrasion, indentation resistance and grip. The chemical resistance, heat stability and animal welfare promotion of mastic asphalt exercise areas can therefore be improved (Fig. 1) with the knowledge newly acquired. A fact sheet «Ausführung von Bodenbelägen aus Gussasphalt für Rinderställe» is available from ART: www.art.admin.ch > Dokumentation > ART-Publikationen im Shop.
Herholz C., Siegwart J., Bruckmaier R.M., Rytz E., Lamon I., Muhr M. und Stirnimann R.
In both sport and alternative agriculture, horses are once again being used as draught animals. Efficient power transmission plays an important role in the wellbeing of draught horses.
A study by Vetsuisse shows that the outdoor veal calf concept reduces antibiotic consumption in calf fattening by 80%. AGRIDEA has examined the economic viability of outdoor veal calf production and concludes that it cannot compete with conventional veal calf fattening.
In contrast to pigs, dairy cattle are as yet rarely fed protein-reduced diets. Studies show that there is also potential for protein savings in cattle, and thus for reducing ammonia emissions.