LLITCOMPOST: Bed management strategies in dairy cattle farms based on the "composting-bed" concept
The present demonstration project focuses on management strategies in dairy cattle farms based on the “composting-bed” concept, already studied by IRTA within the framework of the CowCompost Project (IPT-2012-0624-060000).
This project proposed the non-renewal of absorbent material (sawdust and other products of forest origin and/or moisture absorbing industry) that traditionally forms the bed where the animals are (resting areas), which alongside with the animal manure and its periodic ventilation, keeps a biological system of aerobic fermentation (composting) continuous and with high performance in the stable itself.
These aspects suppose an improvement of the animal welfare, a reduction of the farm management costs for the rancher and a better quality of the manure (pre-composted) supplied to the farmer. At the same time, the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and acidifiers is also achieved.
During the activity the demonstration of the technique “composting-bed” in calves will be carried out using three types of additives/structurants: chopped straw, sawdust and an existing product in the market of forest origin.
The demonstration will be made from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions, comfort of animals and composting capacity. Charts and reports will be prepared throughout the duration of the demonstration, visits to facilities equipped with informative posters will be scheduled, transfer days of great interest for the sector will be organized, and videos and informative material will be posted on the website of the IRTA.