On bedding and plein-air breeding
A higher sensibility for the animals' welfare and for everything considered "natural", together with the opportunity to start a breeding activity in structures and equipment with particularly low investments has awaken a certain interest for the open-air solutions, even in our country.
The breeding's success is linked to the availability of soil, which has to be well exposed and with an ideal drainage, and to the adoption of suitable equipment, to grant protection to the animals from the weather conditions, as well as the facility of execution of the assistance and control operations.
Then, the oxidating processes developped in the bedding assure a warm bed that offers ideal conditions even to the just weaned piglets, without need to use further artificial heating. Fully tested solutions are nowadays available, for the pregnancy, birth, weaning, growing and fattening areas.
In these housings, if compared to the bedding consumption and a higher labour's costs, there is a sensible management saving, tank to the lower thermal needs of the animals hosted on bedding, which present lower critical temperatures.
The agronomic disposal of the zootechnic dejections represents the most relevant and adequate solution, and it assumes more and more bonds to the manure production that, even if properly treated with suitable structures and treatment systems, presents in any case a potential level of environmental effect, making their use particularly delicate most of all in the most fragile areas, where there are possible danger of percolation and water bed pollution.
On the contrary, there's no particular problem for the use of manure, thanks to its improving action on the soil's fertility and moreover it is impossible that it provokes flowing, percolation or relevant environmental damages. This is the main reason that has made the comeback, in the pig breeding, of the use of the bedding that had been abandoned because of its high management costs linked to the use of straw and to the labour charge. The "new" pigsty solutions, now developped in the several breeding areas, are designed to overcome these downsides and to allow its adoption even in large specialized breeding.
The open-air breeding satisfies the higher sensibility towards the animals' welfare and everything "natural", together with the opportunity to breed with structures and equipment at a relative low cost.