BPEX: Bedding options bulletin published
BPEX has published a bulletin highlighting the pros and cons of alternative bedding materials, plus ways to reduce straw wastage. It will help pig producers consider their options and plan ahead, particularly where straw is likely to be in short supply following the spring drought.
The options for alternative bedding materials include low quality grass hay, maize stalks, rape straw, pea and bean straw, rye straw, shredded newspaper, hemp and woodchips or coarse sawdust. Cost and effectiveness of different materials varies though.
To help reduce straw wastage, BPEX recommends:
• Protecting stored straw from the elements as far as possible, using plastic sheeting for outdoor stacks
• Minimising dunging areas
• Ensuring drainage is good
• Keeping a close eye on drinkers and feeders to avoid unnecessary spoiling
For more advice, Knowledge Transfer Bulletin No.15: Bedding options for the English pig industry
can be downloaded here.