The EU legislation strongly encourages the use of environmental enrichments for pigs of different ages, housed in intensive farms. Many advantages derive from the permanent use of straw or manipulable materials: increased explorative behaviours, low levels of aggressiveness or reduced incidence of tail biting. Despite that, farmers are not always aware about the advantages and frequently worried about the possible increase of costs and labour. Within the framework of Ager project “Filiera Verde del Suino”, a detailed comparative economic analysis was performed taking into account different manipulable materials for environmental enrichment in weaning and fattening pigs: costs, benefits and their effect on meat production were calculated. The results of this analysis were made available to farmers by the development of a useful tool able to provide information and improve the awareness about the use of environmental enrichments. This tool is a free and open-source form currently available on the project website. Farmers may select the category of animals, housing system and type of environmental enrichments (different woods and ropes, presented with different devices); the system automatically calculates costs (split into investment, amortisation, labour and material) and suggests how to use that enrichment, for improving the results in terms of animal welfare and profit. The tool also calculates the costs when no environmental enrichment is used: common welfare issues are described and the farmer is asked to complete information about the incidence of tail biting in the farm. The economic loss resulting is automatically generated. Raising awareness and promoting the spread of knowledge on the correct application of the environmental enrichment in pigs might ensure the effectiveness of their introduction and assure compliance with the EU legislation. Innovative tool (e.g. web-based survey, learning object) will help to reach a large number of farmers and support them directly in management decisions.
Evaluation of costs and benefits in the use of environmental enrichment: an innovative tool for supporting farmers to make the right choice / M. Battini, A. Gastaldo, M. Borciani, S. Barbieri, E. Canali - In: Improving pig welfare : what are the ways forward?[s.l] : MInistry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark, 2015 Apr. - pp. 93-93 (( convegno Improving pig welfare : what are the ways forward? tenutosi a Copenhagen nel 2015.
|Titolo:||Evaluation of costs and benefits in the use of environmental enrichment: an innovative tool for supporting farmers to make the right choice|
BATTINI, MONICA (Corresponding)
BARBIERI, SARA (Penultimo)
CANALI, ELISABETTA (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/19 - Zootecnica Speciale|
|Data di pubblicazione:||apr-2015|
|Tipologia:||Book Part (author)|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in volume|