Pig production on straw that meets the animals’ needs and is still profitable – is that possible? Yes! With the sustainable and animal-friendly Xaletto® straw bedding concept, both piglet rearing and pig finishing are profitable, either in closed houses or in ventilated barns with open-air run.
Xaletto® is the result of a collaboration between Big Dutchman, the feed producer Bröring and an experienced farmer. Prerequisites for the success of the Xaletto® concept include:
- a well-adjusted ventilation concept
- an ideal feeding concept
- optimal water management
- labour-saving straw management
- animal-friendly and environmentally sound management system on straw;
- suitable for undocked pigs;
- excellent animal health;
- intensive rooting in the straw for enrichment stops aggressive behaviour among pigs;
- no slurry or manure runoff: lower building costs for new barns;
- the total emission load is more than 20 percent lower than in similar straw-based systems in closed houses;
- 50 percent less straw required compared to the recommendation of the German Association for Technology and Structures in Agriculture (KTBL);
- the decomposing manure can be composted after the batch, creating a high-quality, nutrient-rich and saleable compost.
The ventilation concept is similar to that of broiler houses. The high-performance wall or ceiling inlets of our CL series are ideal for creating stable high-velocity ventilation. They provide stable air circulation and supply sufficient fresh air.
The exhaust air can be extracted either individually through exhaust air chimneys on the roof or centrally at the gable. Depending on the relevant regulations, an air scrubber may be necessary. The fin heater is the ideal heating system. Its ribbed tubes are installed below the wall or ceiling inlets to save space. The incoming fresh air can thus be heated very efficiently, whenever necessary.
The ventilation system is controlled by our 307pro or 310pro climate computer. The main goal is to remove moisture from the straw bedding constantly.
Our dry feeding system DryRapid combined with our PigNicdry automatic feeders are the ideal solution for feed supply. The feed table has been specially adapted for the Xaletto® system. The formula with reduced nitrogen and phosphorus content leads to high daily weight gains and keeps the pigs healthy. This feed type is a nutrient-reduced LNE diet that contains humic acid.
The aim is keeping the pigs’ metabolism balanced to prevent unnecessarily high water intake. Feed and water are only available on a raised platform (0.25 cm for piglets and 0.50 cm in two steps for finishing pigs).
Specifically for the Xaletto® system, we have developed a drinker that is designed as a trough, similar to liquid feeding systems. Our reasoning: pigs prefer to ingest feed, as well as their drinking water, from troughs. A fill level sensor ensures that there is always enough water in the trough, but never too much. This reduces water losses to a minimum.
The drinker system is controlled by our BD 103 controller. With this controller, you can continuously monitor your pigs’ water intake.
A special straw management combined with a matching climate control system guarantees that moisture is constantly removed from the straw bedding so the straw and manure remain dry. Before the pigs are moved in, an organic activator is added to the straw. This activator starts an aerobic decomposition process: cold composting below 40 °C. The depth of straw remains shallow, with the amount of bedding required being comparatively small.
During rearing, around one kilogram of straw is necessary per piglet to begin with, and two kilograms per pig in the finishing phase. Nitrogen and ammonia are bound by the cold composting process so that emissions are lower.
To reduce the workload, we have available an automated solution for re-bedding with small quantities of straw. The OlliGes straw robot developed by Big Dutchman scans the bedding with a camera and automatically dispenses additional straw over spots that are very dark.
The feed/straw ratio is 7:1. This means that one kilogram of straw is added to the bedding for every seven kilograms of feed ingested.
Manure removal, storage, composting
After the animals have been moved out, the bedding is removed from the barn. A telescopic handler is the ideal tool for this task. The decomposing material, which largely consists of straw and manure, has a dry matter content of 40 to 50 percent.
This valuable organic fertiliser is perfectly suited for improving poorly-structured soils with low humus levels. In addition, transport costs are significantly lower compared to slurry. For piglets, approx. 150 kg of manure can be expected per place and year, and around 500 kg for finishing pigs. The longer the pigs lie on the straw bedding, the more it consolidates.
For the subsequent composting process, we recommend mixing the decomposing material with wood chips and then sanitising the mixture for approx. 72 hours at temperatures above 70 °C. The full composting process takes several months.
Air cleaning: with the PURO-X air scrubber
PURO-X is a two-stage, chemical air scrubber that Big Dutchman developed specifically for Xaletto®. The scrubber removes dust, ammonia and odours from the air in the barn. PURO-X is currently in the final assessment phase of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) certification process.
Minimum separation rates of more than 70 percent for both ammonia and dust can already be guaranteed; no untreated gas is perceptible in the clean gas. PURO-X is available with an intelligent modular design.
- easy-to-plan assembly times;
- lower construction costs;
- lower installation requirements;
- single-part plastic housing for reliable and long-term impermeability;
- high resistance to acids, alkalis and process water;
- checked functionality.