Validation of a new resource-efficient feeding system for fattening pigs using increased crude fiber concentrations in diets : feed intake and ammonia emissions
The feeding of fattening pigs and its associated ammonia emissions are current core problems in social debate that affects climate change and sustainability. Feeding methods offer great potential to increase animal welfare and sustainability, and negative impacts on the environment can be reduced. Fattening pigs differ in their performance potential and in their nutrient requirements. A high feed intake capacity can lead to luxury consumption. Diets rich in crude fiber should prevent excess feed intake and cause better nitrogen fixation by microorganisms in the animals' large intestines. In a pig fattening farm, it was investigated whether and how diets rich in crude fiber can influence feed intake and ammonia emissions. The animals were divided into feeding groups according to their presumed performance potential by ultrasound examinations. Therein, body compositions were evaluated, and feed intake capacity and body weight were automatically recorded. The aim of the study was to enable adapted feeding of the animals by regarding their individual differences in body composition and performance potential. Roughage-based diets had significant influence on feed intake and did not increase ammonia emissions. Based on the results of this study a performance-based control of the feed intake should be made possible.