Lying and walking surfaces for cattle, pigs and poultry and their impact on health, behaviour and performance

In: Livestock housing
Authors:
B. J. Lensink
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E. Ofner-Schröck
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M. Ventorp
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P. Zappavigna
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J. Flaba
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H. Georg
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D. Bizeray-Filoche
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Animals spend during the day an important part of their time lying, walking or standing. In a natural environment often more or less elastic ground surfaces such as pasture or sand are found. However, farmed species spend often the major part of their life inside a building on floors with hard surfaces for walking and standing, or when the floor is also used for lying purposes a substrate such as straw or sand dust can be found on it. Regarding the animals' needs, floors should provide physical and thermal comfort when lying and should not lead to injury; allow standing up and walking without slipping or, on the contrary, too much friction; allow cleanliness of the animals in order to prevent transmission of infectious diseases, etc. However, next to these requirements floorings should also be easy to clean and facilitate manure handling and management; be sustainable with a minimum environmental impact; be cost efficient, etc. All these requirements are not easy to meet and therefore the physical properties of floors and the way they are managed by the stockperson can have significant effects on the thermal comfort of the animals, their health and injuries and consequently on their productivity.

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Livestock housing

Modern management to ensure optimal health and welfare of farm animals

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