The welfare of growing bulls in different housing systems. A review
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Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Kungsängen Research Centre, S-753 23 Uppsala, Sweden
Publication date: 1994-12-01
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 1994;3(4):247-261
Housing of young bulls in slatted floor buildings can be detrimental to their health and behaviour and thus to their welfare. Small space allowances, slippery flooring and hard floor surfaces influence the animals negatively. The feeding system often involves concentrate ad libitum feeding which also might be detrimental to health. However, the surface of concrete and slatted floors can be softened by rubber coating of the slats, and the space allowance can be increased by lowering stocking density. But alternative systems seem to increase the welfare of the animals. Bedded pens often improve health and behaviour, without lessening production. If straw is scarce, using divided pens with both bedding and a concrete floor or a sloped solid floor saves bedding. Housing might not be necessary at all since growing bulls can tolerate very low temperatures without any negative influence on performance and health. Providing simple sheds is a cheap alternative that allows much behavioural freedom. However, the environmental impact of these systems is not clear.
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