Alternative bedding for deep-litter systems
An on-farm demonstration found sawdust, peanut hulls and sorghum stubble, as well as barley straw, to be suitable bedding materials for pigs. It also found growth rates to be within expectations. Peanut hulls and sawdust provided the driest surface, though extra bedding can be added to reduce litter dampness. The demonstration also found combinations of litters, such as sawdust and sorghum stubble, to be useful.
Bedding makes up a high proportion of the cost of contract growing and can easily reduce the profit margin. The key issues to consider when choosing bedding are absorption capability, its ability to remain evenly distributed throughout the shed and the overall cost per batch of pigs.