During the first round of BovINE different research innovations related to floor design in bull fattening have been presented: Increased animal welfare for fattening bulls due to combination of different floors, Rubbermats on slats - the animal welfare version of slats?, Deep litter - a sensible compromise for fattening bulls? In Poland a presentation about combination of floors was given on a beef farm in Masovia region close to Nasielsk city. Professor Marcin Gołębiewski (SGGW) talked about the advantages of different floors in each stage of bull life and the impact of health of bulls on daily weight gain. Another demonstration related to flooring for fattening bulls was given in Italy. It was a webinar about rubbermats and the recording of the webinar (in Italian) can be seen here.
After the demonstration the participants agreed that by the correct floor design animals show less injuries; floor design and space allowance reduce the amount of fighting and can thus increase daily weight gain and production efficiency. However, they also pointed out that the limiting factor is the existing buildings and that an increase in space per animal is equivalent to a reduction in the total number of animals on the farm. This makes the increase in space per animal to an expensive solution. Nonetheless the participants would recommend this innovation to increase animal welfare, reduce stress for the animals and increase positive image of beef farming. Finally in long-term period it’s possible that other entities in value chain will pay more for bulls fattened in better animal welfare conditions.