Bedding is an essential aspect of housing pigs. This is true whether we are discussing a farming or pet situation. Well managed bedding increases pig comfort and production.
The condition of bedding can change positively the temperature felt by pigs. Certain areas can compost, which will create heat, which is a helpful feature during the winter-time. Likewise, some spots are cooler, so spreading out into that bedding can allow pigs to cool themselves. So, bedding provides a number of benefits. These can include temperature regulation, nutrition, comfort, enrichment of the environment.
Follows are some guidelines relating to managing and caring for pig bedding.
- Plentiful bedding should be available so the surface and area near it can near it can remain dry.
- Pigs that are properly bedded should be clean – the bedding will keep them out of the mud.
- Too much moisture can damage the nutrition content of the bedding material – for hogs that graze on it.
- Extra bedding may be needed in spots, like the hog’s potty area.
- Clean bedding is needed. Dusty bedding can cause hogs to have respiratory issues.
- Bedding should not be available in feeding and watering areas. That will make it messy.
- Sow birthing areas should be cleaned regularly.
- Bedding should be changed between groups of hog or individual pigs. This will limit disease transmission.
- Normally, about a third less bedding is used during the summer than the winter.
- In some situations, bedding will mix with manure, especially during the winter, and become very deep.