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Institute of

OF Organic Farming

Work group Pig & Poultry

Monogatrics in Organic Farming

In organic agriculture, meat production is least-developed. The most important problem is the high nutrient requirement of monogastric livestock like pigs and poultry concerning economic performance and marketable carcass and meat qualities.

Projects mainly focus on the examination of suitable genotypes and diets of 100 % organic origin (genotype-environment-interaction) concerning product and process qualities to improve the production systems and the profile of organic agriculture.

Our practical research helps to develop environment- and animal-friendly, low-loss and profitable production systems which guarantee marketable carcass and meat qualities based on genotypes and diets of 100% organic origin.

Projects

Bros on pasture

Wir untersuchen die Gemischt-Beweidung durch Bruderhähne und -kälber auf einer Weidefläche, die durch streifenförmige Pappel-KUPs unterteilt ist. Ziel ist die Bewertung dieser Haltungsform nach ökonomischen und Tierwohlaspekten.

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Bros on pasture

Feeding silage from early-cut red clover to fattening pigs

Forage legumes like red clover are an important part of organic crop rotations, but are rarely used as feed for pigs. This study sets out to determine the potential of ensiled red clover as feed for fattening pigs.

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Feeding silage from early-cut red clover to fattening pigs

MHFZ

A tailor-made mobile housing system for poultry research At the Thünen Institute of Organic Farming, a housing system has been especially designed and built for experiments focusing on chicken feeding and chicken genotypes for use in organic agriculture.

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MHFZ

Castration of piglets

Castration without anaesthesia shall be banned in 2018. But the currently approved anaesthetics for pigs are probably suboptimal under organic housing conditions.

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Castration of piglets

Compensatory growth

For lack of organic feed with a high quality amino acid pattern (protein gap), there is the danger of impaired value creation in organic pig fattening due to low body protein but high body fat synthesis of organic fattening pigs. Against that background the objective of our study was to investigate whether a moderate oversupply of lysine in the final fattening period after a marginal lysine supply in the initial feeding period will result in compensatory protein growth.

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Compensatory growth

Environmental and welfare aspects of pig outdoor runs

Organic livestock production shall promote animal welfare and environmental compatibility. To this effect, pig outdoor runs exemplarily demonstrate a still unresolved contradiction.

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Environmental and welfare aspects of pig outdoor runs

Fattening trial feed structure

Pelleting chicken feed reduces feed losses and improves feed intake, but causes additional expenses. When germinated wheat is fed to broilers in addition to a pelleted or milled feed mixture, it is unclear if the structure of the feed affects feed intake and animal performance.

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Fattening trial feed structure

More iron for healthier piglets

The iron demand of suckling piglets cannot be met from sows´ milk alone, but relies on iron uptake from the environment (e.g. rooting). Because that´s not possible under modern housing conditions, iron must be supplemented.

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More iron for healthier piglets

Piglet feeding strategies

Organic agriculture is characterised as a low external input system, minimising the use of non farm-own resources. Hence, livestock's nutrient supply should be of predominantly farm-own production and of complete organic origin.

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Piglet feeding strategies

Piglet nest

Organic pig husbandry aims at a high animal welfare standard, part of which is a low level of piglet losses. Ensuring that piglets are kept warm after farrowing, and protecting them against being crushed by the sow are measures to improve piglet survival. Both warmth and protection can be achieved by a well designed and frequently used piglet nest.

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Piglet nest

PPillow - Poultry and Pig Low-input and Organic production systems’ Welfare

Organic and low-input poultry farming has increased in the EU over the last decade for ethical and socio-economic reasons. However, there are still some unresolved issues in these farming systems, particularly in relation to animal health and mortality problems. The acceptance by consumers and practitioners, in particular with regard to the killing of day-old male layer chicks, has clearly declined. Furthermore, European citizens expect guarantees for improved animal welfare, safety and quality of poultry meat and eggs in these systems. Therefore, there is a need to improve animal welfare in ...

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PPillow - Poultry and Pig Low-input and Organic production systems’ Welfare

XXL-pigs

The above mentioned project is part of a 5 parts joint project (06oe266) which focuses on nutrition, keeping, desinfection and temperature control in the organic piglet production.

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XXL-pigs

100% organic feed for laying hens of different hybrids with rape cake and regional grain legumes

The tasks of rural areas are changing rapidly. This has also impact on communication of all actors. Three sociological case studies have been carried out in Modellregion Lübecker Bucht, Organic Milk production and nature protection.

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100% organic feed for laying hens of different hybrids with rape cake and regional grain legumes

Colorful chicken

So far, organic chicken farms rely on the same high-performance hybrids as conventional farms. As groundwork for breeding an organic chicken, this project compares six dual purpose genotypes and evaluates their potential for organic agriculture.

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Colorful chicken

Colorful Chicken 3

Based on our previous project "Colorful chicken", in this project four dual purpose genotypes are evaluated regarding their potential for organic agriculture: Purebred German Lachshuhn, a cross of Lachshuhn and White Rock, and two crosses that were already tested in the previous project.

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Colorful Chicken 3

CORYNE Methionin production

100% organic feeding is a social and political goal. An important obstacle is the shortage of feedstuffs with high quality amino acid pattern.

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CORYNE Methionin production

Fattening trial feed structure

Pelleting chicken feed reduces feed losses and improves feed intake, but causes additional expenses. When germinated wheat is fed to broilers in addition to a pelleted or milled feed mixture, it is unclear if the structure of the feed affects feed intake and animal performance.

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Fattening trial feed structure

Herd health planning laying hens

The herd health in organic husbandry is not better than usual. Specific animal health plans (AHP) could help to improve farming systems. AHP have been used on 20 organic layer farms and assessed.

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Herd health planning laying hens

Tentative test with germinated vetch seeds fed to laying hens

Common vetches produce protein-rich seeds, which contain not only valuable nutrients but also anti-nutritive compounds. Laying hens react especially sensitive to them and avoid consuming higher amounts. A tentative test at the Thünen-Institute of Organic Farming explores if germination before feeding makes common vetch seeds an attractive feed.

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Tentative test with germinated vetch seeds fed to laying hens

Treated common vetch seeds for monogastrics

The protein-rich seeds of common vetches contain valuable nutrients, but also anti-nutritive factors, to which especially chicken and pigs are sensitive to. In this project, we examine if the treatments germination and ensiling, respectively, can reduce these negative effects.

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Treated common vetch seeds for monogastrics

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