Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Review Article Open Access

Physical and environmental characteristics of the compost barn system and its effects on the physical integrity, reproduction and milk production of dairy cattle: a scoping review

Giovane Debs Guesine, Robson Mateus Freitas Silveira, Iran José Oliveira da Silva

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Compost barn (CB), although recent in Brazil, is increasingly gaining popularity among the intensive breeding systems in the dairy sector. This system promises to offer several advantages to producers and animals: such as providing an environment in which milk production is increased and the physical integrity of cattle is improved, reducing mastitis episodes, and promoting thermal comfort for animals. Another factor that highlights CB concerning other intensive systems is the composting process, generated by the deposition of carbon-rich materials (bedding) with nitrogen sources (urine and feces) from animals. For the full benefits of this composting to be achieved, management, especially of bedding, must be carried out correctly, considering the development requirements of the compost, the use of quality organic material, adequate ventilation, and an ideal rate of animal capacity, so that the generation of heat occurs efficiently. However, there is a general lack of information about the CB system, and hence an increasing need for data surveys of Brazilian regions that can compare the diversity of materials used in bedding, assessing energy efficiency and performance over time. Therefore, the purpose of this bibliographical review was to address the main points of the CB system approach, considering that studies such as this are consistently relevant for rural producers, facilitating decisions regarding the implementation and management of the CB system on their farms.


animal welfare, composting, environment


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