By: Volterra

Biochar used to enhance animal well-being in the Muñovela farm

Biochar is a stable form of charcoal obtained from the combustion of plant biomass in the absence of oxygen (pyrolysis). It is a great way of transforming waste, such as tree prunings, into a high-value product that provides numerous benefits.

Among the most common uses are its application in tree plantations and in plantations fields, where prior activation is necessary, as it acts as a water and nutrient storage, thus improving root development and enhancing soil structure.

A very interesting, but less known application, is being carried out at the Muñovela experimental farm. It consists in incorporating the biochar into the poultry and livestock bedding. In this case, it has been applied inside the mobile tractor of the turkeys that form part of the rotational grazing cycles.

In this type of application, the biochar is spread together with the straw as a bedding, so that it acts as a moisture and odour absorbent, providing better conditions for the animals. At the same time, the turkeys ‘activate’ the biochar with their urine and feces, ‘charging it’ with nutrients and leaving it ready to be applied into the soil.

This type of application can be used with other animals, such as chickens, ducks or pigs, and it is a great example of how working with nature can be beneficial for both parts, reducing our energy input while enhancing animal well-being.