Litter Acidification for Controlling Ammonia Levels in Poultry Houses
Volume 15, Issue 2 - December 2022
Editor: Linda Chalker-Scott
Ammonia concentrations tend to be high in poultry houses (e.g., broiler and layer) due to high moisture levels in fresh manure (e.g., 75%). The poultry house ventilation rate will be reduced in winter to keep the birds warm, and thus NH3 levels could be higher than the threshold value of 25 ppm (18 mg m-3) recommended by the National Chicken Council and the United Egg Producers. Therefore, it is critical to control NH3 levels and emissions in poultry houses. Litter additives such as poultry litter treatment (PLT), granular Al+ Clear (aluminum sulfate or alum), and Klasp™ (ferric sulfate) are common commercially available products that have shown significant mitigation efficiencies for NH3. The results of field studies showed that the broiler house with 100 lbs. per 1000 ft2 application of PLT had 50% lower NH3 concentration than the house with 50 lbs. per 1000 ft2, which was similar to the PLT mitigation efficiency on cage-free layer litter that NH3 generations were reduced by 28%, 52%, and 79%, respectively, for 60, 120, and 180 lbs. per 1000 ft2 application rates. Research on alum for NH3 mitigation show that NH3 fluxes from alum-treated litter were 70% lower than untreated litter.
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