Effects of two litter amendments on air NH3 levels in broiler closed-houses

  • Atapattu, N.S.B.M (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna) ;
  • Lakmal, L.G.E. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna) ;
  • Perera, P.W.A. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna)
  • Received : 2016.11.01
  • Accepted : 2017.03.19
  • Published : 2017.10.01


Objective: High $NH_3$ emissions from poultry houses are reported to have negative impacts on health, welfare and safety of birds and humans, and on the environment. Objective of the present study was to determine the effects of two litter amendments on the $NH_3$ levels in broiler closed houses under hot-humid conditions. Methods: Giving a completely randomize design, nine closed houses, each housed 32,500 birds on paddy husk litter, were randomly allocated into two treatment (Mizuho; a bacterial culture mix and Rydall OE; an enzymatic biocatalyst) and control groups. $NH_3$ levels were determined thrice a day (0600, 1200, and 1800 h), at three heights from the litter surface (30, 90, and 150 cm), at 20 predetermined locations of a house, from day 1 to 41. Results: Rydall significantly reduced the $NH_3$ level compared to control and Mizuho. $NH_3$ levels at 30 cm were significantly higher than that of 90 and 150 cm. The $NH_3$ levels at 30 cm height were higher than 25 ppm level from day 9, 11, and 13 in Mizuho, control, and Rydall groups, respectively to day 41. $NH_3$ levels at 150 cm height were higher than maximum threshold limit of 50 ppm for human exposure from day 12, 14, and 15 in Mizuho, control, and Rydall groups, respectively to day 33. Being significantly different among each other, the $NH_3$ level was highest and lowest at 0600 and 1800 h. Litter amendments had no significant effects on growth performance. Rydall significantly increased the litter N content on day 24. Conclusion: It was concluded that the $NH_3$ levels of closed house broiler production facilities under tropical condition are so high that both birds and workers are exposed to above recommended levels during many days of the growing period. Compared to microbial culture, the enzymatic biocatalyst was found to be more effective in reducing $NH_3$ level.




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