Quantification of litter production and the fate of nitrogen in commercial broiler production systems

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Title: Quantification of litter production and the fate of nitrogen in commercial broiler production systems
Author: Coufal, Craig Daniel
Abstract: The environmental impacts of broiler production have recently gained considerable public attention due to concerns regarding the amount of ammonia (NH3 ) released into the atmosphere from poultry facilities . Sound scientific data are needed to accurately estimate the production of manure waste products and gaseous emissions . This research project was undertaken to quantify nitrogen (N ) loss through air emissions from a broiler grow -out facility over 18 consecutive flocks using the mass balance method . Measurement of litter and caked litter (cake ) mass at the end of each flock allowed for the calculation of litter and cake production rates for broilers reared on recycled rice hull litter . Nutrient (nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium ) content of all litter materials was also measured . Broilers were reared in a research facility under simulated commercial conditions . All input materials (birds , feed , and litter ) used in this study were obtained directly from a commercial broiler integrator to assure applicability to the broiler industry . The litter management technique of ? ?top -dressing ? ? was also investigated to determine its effects on N emissions and litter and cake production rates . Nitrogen emissions , litter and cake production rates , and nutrient density of litter materials were found to vary significantly between flocks reared at different times of the year . Nitrogen emissions were significantly greater for summer flocks than winter flocks . Average N loss over all 18 flocks was 11 .07 g N /kg of marketed broiler (g N /kg ) . Nitrogen partitioning as a percentage of inputs averaged 15 .29 , 6 .84 , 55 .52 , 1 .27 , and 21 .08 % for litter , caked litter , broiler carcasses , mortalities and nitrogen loss , respectively , over all 18 flocks . Litter and cake production was lower in the summer compared to winter . Average litter , cake , and all litter (litter + cake ) production was 153 .3 , 74 .8 , and 228 .2 g of dry litter material /kg of marketed broiler . Litter and cake phosphorus and potassium content was elevated during summer flocks , while litter material N content decreased in summer flocks . Therefore , season of the year is an important factor that scientists and broiler producers must take into account when performing measurements and calculations , sampling litter materials and air emissions , and developing nutrient management plans .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2626
Date: 2005-11-01

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Quantification of litter production and the fate of nitrogen in commercial broiler production systems. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /2626 .

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