Submitted to: International Poultry Forum Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Miles, D.M., Owens, P.R., Rowe, D.E., Branton, S.L. 2004. Litter gaseous flux for broiler chicks at one day of age. International Poultry Scientific Forum Abstracts. p. 37
Researchers attribute rising ammonia concentrations in the broiler house to the elimination of air leaks in the house for energy conservation, use of limited area brooding and to reduced ventilation in winter to conserve energy. The problem has been intensified by litter buildup. To begin assessment of the interrelationship of the many factors influencing litter gas products, ammonia, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane concentrations were measured using photoacoustic multigas analyzer in conjunction with flux boxes. Flux boxes were cylindrical plastic containers, 35 cm high with a 14.3 cm radius; a small electric fan was mounted inside the bottom of each container. One-day-old chicks were placed in a tunnel ventilated commercial broiler house 6 hours prior to the gas measurements and were confined to the brood end of the house. The litter had been used for 28 flocks. Flux boxes were inverted on the litter surface approximately 2 seconds before the photoacoustic analyzer drew in a sample (time zero concentration); the second sample was captured after one minute. Thirty-six sampling positions comprised an imaginary grid, with measurements placed at 3 locations across the house (5 m apart) and 12 locations down the house (12 m apart). Ammonia flux averaged 8.3 and 6.2 mg/(m2* min) for the brood and vacant ends of the house, which correlates to differences of 40 and 30 ppm, respectively, between time zero and one-minute concentrations. Brood carbon dioxide flux was 103.2 mg/(m2* min) compared to 91.5 mg/(m2* min) in the opposite end of the house. Nitrous oxide and methane similarly had greater flux measurements in the brood area. A 3.3 C litter temperature differential (30.7 C, brood vs. 27.4 C, vacant) was linked to increased ammonia emissions as well as an increase in other gaseous products.