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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: POULTRY MANURE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO REDUCE NON-POINT SOURCE PHOSPHORUS POLLUTION Title: Effects of liquid aluminum chloride additions to poultry litter on broiler performance, ammonia emissions, soluble phosphorus, total volatile fatty acids, and nitrogen contents of litter

Authors
item Choi, I - DAEGU UNIV. SOUTH KOREA
item Moore, Philip

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 13, 2008
Publication Date: October 1, 2008
Citation: Choi, I.H., Moore Jr, P.A. 2008. Effects of liquid aluminum chloride additions to poultry litter on broiler performance, ammonia emissions, soluble phosphorus, total volatile fatty acids, and nitrogen contents of litter. Poultry Science. 87(10):1955-1963.

Interpretive Summary: Research has shown that the addition of alum and aluminum chloride to animal manures can reduce both ammonia emissions and phosphorus runoff. While alum has been used extensively by the poultry industry for many years, no research has been conducted the effects of treating poultry litter with aluminum chloride. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of spraying liquid aluminum chloride to poultry litter on: 1) broiler performance, 2) ammonia emissions, and 3) litter chemical characteristics, such as soluble reactive P (SRP), total volatile fatty acids (VFAs), and nitrogen (N) content. Liquid AlCl3 treatments were sprayed on the litter surface of 16 floor pens that were used to raise 50 birds each. The rates of application were 100 g, 200 g, and 300 g liquid AlCl3/kg litter; untreated litter served as controls. At the two lower rates, the aluminum chloride treatments tended to improve weight gain and feed intake, but had no effect on feed conversion or mortality, whereas the higher rate had a negative effect on intake. Aluminum chloride reduced ammonia emissions by 63-76% during the 6 wk period, compared to the controls. Aluminum chloride additions significantly reduced litter soluble P contents, which indicates that it should reduce phosphorus runoff from fields fertilized with this litter. Volatile fatty acid contents (odor precursors) in litter were also reduced with aluminum chloride. Aluminum chloride additions also increased total N, inorganic N, and plant available N contents in litter. These results indicate that aluminum chloride additions at the lower rates can provide significant positive environmental benefits to broiler operations.

Technical Abstract: Recent studies have shown that the use of aluminum sulfate (Al2(SO4)3.14H2O) and aluminum chloride (AlCl3) additions to animal manures are more effective than other chemicals in reducing ammonia (NH3) emissions and phosphorus (P) solubility. Although the use of alum has been intensively used in the poultry industry for many years, no research has been conducted to evaluate the effect liquid AlCl3 on these parameters. The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of spraying liquid AlCl3 to poultry litter on: 1) broiler performance, 2) NH3 emissions, and 3) litter chemical characteristics, including soluble reactive P (SRP), total volatile fatty acids (VFAs), and nitrogen (N) content. Eight hundred broiler chicks were placed into 16 floor pens (50 birds/pen) in a single house for 6 weeks. Liquid AlCl3 treatments were sprayed on the litter surface at rates of 100 g, 200 g, and 300 g liquid AlCl3/kg litter; untreated litter served as controls. At the two lower rates, liquid AlCl3 treatments tended to improve weight gain and feed intake, but had no effect on feed conversion or mortality, whereas the higher rate (300 g/kg litter) had a negative effect on intake. Application of 100 g, 200 g, and 300 g liquid AlCl3 reduced NH3 emissions by 63%, 76%, and 76% during the 6 wk period, respectively, compared to the controls. Aluminum chloride additions reduced litter SRP contents by 24%, 30% and 36%, respectively, at the low, medium and high rates. Volatile fatty acid contents (odor precursors) in litter were reduced by 20%, 50%, and 51%, respectively, with 100, 200, and 300 g AlCl3/kg litter. Aluminum chloride additions increased total N, inorganic N, and plant available N contents in litter. These results indicate that AlCl3 additions at the lower rates can provide significant positive environmental benefits to broiler operations.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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