Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2004
Publication Date: 8/15/2004
Citation: Owens, P.R., Miles, D.M., Rowe, D.E. 2004. Spatial variability of nutrient species within a poultry house [abstract]. Poultry Science. 83(supplement 1):395.
Technical Abstract: Large broiler operations must annually collect and analyze litter for nutrient content under the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Final Rule. The objective of this study was to determine the variability of nutrient species within a poultry house using geostatistical contour plots. This research was conducted in the summer on a tunnel ventilated poultry house that was 146 m by 12.8 m. Prior to sampling, the litter had twenty-eight flocks of chickens grown on it with decaking between each flock. The house was sampled on a grid at 5 m across the house and 12 m down the house for a total of 36 sampling points. The litter was sampled at day 1 and day 21 to examine litter properties. The pH was determined using 1:5 litter water ratio. The total N was determined by total Kjeldahl nitrogen method (TKN). The ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were extracted with DI water and analyzed using flow injection analysis. The litter samples were also dry ashed and total metals were determined using an ICP. For both sampling dates, the data indicated a higher average concentration of TKN and ammonium in the cooling cell end of the house and decreased toward the fan exhaust end of the house. The average nitrate data also yielded higher concentrations at the cool cell end of the house and decreased toward the exhaust end of the house. The data from the geostatisitical contour plots illustrated higher TKN and ammonium in the brood end of the house, which corresponded with the lower pH (8.6 vs. 7.5) also in the brood end of the house. The contour plots of the nitrate data illustrated highest concentration near the sidewall of the brood end of the house, which corresponded to the areas with the highest litter moisture. These trends held true with both day 1 and day 21. The water extractable P data did not indicate definite trends within the house during the day 1 and day 21 sampling times. These geostatisical estimates of the nutrient concentrations indicated an anisotropic distribution of the nutrients along the house and illustrated spatial variability of nutrient species within the poultry house.