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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #184660


item Miles, Dana

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2006
Publication Date: 12/1/2006
Citation: Miles, D.M. 2006. Low cost ammonia measurement for growers using treated paper. Emerging Trends, Mississippi Poultry Association Grower Advisory Committee. Winter 2005-2006:11.

Interpretive Summary: Controlling ammonia concentrations in the air of a broiler house is necessary for successful bird performance. Many techniques for measuring ammonia are cost prohibitive for growers. Ammonia test paper, a specially treated paper similar to pH paper, was evaluated for variability using different water sources. The ammonia test paper, costing about $6 for a 15 ft. roll, was compared to a handheld, battery powered sensor (used as the measurement “actual”) and pull tubes that are commonly used by the poultry industry service personnel. A two inch strip was used in this field test. The test paper approached the actual concentration within 10 ppm. Performing the test at bird beak height while the fan is in the off cycle is recommended. Determining ammonia concentration in the air using the ammonia test paper is a viable, economical option for growers.

Technical Abstract: A quick, cost effective method for determining ammonia concentration inside the broiler house can aid growers in providing an environment for supporting healthy birds. Ammonia test paper, similar to pH paper, was evaluated against a control device (an electrochemical, battery powered, handheld sensor) and pull tubes. Four different water sources were used to check the variability of the ammonia test paper. Tests were conducted at a comfortable height for the grower and at bird beak height inside a commercial broiler house in summer, late in the flock. The test paper approximated the actual concentration within 10ppm. Any common water source may be used. To determine the greater concentration experienced by the birds, it is recommended that the test be performed at bird height with the fan in the off cycle.