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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368647

Research Project: Enhancing Production and Ecosystem Services of Horticultural and Agricultural Systems in the Southeastern United States

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Can flue gas desulfurization gypsum be used as a bedding material for broiler production?

item Watts, Dexter
item Purswell, Joseph - Jody
item Torbert, Henry - Allen
item DAVIS, JEREMIAH - Auburn University

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2018
Publication Date: 2/12/2019
Citation: Watts, D.B., Purswell, J.L., Torbert III, H.A., Davis, J.D. 2019. Can flue gas desulfurization gypsum be used as a bedding material for broiler production? [abstract]. International Poultry Scientific Forum.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: There is an abundant supply of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum being produced at utilities as a byproduct of power generation. This synthetic gypsum source may be a viable alternative bedding material for broiler production. Thus, a study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using FGD gypsum as a bedding material for raising broilers in five successive trials. The bedding was placed in pens at a 3“ depth (7.6 cm) and managed to simulate commercial broiler production throughout the five growout cycles. Body weight, feed conversion, and mortality were determined at harvest and foot pad lesions were evaluated after processing. Litter caking scores were determined after each flock, while ammonia concentrations from the litter were evaluated on flocks four and five. No differences were observed for body weight, feed conversion, or foot pad lesions among the litter treatments from any of the five growouts. However, there was a tendency for the FGD gypsum material to have higher litter caking, while ammonia concentrations tended to be lower. Overall, the FGD gypsum has shown good potential as an alternative bedding material for rearing broilers.