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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378955

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

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Influence of FGD gypsum bedding material on broiler production

item Watts, Dexter
item Torbert, Henry - Allen

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/10/2019
Publication Date: 11/10/2019
Citation: Watts, D.B., Torbert III, H.A. 2019. Influence of FGD gypsum bedding material on broiler production [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy Meetings. CD ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Large quantities of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum are being produced at utilities as a byproduct of power generation. This synthetic gypsum source may be a low-cost viable alternative bedding material for broiler production. Thus, a study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of using FGD gypsum as a bedding for raising 56-day old broiler chickens. The bedding was placed in pens and managed to simulate commercial broiler production throughout five grow-out cycles. Body weight, feed conversion, and mortality were determined at harvest, percentage litter caking was determined after removal of each flock, and foot pad lesions were evaluated after processing. No differences were observed for body weight, feed conversion, or foot pad lesions among the litter treatments from any of the five grow-outs. However, there was a tendency for the FGD gypsum material to have higher litter caking. Overall, the FGD gypsum has shown good potential as an alternative bedding material for rearing broilers.