Suitability of litter amendments for the Australian chicken meat industry

Chick standing on fresh sawdust litter.

A normal process of feed digestion in chickens includes the excretion of nitrogen in their manure. If the system is not managed appropriately, high levels of ammonia can form and can be detrimental to chicken health and welfare. Internationally, ‘litter amendments’ are products used to decrease ammonia formation in the litter, however, there is varied information on which amendments may be effective, to what extent, and in which situations.

The aim of this project was to undertake a detailed review of information available on litter amendments, accompanied by an industry survey to provide the Australian chicken meat industry with a detailed, impartial assessment of the potential benefits of amendment use, along with guidelines for its effective implementation.

For farms that reuse litter or are considering reusing litter, a fact sheet is available that explains the benefits and challenges of using litter amendments, how different types of amendments work and other strategies to control ammonia.

You can also download a copy of the full final report from AgriFutures Australia and the open access journal article from the Animal Production Science website.

Watch the litter amendment webinar recording presented by Mark Dunlop (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries).

Watch other litter related webinar recordings and videos by clicking the links below:

Project details

Project number: PRJ-011119
Principal investigator: Steven Walkden-Brown
Research organisation: University of New England

Related research

PRJ-009946: Reducing stable fly emergence in soils amended with litter

Contact

Mark Dunlop
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
mark.dunlop@daf.qld.gov.au

Steven Walkden-Brown
University of New England
swalkden@une.edu.au

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