Poultry Litter and ammonia control

Poultry Deep Litter System- Benefits and Hurdles

Published on: 5/26/2011
Author/s : Ganesh Kumar Dahal

The deep litter method is one sustainable method of managing chicken litter in the poultry farming that many small poultry entrepreneurs use.

In the deep litter method, farmers get following benefit:

  • It does not take a lot of time to manage.
  • It ends up into compost manure - the high nitrogen manure is "Green".
  • Devoid of cage fatigue.
  • It´s safe and bird enjoy natural environment to produce quality Carcass.
  • Less chances of egg breakage in case of layers.

But farmers have following hurdles also as all poultry disease´s primary source is ping from career birds, litter becomes potential store house for preserving the disease and its vectors.

  • If litter bedding is on muddy floor ammonia imitation will be much higher due to moisture contents of excreta and floor.
  • Pathogenic bacterial, protozoan & fungal load in litter will be creating threat of disease incidence.
  • Availability of required litter bedding material on desired time and increasing cost of material will be a threat.
  • Litter mites & pest problem with old litter.
  • Even fresh litters are source of fungal & bacterial career.

Farmers mostly use for litter on the floor like rice husk, pine ss, wood dust ss, sawdust, hay, straw and silicon sand material etc as per the local availability and their low economical value.

One of the most basic principal of digestive system is that what goes in must come out. The chemical & physical composition of litter is highly variable due to differing bird species, diets, bedding retention times and other farm management practices.

Hard fiber litter materials have been demonstrated to improve gizzard development and improve feed conversion efficiency, without any effect on feed intake or weight gain.

Poultry litter is broadly comprised of protein, carbohydrate, lipid & fats, with carbohydrates responsible for the majority of Biodegradable materials in the form of cellulose, starch & sugar and loaded with beneficial as well as pathogenic bacteria and fungus.

Monitoring litter health is essential parameter of poultry flock health because most gaseous pollutant originates from the breakdown of faecal matter which intensifies with the growing ratio of moisture, temperature and pH level.

High level of ammonia in poultry house can result in poor bird performance & health and loss of profit to the grower or integrator. Uric acid & organic nitrogen (N) in the bird excreta & spilled feed are converted to Ammonium (NH4) by the microbes in the litter. Depending on the moisture content, temperature and high pH of the litter, a portion about one-third of Ammonium will be converted into ammonia (NH3).

Ammonia is a pungent gas that irritates the eyes and respiratory system and can reduce re­sistance to infection in poultry. At high-enough concentrations (above 10 ppm), ammonia will reduce feed efficiency and growth while increasing mortality and carcass condemnations. The result is economic loss to the grower and integrator.

Moreover, now a day litter is re-used for succeeding broiler flocks to reduce the running cost since bedding / litter material have become costlier these days, so there will be greater environment stress and challenge to control ammonia problem.

The poultry litter has an average pH of 8.0 - 9.0, this is considered a high pH or alkaline. The pH can influence the ammonia volatilization. Ammonia release from litter is minimum when litter pH is below 7; emission exceeds when pH is 8 and above. At litter pH lower than 4.6, the economically devastating bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, and Campylobacter do not grow.

LIITERON is a litter sanitizer that effectively eliminates ammonia in poultry house, reducing eye disorders and respiratory tract damage. LIITERON effectively and economically lowers litter pH reducing litter microbial load.

LIITERON effectively reduces the pH of new as well as built-up litter thereby ammonia is controlled and harmful pathogens and insect are reduced drastically. This imparts an immediate and direct effect on the bottom line as follows:

  • Reduces risk to chicks from day one, allowing them to reach their full genetic potential. Getting chicks off to a good start is crucial in achieving desired benefit.
  • Controls ammonia which saves operating cost and reduces respiratory disease.
  • Extends litter usage.
  • Acidified litter provides an environment that is unfavorable for the disease causing litter pathogens to grow.
  • Healthy litter prevents pododermatitis.
  • Helps in feed efficiency as birds use their energy to gain weight instead of fighting off disease challenges and ammonia stress.
  • Helps to control Darkling beetles (Insects-Lesser Meal Worm) which act as possible disease vector transmitting disease causing agents like fungi, bacteria, viruses & parasites.


For Layers & Broilers on Deep Litter: 10 Kg of LIITERON to be spread in 1000 sq. feet of floor space.

  • Prepare poultry house as usual practice.
  • Spread LIITERON on top of the litter floor at a rate of one bucket (10 Kg) per 1000 sq. ft. as close to bird placement as possible.


  • Spread on top of litter at minimum rate of 2.5 Kg per 100 square feet for built-up litter less than 1 year old to break the cycle of re-infection of E.Coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Campylobacter etc.
  • Apply LIITERON with a spreader when birds are in the house for whole house application.
  • Apply Liiteron at least 24 hours after the application of Disinfectants and rodent control.
  • LIITERON use may be repeated at every 30 days intervals or earlier depending upon the status of litter


Safety Goggles, Dust Mask and Long Gloves with Long Sleeve Shirt and Full Length Pants should be used when applying LIITERON.


Alkaline materials, such as agricultural lime, hydrated or slaked lime, and burnt lime, increase the litter alkalinity and convert more of the ammonium into ammonia gas. This can become an environmental problem.

Please do not add agriculture lime when LIITERON is being used.

remove_red_eye 9322 forum 44 bar_chart Statistics share print
Share :
See all comments
Copyright © 1999-2021 Engormix - All Rights Reserved