During cool weather, maintaining good air quality is vital to avoid bird health issues. It is a 24- hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, job. One of the most important air quality variables that must be kept to a minimum is ammonia. High ammonia levels can paralyze and/or damage a bird’s tracheal cilia, which are a vital tool a bird uses to fight off disease. The cilia are microscopic finger-like ...
This been one of the best article read by me regarding air quality maintenance in winter.
What I make out, the factors that are affecting the quality of air in winter are:
3.24 hours feeding
4. Flow of air (ventilation)
This all results in high level of CO2 and NH3 and same time low O2
Hence Bronchitis and eventually E.Coli.
In India where poultry is still at farming stage(open shed and thatched roof) not taken industrial shape (dark,closed fully automated shed) problem has been same but for different reasons.
My finding (what do you say):
Thatched roof has been help in air flow maintenance.
Keeping Off Fed keeps NH3 in control.
Switching off lights at night keeps the body energy intact.
It is important to keep in mind that o2 is not an issue in poultry houses unless birds are grown at high altitudes. We need to primarily concentrate on moisture. If we keep moisture under control we can tend to keep ammonia under control. CO2 can issue during brooding.
I am not sure how keeping off Fed control nh3
Having a dark period at night has shown to be helpful.
Hello Mr Mike,
I have a poultry house shed (broiler house-open sided houses) with a width of 35 feet, length 100 feet. I am facing wet litter problem after 25-28th day of age and growth also hampered. Of course i am facing ventilation problem. I am pedestal fan one at the side of the house. Wet litter further worsen the air quality, high level of ammonia. All my sheds are surrounded by feed factory and godown.
How can I reduce the ammonia in the litter?
Is there any best chemical or product available in the market?
What is the ideal space required for the broiler reared upto 2.2 kg body weight?
If you are looking to add something to the litter to reduce ammonia generation the product you need would ideal change the ph of the litter to more acidic. There are products like PLT or Alum which are widely used in the U.S.
Delighted to go through the literature on A poultry house ambiance though it becomes contradictory while studying the graph revealing that in house temperature recedes against the rise of the concentration of ammonia and co2 which need further clarification.
As far as the problem of Sri Gobinath is concerned,the pedestal fan would be replaced with Exhaust fan which would drive away stale air saturated with ammonia.More so he could insist on mixing litter with lime powder or else he could opt for organic acid at low level to convert ammonium hydroxide to so neutral ammonium salt.Nevertheless he has to keep the litter dry.
Dear Mr. Gobinath,
You mentioned that one of your problem is VENTILATION. A poor ventilation will result in various management and health problems. The corrective action will be to establish a proper ventilation in the poultry house. In this context, we need to record both the external and internal temperatures. We have to check the wind velocity in the house. In winter, we have to be careful with the fans. Birds need OXYGEN but not drafts. We can use plastic curtains on the shutters and lift them at night to allow a minimal ventilation. Cold temperatures will cause wet litter. It depends on the type of the floor in the house. In winter, some farmers use brooders to heat the house. There are various causes for wet litter. It is good to identify the causes and solve them accordingly. The addition of products to control the wet litter is temporary unless a proper diagnosis is done to evaluate the incidence of the wet litter. Please, contact either a poultry Technician or a poultry Veterinarian to visit your farm.
Improve birds house ventilation and make sure that the drinkers are well positioned so as to control drop of water when the birds are drinking. This will help to control the moisture on the litter materials hence ammonia will be reduced/controlled
There are a number of products currently used to reduce ammonia in poultry houses. However, using these products becomes an excuse for poor house management. From my experience with open sided houses wet litter is generally a result of the following: water founts being over filled and birds throwing water out when drinking; overstocking of the house; to little litter placed before placing birds; poor ventilation, over filling feed troughs As birds are eating they throw feed from the troughs into the litter. When this litter and feed mixture get wet if there is not enough litter ammonia gas is released. Feed contains limestone and protein. birds secrete uric acid which is a nitrogen source. Protein+uric acid+limestone+water+bacterial action in the litter=ammonia. To reduce ammonia add litter if possible, reduce stocking density and check waterers and feed troughs to make sure they are not overfilled. Remove any wet litter immediately and replace with fresh litter. Improved ventilation will always help.
All most all major points have been discussed in this forum @ Importance of air quality however following are my take:
1. There is no substitute for good ventilation practice.
2. Stop using Agriculture lime / Lime powder in litter bedding to reduce moisture of litter. It is highly alkaline so helps in more formation of ammonia.
3. Prevent spillage of drinking water into litter.
4. Select litter treatment products which must bring down litter pH to below 4 pH & keeps litter dry. (Liiteron+ brand of M/S Guybro Chemical (P) Ltd, Mumbai, India is a choice for excellent result)
After going through all the comments and suggestions put forward, there is not much left to be shared on my part. Just to summarize up this discussion matter for our future readers:
1. Ventilation is a crucial factor in the growth and sustenance of the flocks. At no point of rearing time (commercial, breeder or layer), it can be compromised. Any compromisations might and surely will lead in jeopardizing the entire operation.
2. Proper ventilation and hygiene maintenance is the number one rule for attaining a ammonia free farm. Without proper management at shed level one cannot achieve an ammonia free environment.
3. Its a high time to change the myth of using lime in sheds to control ammonia. Its an highly alkaline material which draws the pH of the shed, bedding material, inanimate objects etc towards alkaline. This favors the growth of a large number of pathologically significant micro organisms as well as various arthropod population (few of which are also vectors to various poultry ailments).
4. Unwanted spillage from the drinkers can never be abolished below a particular level. With proper management it can be controlled not eradicated (these are birds we are talking about folks, ever wondered why we call someone a "BIRD BRAIN"). Commercially available dry powders like Litteron+ (marketted by Guybro chemical Pvt. Ltd.) acts as an wonderful absorbent of the moisture, maintains the acidic pH and also controls the ammonia ppm inside the shed.
Dr. Abhinav Saikia
In Russia we have only solid side walls broiler houses and very low temperatures during winter time. So this issues very important for us. Because with the increase of the relative humidity of the air in the broiler house likewise increases the ammonia level, we activate setpoint "accounting for the humidity" in the computer and the ventilation system automatically does not gives humidity to rise above a predetermined value.
Biggest is when temp are low and humidity is more then required level. Only option is that on cooling pad area no moisture or least with continuous fan running house humidity and temp will come to required level . if temp is down then side ventilation has to used to maintain min ventilation in combination. This holds more in night temp will be always lower then day.
Indeed , air humidity or condensed water on cold wall or water from drinkers are important . But pay attention for wet droppings. Even this wet droppings are from nsp or from a high level of sodium , or from a bad electolitic equilibre this wet droppings are worst than normal humidity increase. Why? because is not easy to see what is inside of your feed. First of all take a closer look to the feces.
There are cases when ventilation only does not suffice. Here when it rains, sometimes it rains in the house throw small cracks, I'm sure I am not the only one with these problems. But my point is, in accordance to the litter you use, (I'm using straws) along the cycle, you have to refresh the litter with additional layers if necessary. Some practice turning the litter up-side down manually, but I strongly disagree with this technique. By turning the litter you spread all those mycotox, fungi, and mold in the air along side with dust - for me, this is high-mortality and E.coli at it's best. Just an opinion.
and yes, my colleague Ing. Dragan is right, high humidity can sometimes be caused by feces, I recommend a change in your coccidia medication and perhaps better quality of feed. just a thought.