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Nitrogen Emissions from Broilers Measured by Mass Balance Over 18 Consecutive Flocks

by 5m Editor
3 April 2006, at 12:00am

By C. D. Coufal, C. Chavez, P. R. Niemeyer, and J. B. Carey, Texas A&M University and published by Poultry Science - Emission of nitrogen in the form of ammonia from poultry rearing facilities has been an important topic for the poultry industry because of concerns regarding the effects of ammonia on the environment.

Nitrogen Emissions from Broilers Measured by Mass Balance Over 18 Consecutive Flocks - By C. D. Coufal, C. Chavez, P. R. Niemeyer, and J. B. Carey, Texas A&M University and published by Poultry Science - Emission of nitrogen in the form of ammonia from poultry rearing facilities has been an important topic for the poultry industry because of concerns regarding the effects of ammonia on the environment.

Abstract

Sound scientific data is needed to accurately estimate air emissions from poultry operations. Many factors, such as season of the year, ambient temperature and humidity, bird health, and management practices can influence ammonia volatilization from broiler rearing facilities.

Precise results are often difficult to attain from commercial facilities, particularly over long periods of time. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine nitrogen loss from broilers in a research facility under conditions simulating commercial production for 18 consecutive flocks.

Broilers were reared to 40 to 42 d of age and fed diets obtained from a commercial broiler integrator. New rice hulls were used for litter for the first flock, and the same litter was recycled for all subsequent flocks with caked litter removed between flocks.

All birds, feeds, and litter materials entering and leaving the facility were quantified, sampled, and analyzed for total nitrogen content. Nitrogen loss was calculated by the mass balance method in which loss was equal to the difference between the nitrogen inputs and the nitrogen outputs.

Nitrogen partitioning as a percentage of inputs averaged 15.29, 6.84, 55.52, 1.27, and 21.08% for litter, caked litter, broiler carcasses, mortalities, and nitrogen loss, respectively, over all eighteen flocks. During the production of 18 flocks of broilers on the same recycled litter, the average nitrogen emission rate was calculated to range from 4.13 to 19.74 g of N/kg of marketed broiler (grams of nitrogen per kilogram) and averaged 11.07 g of N/kg.

Nitrogen loss was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for flocks reared in summer vs. winter. Results of this experiment have demonstrated that the rate of nitrogen volatilization from broiler grow-out facilities varies significantly on a flock-to-flock basis.

The study is published in Poultry Science - Volume 85, March 2006, Number 3

Source: Poultry Science - March 2006