Ammonia concentrations, litter quality, performance and some welfare parameters of broilers kept on different bedding materials

M. Brink, G. P. J. Janssens, P. Demeyer, O. Bagci, E. Delezie

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review

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1. Litter quality has been related to broiler performance, behaviour, welfare, dust and ammonia (NH3) emissions. Drier litter leads to a reduction in NH3 emissions and reduces the formation of foot- and hock lesions. However, maintaining good litter quality is often challenging. This study investigated the effects of different bedding materials on litter quality and NH3 concentrations at litter level, broiler performance, foot- and hock lesions, plumage cleanliness and breast skin irritation.

2. A total of 2160 Ross 308 male broilers were randomly assigned to 36 floor pens. There were six replications for each of the following six litter treatments: wood shavings, flax, peat, maize silage, chopped wheat straw and flax pellets.

3. For the total period, the highest feed intake and body weight was obtained for broilers housed on peat. The NH3 concentrations measured at litter level was highest for peat and chopped wheat straw at 36 d of age and numerically the lowest for flax at 30 and 36 d of age. Maize silage remained friable, but did not result in lower NH3 concentrations compared to wood shavings. Chopped wheat straw and wood shavings gave rise to the highest incidence of foot lesions at 38 d of age, while broilers kept on flax, peat, maize silage and flax pellets had the lowest incidence of foot lesions at the end of the rearing period.

4. The results of the current study suggest a complicated relationship between the type of bedding material, litter conditions and NH3 volatilised from the litter.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftBritish Poultry Science
ISSN0007-1668
DOI's
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 12-sep-2022

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