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Suitability of litter amendments for the Australian chicken meat industry

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Cockerill, S. A., Gerber, P. F., Walkden-Brown, S. W. and Dunlop, M. W. (2020) Suitability of litter amendments for the Australian chicken meat industry. Animal Production Science, 60 (12). ISSN 18360939 (ISSN)


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/AN19587

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/an/pdf/AN19587


The Australian chicken meat indutstry is rapidly expanding due to the increasing consumption of chicken meat. As a result, the industry has growing issues of sourcing new bedding materials and disposing of spent litter, which can be attributed, in part, to a lack of widespread litter re-use for rearing chickens. According to insights and perspectives recently gathered from industry stakeholders, it is believed that re-using litter will become more common in the future, so as to reduce production costs and ease pressures on both the supply of new bedding materials and disposal of spent litter. However, there are potential risks that need to be addressed if litter re-use increases, particularly with regard to the production and mitigation of ammonia, which can negatively affect chicken health if not managed correctly. The present review discusses the potential benefits reported for different types of litter amendments, which have the primary goal of reducing ammonia volatilisation, but may also contribute to improvements in bird performance, welfare, pathogen loads, fertiliser value of spent litter, and reduced costs associated with purchasing new bedding materials. Acidifiers have been shown to be the most effective of all amendment types, with sodium bisulfate or alum being among the most commonly tested products mentioned in research literature. Litter amendments are currently rarely used in Australia, but it is hoped that the information provided in the present review, based mostly on overseas usage and research, will help inform future decision-making on the use of these products in Australian poultry production systems. © 2020 Journal compilation © CSIRO 2020 Open Access.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:Open access
Keywords:alum ammonia broiler poultry sodium bisulfate welfare
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural structures. Farm buildings
Animal culture > Poultry
Animal culture > Housing and environmental control
Live Archive:08 Jun 2020 03:51
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:45

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