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Review of litter turning during a grow-out as a litter management practice to achieve dry and friable litter in poultry production

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Pepper, C.-M. and Dunlop, M. W. (2021) Review of litter turning during a grow-out as a litter management practice to achieve dry and friable litter in poultry production. Poultry Science, 100 (6), 101071. ISSN 0032-5791


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2021.101071

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003257912100105X


Maintaining dry litter that chickens can ‘work’ is a key objective for successful meat chicken production as it reduces the likelihood of health and welfare issues by breaking down and working excreta and contributing to the water evaporation process. Litter turning is a practice that may help reduce moisture content within the litter by accelerating the drying process when it is combined with effective ventilation. However, information and research about the practice and the effects it could have on the health and wellbeing of meat chickens (broilers) is minimal. A recent survey of Australian meat chicken growers reiterated the concerns they have about its impact on chicken wellbeing, but it also demonstrated how growers thought it could enhance the effectiveness of their operation. The aim of this review paper is to identity information relevant to litter turning and the potential effects of this practice on litter quality, ammonia emissions, litter moisture and animal welfare. This review demonstrates the need for additional research to validate perceptions and address potential concerns and impacts that this practice may have on broiler production. Closing this knowledge gap will improve litter turning practices leading to safer and more consistent outcomes.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:Open access
Keywords:broiler chicken litter management conditioning tilling wet litter
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Farm machinery and farm engineering
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural structures. Farm buildings
Animal culture > Poultry
Animal culture > Housing and environmental control
Live Archive:22 Feb 2021 01:58
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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