Tag Archive for: ammonia

Improving Litter Quality

Wet litter and how it affects your in-house environment:

Wet litter is a condition when the litter reaches its saturation threshold and is unable to hold more moisture. This causes microbial activity to increase, which leads to ammonia being produced and emitted into the air. Also, when litter is wet, it is more likely to promote the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria and molds.

Litter quality plays a huge part in the quality of your in-house environment. Wet litter causes problems on multiple levels including management, housing, disease, gut health and diet. Manure and moisture are the leading factors that influence litter conditions. Growers can’t do much to control the manure portion, but they can control litter moisture.

What are the effects of wet litter on birds?

When birds are grown in a high moisture environment, they do not perform to their genetic potential.  This can lead to negative welfare issues such as:

  • footpad dermatitis
  • condemnations
  • scabby areas
  • breast blisters
  • bruising

What causes litter to be wet?

There are multiple factors that affect the moisture in your litter. For example, new litter not being stored properly and becoming damp before it is spread in the house is an avoidable issue. Some dietary ingredients like salt, when fed excessively, can cause the birds to consume and excrete large amounts of water resulting in wet litter. If your ventilation system is not able to fight off moisture effectively, then environmental conditions such as very cold temperatures, wet and humid weather, or condensation can cause wet litter. Also, be mindful of your drinker lines, evaporative cooling pads, and foggers because if they are not maintained and managed properly, then you will also experience high moisture litter conditions.

How can Agrigro help enhance litter quality and promote a healthier environment for your birds?

AgriGro’s IndigoLT is the solution to wet litter.

IndigoLT is an all natural litter treatment that will lower moisture levels in your litter while also reducing pathogens, disease and ammonia levels, thereby improving overall bird health, and much more. Check out this video from a poultry grower near De Queen, Arkansas who went 17 batches while using IndigoLT without a full cleanout.

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The Fight Against Ammonia

What is ammonia?

Ammonia is an invisible, water-soluble alkaline gas present in the atmosphere of every poultry house. Ammonia stems from the chemical decomposition of uric acid in droppings by certain bacteria in the litter. Litter conditions and ventilation are the main factors affecting atmospheric ammonia concentration in poultry houses. Conventional thinking has been that ammonia levels are particularly high in houses where the same litter is used for successive flocks.

How does it affect the birds?

When ammonia gas is exposed to moisture, it reacts and forms a basic, corrosive solution called ammonium. This ammonium can harm the birds in numerous ways such as:

  • Damaging the respiratory system: When exposed to high concentrations of ammonium, the birds suffer damage to the mucous membranes of the respiratory system. This increases the susceptibility of birds to bacterial respiratory infection.
  • Damage to the eyes: High concentrations of ammonia in the atmosphere causes conjunctivitis and damages the cornea of the eyes. Clinical signs include swelling and reddening of the eyelids, reddening of the conjunctive and nictitating membrane, and partial or complete closure of the eyes.
  • Footpad Dermatitis (ammonia burns): When moisture and chemical irritants like ammonia combine in the litter during natural decomposition, the birds develop inflammatory reactions in the skin and even ulcers. The birds get lesions on their foot pads. These lesions can heal but they usually augment, causing blemishes to the feet at processing. 
  • High ammonium levels also impact overall livability, feed conversion, weight gain, and condemnation rate at processing.

What can AgriGro do to help??

AgriGro offers an all natural litter treatment for use in poultry houses that is safe to the environment, non-corrosive to equipment, and safe and user-friendly to the applicator as well as to the birds.

With AgriGro’s IndigoLT you will see:

  • lower ammonia levels
  • reduced pathogens and disease
  • decreased insect pressure
  • dryer litter
  • less cake
  • higher nutrient value
  • and improved overall bird health

Sound too good to be true? Check out this discussion between Shannon Smith, Co-Owner of AgriGro, and Eddie Todd, turkey grower in Bergman, Arkansas, about Eddie’s operation and experience since he began using IndigoLT.

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