Effect of Bedding Material on Dust and Ammonia Emission from Broiler Houses

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Ammonia emission, Bedding material, Broilers, Dust emission The objective of this study was to determine the effects of different bedding materials on fine dust (PM10 and PM2.5) and ammonia emissions from broiler houses. The effects on broiler performance and footpad lesions were also studied. The study was carried out in a mechanically ventilated broiler house with eight identical rooms, each accommodating 2260 broilers; it compromised two production cycles (rounds) of 35 days. The broilers were raised on four bedding materials: white wood shavings, chopped wheat straw, ground rapeseed straw, and silage maize. PM10, PM2.5, and ammonia concentrations and ventilation rates were measured. Production results and the incidence of footpad lesions were assessed. The results showed that compared with wood shavings, silage maize had 19% lower PM2.5 emission (p <0.05). The PM2.5 emissions of silage maize were not different from those of wheat straw and rapeseed straw. Type of bedding had no effect on PM10 emission. PM2.5 mass was on average 4.8% of PM10 mass and increased with the age of the birds (p <0.001). Ammonia emission from silage maize was 36% lower than from wood shavings, 47% less than from wheat straw, and 34% less than from rapeseed straw. Bedding material had no effect on broiler performance or on footpad lesions. It was concluded that silage maize can be a good alternative bedding to wood shavings and wheat straw in broiler houses
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
JournalTransactions of the ASABE / American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • foot-pad dermatitis
  • particulate matter
  • air-pollution
  • laying hens
  • livestock buildings
  • northern europe
  • lung-function
  • litter
  • poultry
  • chickens

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