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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SAFE MANAGEMENT AND UTILIZATION OF WASTE FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTION Title: Poultry Industry Trends for Litter Utilization

Authors
item Miles, Dana
item Brooks, John

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2010
Publication Date: May 23, 2010
Citation: Miles, D.M., Brooks, J.P. 2010. Poultry Industry Trends for Litter Utilization. WEF Residuals and Biosolids Conference, Water Environment Federation. p. 1440-1447. CD-Rom.

Interpretive Summary: The poultry growers’ concern is producing a quality meat product while maintaining a profit. Broiler litter, a mix of bedding and excreta, is a production by-product. Without economic, environmentally sound litter uses, potential or real regional litigation may force alternative management that can be detrimental to the grower’s bottom line as well as increase cost of chicken to consumers. Litter surpluses exist, but great uncertainty surrounds actual amounts available. This brief review demonstrates that there is a significant amount of knowledge surrounding litter properties, characteristics, and utilization, including a good assessment of variables contributing to wide variations in these. The integrated structure of the poultry industry typically leaves the litter ownership with individual contract growers. As such, there is a lack of formal infrastructure to readily connect litter suppliers with potential users.

Technical Abstract: Broiler litter utilization falls primarily into two broad categories, as fertilizer or in litter-to-energy processes. Without economic, environmentally sound litter uses, potential or real regional litigation may force alternative management that can be detrimental to the grower’s bottom line as well as increase cost of chicken to consumers. Litter surpluses exist, but great uncertainty surrounds actual amounts available. This brief review demonstrates that there is a significant amount of knowledge surrounding litter properties, characteristics, and utilization, including a good assessment of variables contributing to wide variations in these. The integrated structure of the poultry industry typically leaves the litter ownership with individual contract growers. As such, there is a lack of formal infrastructure to readily connect litter suppliers with potential users.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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