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1999 Annual Report - Poultry [Skip to Content]
Illinois Livestock Trail by UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION


Poultry
Illinois Livestock Trail
FULL TEXT PAPER
1999 Annual Report
by P.C. Harrison, K.W. Koelkebeck, G.L. Riskowski


UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXPERIMENT STATION

Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

NORTHEAST REGIONAL PROJECT, NE-127

Biophysical Models for Poultry Production Systems

1. Project: NE 127

2. Cooperating Agencies and Personnel

Animal Sciences
P.C. Harrison - Project Leader
K.W. Koelkebeck - Project Co-Leader

Agricultural Engineering
G.L. Riskowski - Project Leader

3. Progress of Work and Principal Accomplishments

A study has been initiated and is in progress in the following area:

A. Use of soybean oil to reduce ammonia, odors, and dust generation from laying hen manure

Accomplishments:

3.1 Effect of Spraying Soybean Oil on the Mass Generation Rates of Ammonia, Odors, and Dust from Laying Hen Manure (Report by P.C. Harrison, G.L. Riskowski, and K.W. Koelkebeck)

Introduction

Most research conducted to date on the effects of aerial ammonia and other poultry house odors on birds, caretakers and the air environment has been based on air concentration level. Previous and current techniques used to reduce ammonia and odor have reported results based on change in concentration levels or reduced odor. The effect of ammonia and odor reducing techniques on the generation rate of ammonia production (i.e., mg/hour or mg/bird/hour) has not been extensively investigated. The knowledge of ammonia reduction techniques on the generation rate of ammonia and odor production would have much more potential for application than just knowing the effect of techniques that modify odor or concentration levels. The purpose of these initial studies were: 1) develop management systems to determine the mass generation rates of gasses and particulates from birds, with a minimum disruption to their welfare, 2) evaluate the use of the Illinois Convective Emissions Mass Production Investigation Calorimeter (ICEPIC) for use with poultry, and 3) determine the effect of soybean oil spraying of manure under laying hens on the emissions of NH3, dust, and volatile organic compounds.

General Procedures, Husbandry Practices, and Experimental Set-Up (Trial 1)

Two experimental trials were conducted. Both utilized the Illinois Convective Emissions Mass Production Investigation Calorimeter (ICEPIC) described in some detail in the 1998 NE-127 report. Equipment and the system previously reported for direct in-line analysis of exhaust air from the ICEPIC was used to measure oxygen, carbon dioxide and ammonia. A portable-caging unit (PCU) was developed for use in this research. The unit consisted of two side-by-side cages (45.7 x 45.7 cm) mounted on a metal frame with all-direction rollers fixed to all four corners. The PCU could be easily rolled around the laboratory, environmental chamber, and ICEPIC.

A total of 96 commercial laying hens (22 wk of age) were moved from a commercial-type caged layer facility at the University of Illinois Poultry Research Farm and housed in an environmentally controlled chamber at a density of eight birds per PCU. Water and feed was supplied ad libitum by feeders and water bowls mounted on each cage. All hens were fed a standard layer ration (18% CP, 2820 kcal ME/kg) formulated to meet or exceed NRC (1994) requirements. Feeders were mounted on the outside and waterers were mounted on the inside of each cage. Thus, each cage of four laying hens had access to their own feed and water.

Each PCU was equipped with a single stainless steel manure collection pan (36" x 18") with a 1-inch high edge which rested below the cages on the steel platform above the rollers. This set-up allowed for the easy removal of the manure collection pan from the PCU. Air temperature and relative humidity inside the environmental chamber ranged from 21 to 22 C and from 45 to 90%, respectively. Air flow through the chamber was maintained at 290 cfm at 0.10 inch static pressure. Photoperiod was set for 13 hr light and 11 hr dark daily. Lights came on at 12:00 noon and went off at 01:00 a.m.

Before the start of Trial 1, the hens were allowed to acclimate to their surroundings for five days. During this time, normal husbandry practices of feeding, watering, and egg collection took place. At the start of Trial 1 (Day 6 after housing), the manure collection pans from two randomly selected PCU were cleaned, dried, and replaced. Each day for the next five consecutive days, two PCU were fitted with clean manure pans. Twenty ml of soybean oil was sprayed daily on the manure of the two PCU cleaned on the first day and on those sets of two cleaned on alternate days thereafter. Thus, six sets of two each PCU received oil spray or no oil spray, respectively. After one week of manure collection the birds in their PCU (2-cages from a single treatment) were rolled into the ICEPIC at 4:30 p.m. the day before emissions evaluation.

All conditions inside the ICEPIC were the same as in the environmental chamber. The treatments were run one after another until there had been four measurement days. Each group remained in the ICEPIC for a 23 hr period for each test (4:30 p.m to 3:30 p.m.). Environmental measurements of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production were sampled at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (lights off), 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. (lights on) on the test day. These time periods were selected, because in a commercial situation hens typically become active a few hours after the lights come on. The concentration of ammonia (ppm) was measured twice during a run (10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) At 3:30 p.m. the two groups of hens were transported back to the environmental chamber and the next two groups of hens were prepared for the placement in the ICEPIC at 4:30 p.m.

Prior to placing the groups of hens into the ICEPIC and after they came out, the production data of egg production, feed consumption, water consumption, bird weight, and manure weight were recorded. The number of eggs laid during a test in the ICEPIC were recorded as well as the number of eggs laid each day during the manure collection period. For feed consumption, a known amount of feed was placed in each feeder and weighed back when the hens came out of the ICEPIC. A known volume of drinking water was added to each water cup before the hens went in and the remaining water volume was recorded after the hens came out. Each group of eight hens were weighed before going in and then after the ICEPIC measuring day. Also, the weight of manure was recorded before and after the ICEPIC run. In addition, the mass generation rate of dust production was determined by weighing two high efficiency pleated air filters (12" x 24" x 1") prior to a run and after a run. The air filters used could filter 39% of dust particles of 0 to 5 microns to 90% of dust particles of 40 to 80 microns. At the end of Trial 1, manure moisture was determined for those groups which were placed in the ICEPIC. A shovel (8" wide) was used to take a sample of manure from the middle of each collection pan. Then, three approximately equal aliquots of manure from each collection pan was spread on a pre-weighed aluminum pie tin. They were then placed into a drying oven at 50 C until all moisture had evaporated. The percent manure moisture was calculated from the difference in wet vs. dry weight of manure.

General Procedures, Husbandry, Practices, and Experimental Set-Up (Trial 2)

For Trial 2, the waterers were mounted on the outside of each cage and a heavy duty plastic skirt was fixed to each PCU to eliminate any water spillage into the manure pan which may have occurred in Trial 1. In this trial, the manure collection time was one day shorter (6 days) than for Trial 1, with the measurements taken in the ICEPIC on the seventh day of manure accumulation. In addition, manure moisture was determined by initiating the drying process immediately after a group came out of the ICEPIC. The procedure for taking other measurements were the same as in Trial 1. For this experiment, six measurement days were completed. The timetable for starting manure collection, spraying groups with soybean oil, and measuring biological and environmental variables in the ICEPIC are outlined in Tables 1 and 2 for Trials 1 and 2, respectively.

Environmental Variables Measured

Ammonia generation rates were determined by sampling air exhaust from the ICEPIC and analyzed for ammonia concentration using a Matheson Model 8014 KA tester with colormetric tubes. The mass generation rate of total volatile organic compounds [VOC (odors)] were assessed by collecting samples of air (2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) and analyzed for VOC using a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) (HP 6890 with FID detector) located in Ed Perkin's Laboratory at the Food Science Department.

Biological and Production Variables Measured

In addition to assessing the composition of the air environment, this system allowed us to determine metabolic parameters. Oxygen content of the intake and exhaust air of the ICEPIC were measured with a Beckman Model OM-11 analyzer. Carbon dioxide content of incoming and exiting air were measured with a Beckman LB-2 infrared analyzer. Variable inference was set at the 95% confidence level.

Description of ICEPIC

All gas sampling portions of the manure oil sprinkling study were done in the Illinois Convective Emissions Mass Production Investigation Calorimeter (ICEPIC). This unit can quantify an animal's heat and moisture production as well as mass particulate and gas emissions. The ICEPIC is large enough to house groups of animals in typical cages, stalls or pens.

The ICEPIC is an insulated environmental chamber that houses the environmental control equipment, as well as the animals. Air flows horizontally through the animal area, then up through a set of filters into a partitioned area over the animals where it is conditioned. The air then moves down through a bank of eleven in-line fans that move it back into the animal area. Therefore, most of the air movement is recirculated within the chamber to allow air conditioning and to create the desired air velocity past the animals. In this study, air velocity was approximately 0.14 m/s.

Some of the recirculated air is passed through a chiller, which reduces temperature and condenses out moisture. This chiller is usually operated to remove more heat and moisture than desired. The relative humidity is then increased with a humidifier and temperature increased with electric heaters. However, in this study, we wanted to reduce moisture condensation to a minimum since the condensed moisture could absorb ammonia, carbon dioxide and many volatile organic compounds. The chilled water that passes through the chiller was set to operate at approximately 17 C so that the chamber air temperature could be controlled to be approximately 21 C without adding heat back to the air with the electric heaters. The relative humidity in the animal area generally stabilized at approximately 85-90%, so no moisture was added back. This high humidity could potentially affect the emissions of ammonia, VOCs, and particulates. However, any one set of cages was in the ICEPIC for only one day out of six.

We believe that some of the carbon dioxide, ammonia and VOCs were absorbed by the condensed water, but have made no attempts to quantify how much. Particulates were filtered from the air before the air was recirculated up into the air conditioning portion so should not be affected by the wet chiller surfaces. Future modifications to the ICEPIC and/or to the procedures will be needed for future studies so all water soluble gases can be accounted for.

Mean fresh air ventilation through the ICEPIC was 91.4 L/min. This airflow rate was measured with a Gilmont Instruments flow meter, which was calibrated at the factory and is traceable to NIST. An additional 7.8 L/min of air was also pulled from the chamber for analyses and was added to the total flow rate. The sample air flow was split and passed simultaneously through a Beckman OM-11 oxygen analyzer and two carbon dioxide analyzers (Beckman LB-2 and Rosemount). Air was analyzed for 6 min from a standard gas (19.5% O2, 1.48% CO2), then 8 min from the ICEPIC, then 6 min from a second standard gas (17.3% O2, 0.491% CO2), and finally 8 min from the room air (intake air). Order was randomized but always started with a standard gas and was followed by an intake or exhaust sample. This cycle was repeated throughout the test period. For the ammonia tests air was drawn from the Beckman LB-2 sample port through colormetric tubes (Matheson Model 8014KA).

For approximately 50 minutes starting at 1:30 p.m. a small amount of additional air was pulled from the chamber for the VOC analysis. Two Teflon tubes pulled sample air from the area immediately downwind from the chickens. Each stream of air was passed through a separate 1/8 inch diameter absorbent trap (Teckmar #8; Carbopak B/Carbosieve S III). A total of 2 L of air was pulled through each trap at a rate of 40 mL/min. The traps were immediately thermally desorbed and analyzed with a gas chromatograph to determine total peak area of the VOCs.

Particulate mass production was determined by conditioning and weighing the filters before and after the test period. Total moisture released into the air was determined by balancing the water intake and exhaust through the ventilation system and measuring the water condensed out of the air.

Results and Discussion

Production Responses

The effect of spraying laying hen manure with soybean oil on production variables of egg production, feed and water consumption, body weight, and manure production are depicted in Tables 3, 4, 5, and 6 for Trials 1 and 2, respectively. For egg production, feed, and water consumption, the only significant effect was found for the one day production for hens housed in the ICEPIC (Table 3, Trial 1). Hens in Trial 1 which had their manure sprayed with soybean oil produced fewer (P < 0.05) eggs during the ICEPIC run than those not receiving oil spray. Since this egg production was recorded for only one day it is doubtful that spraying oil was the real cause of this biological effect. The egg production results obtained in both trials indicate that the system of housing birds and moving them from the environmental chamber to the ICEPIC and back was not stressful on the hens. Thus, the caging system that was used in this study seemed to be a good method of working with and housing large groups of hens. In Trials 1 and 2, body weight of hens in which manure was sprayed with oil was lighter (P < 0.05) than control hens, while the production of manure during an ICEPIC run was not affected (P > 0.05) (Tables 4 and 6). In both trials, the production of manure during an ICEPIC run was not affected (P > 0.05) by spraying the manure with soybean oil (Tables 4 and 6). Since we did not assign the hens to a particular treatment based on equal body weight, the results seen were probably due to randomization and not oil spray.

Mass Generation of Dust

In Tables 4 and 6 the mass generation of dust particulates is depicted. The results shown represent the total dust accumulation on two 12" x 24" air filters during an ICEPIC run. No significant effect (P > 0.05) of oil spray on total accumulation and g/kg body weight were found. However, there was a positive trend for oil spray to decrease the amount of dust generation in Trial 1 (Table 4), but not in Trial 2 (Table 6). These results may have been due to the one extra day of spraying oil on the manure surface (8 days in Trial 1, 7 days in Trial 2).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)

Table 7 depicts the results obtained for the effect of soybean oil spray on total VOC and sulfur in Trial 2. The data presented takes into account a correction for VOC and sulfur measured without hens or manure in the ICEPIC. These data indicated that spraying manure with oil accounted for a 52.8 and 44.8% increase in total VOC and sulfur area, respectively. The number of VOC and sulfur peaks was also higher in the oil spray treatment

Metabolic Responses

Oil treatment had no apparent effect on metabolic parameters measured in this research. Light/dark cycle had an approximate 20% difference in oxygen consumption, with an oxygen consumption of 1.95 LO2/h/kg in the light and 1.53 LO2/h/kg in the dark. There was a trend toward a decrease in metabolic rate throughout the conduct of both trials of this experiment (Figure O-1). Trial 1 had a higher metabolic rate (9.56 kcal/h/kg) than Trial 2 (7.74 kcal/h/kg); in fact, the same birds in Trial 1 were lower in Trial 2 (Figure O-2). We attribute this decrease in metabolism to acclimation of the birds to being rolled around the laboratory and into the ICEPIC. Mean heat production over all experimental variables was 8.46 kcal/h/kg.

Ratio of CO2 produced to O2 consumed (RQ) was low (around 0.70). Since we had a low (0.55) mean RQ for our ethanol calibrations of the ICEPIC we think this is associated with the design of the ICEPIC. At the present time we suspect a low CO2 recovery rate that is associated with the high solubility of CO2 and the humidity regulation systems in the ICEPIC. If this humidity control system is a problem with CO2 it also is a probable factor in evaluating NH3 generation rates. We are comfortable with the O2 consumption data that we are obtaining from the ICEPIC. When volumetric data was compared to gravimetric data obtained during ethanol burning calibrations the recovery rate was 97% for O2. Based on these results, our heat production data for the birds was calculated as 4.86 kcal/LO2.

Ammonia Generation

Oil treatment had no consistent effect on ammonia production. Fecal pans that were sprayed with oil and no oil produced 15.3 and 20.3 mLNH3/h/kg body weight of chickens, respectively. However, the variance within treatments resulted in a large error term. Ammonia production was essentially the same during the light and dark phases of measurement. There were differences between some of the replications but they didn't seem to have apparent treatment correlation (Figure A-1). However, Trial 1 had a significantly lower ammonia generation rate (5.81 mL/h/kgBW) than those on Trial 2 (Figure A-2).

Calculations of mean ammonia generation rate over all treatment variables were 0.409 LNH3/h for the sixteen bird samples. This rate of ammonia production would in turn have a mass generation rate of around 1.95 g/h of ammonia for every 100 birds housed in similar conditions.

4. Usefulness of Findings

Evaluation of management systems that interact with the gaseous environment of poultry is important for the birds and humans that are associated with the system.

5. Work Planned for Next Year

Gas emissions from poultry manure at different ages and moisture levels will be evaluated.

6. Publications

Arogo, J., R.H. Zhang, G.L. Riskowski, L.L. Christianson, and D.L. Day, 1999. Mass transfer coefficient of ammonia in liquid swine manure and aqueous solutions. J. of Agric. Engr. Res.:In press.

Koelkebeck, K.W., J.S. McKee, P.C. Harrison, and C.M. Parsons, 1999. Performance of laying hens provided water from two sources. J. Applied Poultry Res. 8:In press.

Koelkebeck, K.W., C.M. Parsons, A.B. Corless, and M.N. Makled, 1999. Effect of acute cyclic and constant heat stress on true metabolizable energy of four feedstuffs. Poultry Sci. 78(Suppl. 1):54-55.

Koelkebeck, K.W., C.M. Parsons, R.W. Leeper, S. Jin, and M.W. Douglas, 1999. Early postmolt performance of laying hens fed a low-protein corn molt diet supplemented with corn gluten meal, feather meal, methionine, and lysine. Poultry Sci. 78:1132-1137.

Koelkebeck, K.W., T. Pescatore, R. Adams, C. Flegal, A. Cantor, F. Muir, and M. Latour, 1999. Improving the quality of poultry extension education through regionalizing poultry programs. J. Extension:In press.

Priest, J.B., R.G. Maghirang, G.L. Riskowski, L.L. Christianson, and E. Berglind, 1999. Effect of pen partitions and diffuser type on occupied zone air velocities in typical swine buildings. Accepted: ASHRAE Trans.

Zhu, J., G.L. Riskowski, and R.I. Mackie, 1999. A study on the potential of metal corrosion by sulfate-reducing bacteria in animal buildings. Accepted: Trans. of the ASAE.

Zhu, J., G.L. Riskowski, and R.I. Mackie, 1999. A laboratory study on metal corrosion by ammonia gas. Accepted: Trans. of the ASAE.

Zhu, J., G.L. Riskowski, and M. Torremorell, 1999. Volatile fatty acids as odor indicators in swine manure B< a critical review. Trans. of the ASAE 42(1):In press.

TABLE 1. Schedule for Collecting Manure, Spraying Oil and ICEPIC Measurements (Trial 1)

  Treatment2
Days1 Oil X-Oil Oil X-Oil
-8 M      
-7 S M    
-6 S   M  
-5 S   S M
-4 S   S  
-3 S   S  
-2 S   S  
-1 S   S  
1 SI   S  
2   I S  
3     SI  
4       I
1 Days represents the number of days prior to and after first ICEPIC measurement day (Day 1).
2 Treatments were manure pans sprayed with 20 mL of soybean oil daily (oil; S) or not sprayed X-oil). M represents day when manure collection started. I represents an ICEPIC measurement day.

TABLE 2. Schedule of Collecting Manure, Spraying Oil and ICEPIC Measurements (Trial 2)

  Treatment2
Days1 Oil X-Oil Oil X-Oil Oil X-Oil
-7 M          
-6 S M        
-5 S   M      
-4 S   S M    
-3 S   S   M  
-2 S   S   S M
-1 S   S   S  
1 SI   S   S  
2   I S   S  
3     SI   S  
4       I S  
5         SI  
6           I
1 Days represents the number of days prior to and after first ICEPIC measurement day (Day 1).
2 Treatments were manure pans sprayed with 20 mL of soybean oil daily (oil; S) or not sprayed(X-oil). M represents day when manure collection started. I represents an ICEPIC measurement day.

TABLE 3. Effect of Spraying Manure with Soybean Oil on Hen-Day Egg Production, Feed, and Water Consumption (Trial 1)

  Egg Production    
Treatment Total1 ICEPIC2 Feed Consumption Water Consumption
  -- (%) -- (g/hen/day) (mL/hen/day)
Oil Spray 83.9a< 87.5b< 105a< 258a<
No Oil Spray 88.0a< 100.0a< 98a< 260a<
Pooled SEM 3.1 3.3 5 13
a,b Means within a column and variable with no common superscript differ significantly (P < 0.05).
1 Means represent total egg production from all hens from the start of manure collection through the last ICEPIC measurement day.
2 Means represent egg production from hens placed in the ICEPIC during that day.

TABLE 4. Effect of Spraying Manure with Soybean Oil on Bird and Manure Weight, and Mass Production of Dust (Trial 1)

      Dust Production/Day
Treatment Bird Weight Manure Weight1 Total Per Kg BW
  (kg/bird) (g) (g) (g/kg BW)
Oil Spray 1.35b< 1022a< 1.70a< .079a<
No Oil Spray 1.42a< 1589a< 2.92a< .128a<
Pooled SEM .02 456 .54 .025
a,.b Means within a column and variable with no common superscript differ significantly (P < 0.05).
1 Means represent production of manure for those hens while in the ICEPIC.

TABLE 5. Effect of Spraying Manure with Soybean Oil on Hen-Day Egg Production, Feed, and Water Consumption (Trial 2)1

  Egg Production    
Treatment Total2 ICEPIC3 Feed Consumption Water Consumption
  -- (%) -- (g/hen/day) (mL/hen/day)
Oil Spray 95.5 97.9 91 250
No Oil Spray 92.5 91.7 94 225
Pooled SEM 1.9 2.9 2 10
1 Means within a column and variable without a superscript are not significantly different (P > 0.05)
2 Means represent total egg production from all hens from the start of manure collection through the last ICEPIC measurement day.
3 Means represent egg production from hens placed in the ICEPIC during that day.

TABLE 6. Effect of Spraying Manure with Soybean Oil on Bird and Manure Weight, and Mass Production of Dust (Trial 2)

      Dust Production/Day
Treatment Bird Weight Manure Weight1 Total Per Kg BW
  (kg/bird) (g) (g) (g/kg BW)
Oil Spray 1.38a< 1058a 3.45a< 0.157a<
No Oil Spray 1.45b< 870a< 3.22a< 0.139a<
Pooled SEM 0.02 144 0.46 0.022
a,b Means within a column and variable with no common superscript differ significantly (P < 0.05).
1 Means represent production of manure while hens were in the ICEPIC.

TABLE 7. Effect of Spraying Manure with Soybean Oil on Total Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Sulfur (Trial 2)

Treatment VOC Area VOC Peaks Sulfur Area Sulfur Peaks
  (area counts) (no.) (area counts) (no.)
Oil Spray 4.60 x 106< 16.7 4.49 x 108< 5.3
No Oil Spray 3.01 x 106< 8.7 3.10 x 108< 3.7






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