2000 Annual Report
by P.C. Harrison, K.W. Koelkebeck, G.L. Riskowski
1. Project: NE 127
2. Cooperating Agencies and Personnel
P.C. Harrison - Project Leader
K.W. Koelkebeck - Project Co-Leader
G.L. Riskowski - Project Leader
3. Progress of Work and Principal Accomplishments
Studies have been initiated and completed in the following
A. Use of a feed additive and manure treatment application technique
to reduce ammonia generation from laying hen manure
B. Permeability and leaching of nutrients within turkey barns
3.1 Effect of a Feed Additive or Manure Treatment Application
on the Mass Generation Rate of Ammonia from Laying Hen Manure (Report by P.C.
Harrison, K.W. Koelkebeck, and G.L. Riskowski)
Most research previously conducted on the effects of aerial ammonia
on birds, caretakers and the air environment has been on air concentration level.
Previous techniques used to reduce ammonia have reported results based on changes
in concentration levels. The effect of ammonia reducing techniques on the generation
rate of ammonia production (i.e., mg/hour or mg/bird/hour) has not been extensively
investigated by other researchers; however, last year we reported on an experiment
conducted in our laboratory. In that report, we reported that spraying laying
hen manure with soybean oil had no consistent effect on ammonia production.
Fecal pans that were sprayed with oil and no oil produced 15.3 and 20.3 mLNH3/kg
body weight of chickens, respectively. Thus, the results of that study indicated
that spraying laying hen manure with soybean oil had no appreciable effect on
the generation rate of ammonia production.
There are several methods that have been used in the commercial
poultry industry to reduce aerial ammonia release from poultry manure. These
techniques involve either the feeding of an ammonia reducing product in the
diet (systemic) or direct application of the product on the manure as a powder
or spray. One such product which has been used as a direct-fed ammonia reduction
method is Micro-Aid®. Micro-Aid is a concentrated process extract from the Yucca
schidigera plant, formulated with other ingredients. This product contains a
combination of saponin surfactants plus a urease inhibitor. It is designed to
control the conversion of urea to ammonia and reduce microbial proteolytic activity
in the manure. Another product that has been used especially in the broiler
industry is the poultry litter treatment, AL+ Clear®. AL+,
an alum product (aluminum sulfate), is an acid that produces hydrogen ions when
it dissolves and the H+ ions produced by this reaction attaches themselves
to ammonia to form ammonium NH4+. This further reacts
with sulfate ions to form ammonium sulfate. As a result of these
reactions, the release of ammonia from the manure is supposedly reduced. The
alum product further causes a lowering of the pH of the manure. In addition,
these reactions produce an increase in the nitrogen content of the manure and
also results in the precipitation of soluble phosphorus of the manure which
potentially reduces phosphorus runoff or leaching.
Since both of the above ammonia reduction methods act in different
ways, it was of interest to compare the effectiveness of each product in reducing
ammonia generation from laying hen manure. Thus, the purpose of this study was
to compare the effectiveness of two ammonia reduction products on reducing acute
ammonia generation from manure of laying hens.
General Procedures and Experimental Set-Up
A short term experiment was conducted which utilized three indirect,
convective calorimeters described in detail in reports to NE-127 (1995) and
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (Harrison et al., 1996).
All variables of the environment could be controlled in these calorimeters (air
temperature, velocity, and relative humidity).
A total of 81 commercial laying hens (56 wk of age) were utilized
in this study. They were housed in a commercial-type caged layer facility at
the University of Illinois Poultry Research Farm. Water and feed were provided
ad libitum and photoperiod was 17-h daily. They were placed in nine
groups of nine hens each (3 adjacent raised wire cages, 30 x 46 cm, containing
3 hens per cage). Seven days prior to the start of manure collection when the
hens were randomly assigned to the treatments, two-thirds of the hens (6 groups)
were fed a standard layer ration (16% CP, 2865 kcal ME/kg) formulated to meet
or exceed NRC (1994) requirements without the addition of Micro-Aid®. The remaining
third was designated to be the hens fed Micro-Aid® and had been fed Micro-Aid®
containing feed for 3 months prior to starting the experiment. The level of
Micro-Aid® in the feed was mixed at the standard recommended level of one pound
per ton. Thus, three groups of nine hens each were randomly assigned to the
The three experimental treatments consisted of: 1) hens fed a
regular diet with no manure treatment (controls); 2) hens fed Micro-Aid® containing
feed continuously; and 3) hens fed a regular diet, but the manure was sprayed
daily with AL+ Clear®. In order to avoid contamination of feces to
be measured from hens allotted to the three treatments, the Micro-Aid® fed hens
were located in cages across a walkway from the control and AL+ Clear®
treatment hens. In addition, each cage was labeled as to what treatment was
Manure Collection System
In order to measure the ammonia generation rate from manure collected
from each treatment, sample collections of manure from each cage of three hens
were transported to the calorimeters in another building. To do this, a manure
collection platform was constructed and placed under the cages. A stainless
steel tray (18" x 36") was then placed on the platform under each set of three
side-by-side cages. Manure collection boxes (5" H x 7" W x 11" L) were then
placed on the stainless steel tray under each cage. At the time of ammonia (NH3
generation rate) sampling, manure and collection boxes were transported to the
At the start of manure collection, pre-weighed collection boxes
were placed under each of the cages in each treatment group designated to be
sampled for the first calorimeter run. The next day, the three boxes from AL+
Clear® treatment groups were removed from the manure collection platform, placed
end to end on the floor and sprayed with 40 mL of AL+ Clear® solution.
The spraying of AL+ Clear solution began on experiment Day1 and was
done on a daily basis at approximately 8:30 a.m. every day. The concentration
of the AL+ Clear solution was based on recommended mass rates used
in the industry for dry application. The dry application rate is 50# of AL+
Clear® spread on 1000 ft2 of litter surface. A liquid concentration
equivalent of 5 lbs. of AL+ Clear® per 1 gal. of H2O was
applied at the rate of 40 mls/day (0.033#/sq. ft.).
Pre-weighed manure collection boxes for the second replicate
were placed on the manure collection trays. The first replicate manure collection
boxes were then transported to the calorimeter building, weighed, and placed
in the three calorimeters. During the NH3 emissions measurement days,
empty manure collection boxes were substituted under the hens. On NH3
measurement days, three boxes from each manure treatment were evaluated as a
unit in each calorimeter.
Following equilibrium, the triplicate sample period lasted for
approximately 1 h, then the boxes were switched from one calorimeter to another
until all treatments had been measured in all calorimeters. This procedure allowed
for analysis of calorimeter effect over treatments.
Following each NH3 measurement day (Day 1, 7 and 14
of manure age), an approximate 10 g sample of manure was placed in a pre-weighed
weigh boat and allowed to dry in a 50 C oven to determine percent moisture.
The manure collection boxes were then transported back to the poultry farm and
placed on the manure collection trays. The manure that had collected in the
replacement boxes was added to each original box. This procedure for manure
collection, spraying, and NH3 emission measurement was repeated over
a 16 day period and allow triple replicate evaluation of NH3 generation
from manure from all treatments at age 1, 7 and 14 days (Table 1).
At manure age Day 1, all three manure collection boxes were placed
in the calorimeters. Total NH3 generated from the entire mass of
the collected manure became greater than our system's capacity on collection
days 7 and 14; therefore, manure samples from each of the original manure collection
boxes were placed in identical, clean boxes that were then evaluated for NH3
emission rate. Mean manure emission mass was 526, 840, and 152 g for Day-1,
Day-7, and Day-14, respectively.
Results and Discussion
Fecal mass and moisture are shown in Table 2. There were no differences
between manure treatments or replications. Manure weight increased over time
and percent moisture decreased over time. Replicate C had a lower moisture content
than either A or B and there was a treatment by replicate interaction for which
a logical and treatment related explanation could not be found.
Mean overall mass generation rate of ammonia for the two week
period for the Control, Micro-Aid®, and AL+ Clear® treatments was
58, 52, and 31 mg NH3/hr/kg manure, respectively. Mass generation
rate of NH3 for each treatment at each sample period is shown in
Figure 1. The AL+ Clear® treatment dramatically increased between
the week-1 and week-2 measurement period. At the week-2 sample the AL+
Clear® remained lower than the control (P = 0.001) and Micro-Aid® (P
= 0.01). However, when ammonia generation was compared on a dry manure basis
for week-2, there was no difference between treatments and both treatments were
different from the controls (Table 3). The increase in ammonia generation rate
in the AL+ Clear® treatment may have been related to disruption of
the manure collection surface at week-2. All treatments received the same sampling
procedure; however, the AL+ Clear® was a daily topical application
that would probably be affected the most by surface disruption.
3.2 The Degree of Permeability and Leaching of Nitrogen
and Phosphorus in Soils from Earthen Floors Within Turkey Barns in Southeastern
Illinois (Report by K.W. Koelkebeck)
In the past 10-15 years there has been considerable growth and
expansion in the turkey industry in the State of Illinois. This increased production
has brought about some concern by regulatory agencies over the possibility of
contaminating ground water by leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus from turkey
houses. Studies conducted previously have found that nitrogen concentrations
were higher in soils under turkey barn floors to a depth of five feet, than
in soils outside the barn. Thus, the present study was conducted to determine
the degree of leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil from within several
turkey barns as compared to the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the soil outside
the barns. In addition, the degree of permeability was determined in the first
11 in. of soil within the turkey barns vs outside the barns.
Materials and Methods
Three turkey farms located in Southeastern Illinois were selected
for this study. On each farm, samples were taken for soil nutrient analysis
and soil permeability from earthen floors from one of the turkey barns. The
soil type, percent clay and expected permeability for each farm in presented
in Table 4 and the location of soil borings for soil nutrient analysis and permeability
in and outside each barn is shown in Figure 2. For each of the barns sampled
on Farms A, B, and C there were a total of 12 soil borings; nine soil borings
taken from within the barns and three soil borings taken from outside the barns.
For this procedure, an Illinois State Geological Survey Probe truck was used
to collect the soil bores. Samples were taken from a 5 x 10 ft. rectangular
area 1/3, 1/2 , and 2/3 of the distance from one end of the barn. In addition,
soil borings were taken in three locations on the outside of each barn approximately
20 ft. from the side and end wall. For each bore, the first 5 ft. of depth was
separated into five 1-ft. sections, and transported in a Styrofoam cooler twice
a day to a commercial lab for analysis of soil nutrients.
After the soil bore samples were taken from a barn, core samples
for permeability were taken. For soil permeability or hydrolic conductivity,
a three inch diameter x three inch deep cylindrical soil core was taken using
a Uhland core sampling device. For each barn, 15 individual core samples were
taken at each location inside or outside of the barn (Figure 2). Three core
samples were taken at three depths (approximately 1-3", 5-7", and 9-11") from
the inside and two samples at the same depths were taken from the outside. In
addition to the soil bore samples for soil nutrients and core samples for permeability,
a core sample was taken outside each barn to a depth of about 28 ft. Pictures
were taken of this core sample for each 4-ft. section to determine the type
of soil (clay, sand, or clay/sand combination) present.
Figures 3 and 4 depicts the results for total Kjeldahl (TKN)
and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) for all three farms averaged together by each soil
sample depth. In Figure 3, TKN concentration was greater (P < 0.05)
for inside vs outside samples of soil depths of 1, 2, and 3 ft., but not for
the 4 and 5 ft. samples (P > 0.05). In Figure 4, the results for NO3-N
averaged over all farms showed that greater (P < 0.05) concentrations
occurring for inside vs outside samples at all depths. However, the magnitude
of differences was very small at the 4- and 5-ft. depth compared to depths 1,
2, and 3 ft. The results for total phosphorus (P2) indicated that
P2 concentation was higher on the inside vs outside only at the first
ft. of depth (Figure 5). The data presented in Table 5 shows that average permeability
was significantly lower (P < 0.05) for the inside vs outside samples
at the 1-3"- and 5-7"-depths for all farms averaged together.
For the type of soil found for each farm at a depth of 28 ft.,
the pictures of the 4-ft. sections revealed a clay base for all three farms.
For farm A, bore samples were taken to a depth of 28 ft., and at that point
the geoprobe hit limestone bedrock and could not penetrate any further.
In this study, increased concentrations of TKN were found for
inside soil samples for the first 3-ft. depth, but not for the 4- and 5-ft.
depth compared to outside samples. This indicates that over a 10 to 12 year
period of growing turkeys in these buildings, TKN only migrated about 4 ft.
below the surface of the ground within the turkey barns. The data presented
for NO3-N revealed that this nutrient migrated about 5 or more ft.
below the surface of the inside of the turkey barns. A possible reason that
NO3-N seemed to migrate further in the soil from within the turkey
barns was because the sub-floor of the inside of the barns were mixed with backfill
(organically enriched) soil at the time of building construction.
In this study, the results presented for soil permeability indicate
for the most part that the compaction produced by the turkeys inside the barns
helped to lower the permeability of soil within the houses.
Observation of the core samples that were taken from the 28-ft.
cores showed that no aqueous material was observed to be present up to 20 ft.
or so. These observations indicate that the presence of aqueous containing soil
seems to be at least 20 ft. below the surface of the ground.
In summary, the results of this study indicated that soil nitrogen
(TKN) was shown to leach below the surface of the ground inside turkey facilities
to a depth of 4 ft. Nitrate nitrogen levels were found to penetrate a little
further, but were dramatically reduced at 5 ft. vs 1 ft. inside the turkey barns.
The results for P2 indicate that the soil nutrient did not migrate
in the soil like the results of TKN and NO3-N. In addition, the raising
of turkeys in these facilities seemed to dramatically lower permeability of
soil within the turkey barns. Finally, since this study showed that possible
harmful nutrients from turkey manure leached below the surface of the soil within
a turkey barn just a few feet, it is highly unlikely that subsurface ground
water would ever be contaminated.
4. Usefulness of Findings
The results of these studies indicate that manure application
of an ammonia-reducing compound maybe effective in reducing the mass generation
rate of ammonia from laying hen manure. The methods used to spray manure including
the rate of concentrations used should be further investigated. In addition,
the results reported on permeability of soils and leaching of possible harmful
nutrients in soils within turkey barns indicates that contamination of ground
water would not likely occur in the area of the state where the study was conducted.
5. Worked Planned for Next Year
Ammonia generation rate from poultry manure treated with varying
concentration rates and different feed additive products that influence ammonia
release and production in hen manure will be evaluated.
Bell, D. D., P. A. Patterson, K. W. Koelkebeck, K. E. Anderson,
M. J. Darre, J. B. Carey, D. R. Kuney, and G. Zeidler, 2000. Egg marketing in
national supermarkets: Egg quality - Part 1. Poultry Sci. 79:(In press).
Boling, S. D., M. W. Douglas, M. L. Johnson, X. Wang, C. M. Parsons,
K. W. Koelkebeck, and R. A. Zimmerman, 2000. The effects of dietary available
phosphorus levels and phytase on performance of young and older laying hens.
Poultry Sci. 79:224-230.
Boling, S. D., M. W. Douglas, R. B. Shirley, C. M. Parsons, and
K. W. Koelkebeck, 2000. The effects of various dietary levels of phytase and
available phosphorus on performance of laying hens. Poultry Sci. 79:(In press).
Koelkebeck, K. W., 2000. A study on the degree of permeability
and leaching of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in soils within turkey barns.
Poultry Sci. 79(Suppl. 1):8.
Koelkebeck, K. W., D. D. Bell, J. B. Carey, K. E. Anderson, and
M. J. Darre, 2000. Egg marketing in national supermarkets: Products, packaging,
and prices - Part 3. Poultry Sci. 79:(In press).
Koelkebeck, K. W., C. M. Parsons, M. Douglas, R. W. Leeper, S.
Jin, X. Wang, Y. Zhang, and S. Fernandez, 2000. Early postmolt performance of
lyaing hens fed a low-rpotein corn molt diet supplemented with spent hen meal.
Poultry Science 79:(In press).
Makled, M. N., K. W. Koelkebeck, C. M. Parsons, and A. B. Corless,
2000. Effect of acute and cyclic heat stress on amino acid digestibility of
four feedstuffs. 21st World's Poultry Congress. (In press.)
Patterson, P. H., K. W. Koelkebeck, D. D. Bell, M. J. Darre,
J. B. Carey, and K. E. Anderson, 2000. Egg marketing in national supermarkets:
Speciality eggs - Part 2. Poultry Sci. 79:(In press).