Water addition, evaporation and water holding capacity of poultry litter

Dunlop, Mark W., Blackall, Patrick J. and Stuetz, Richard M. (2015) Water addition, evaporation and water holding capacity of poultry litter. Science of the Total Environment, 538 979-985. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.092

Author Dunlop, Mark W.
Blackall, Patrick J.
Stuetz, Richard M.
Title Water addition, evaporation and water holding capacity of poultry litter
Journal name Science of the Total Environment   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-1026
Publication date 2015-12-15
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.092
Volume 538
Start page 979
End page 985
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Litter moisture content has been related to ammonia, dust and odour emissions as well as bird health and welfare. Improved understanding of the water holding properties of poultry litter as well as water additions to litter and evaporation from litter will contribute to improved litter moisture management during the meat chicken grow-out. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how management and environmental conditions over the course of a grow-out affect the volume of water A) applied to litter, B) able to be stored in litter, and C) evaporated from litter on a daily basis. The same unit of measurement has been used to enable direct comparison-litres of water per square metre of poultry shed floor area, L/m2, assuming a litter depth of 5cm. An equation was developed to estimate the amount of water added to litter from bird excretion and drinking spillage, which are sources of regular water application to the litter. Using this equation showed that water applied to litter from these sources changes over the course of a grow-out, and can be as much as 3.2L/m2/day. Over a 56day grow-out, the total quantity of water added to the litter was estimated to be 104L/m2. Litter porosity, water holding capacity and water evaporation rates from litter were measured experimentally. Litter porosity decreased and water holding capacity increased over the course of a grow-out due to manure addition. Water evaporation rates at 25°C and 50% relative humidity ranged from 0.5 to 10L/m2/day. Evaporation rates increased with litter moisture content and air speed. Maintaining dry litter at the peak of a grow-out is likely to be challenging because evaporation rates from dry litter may be insufficient to remove the quantity of water added to the litter on a daily basis
Keyword Broiler
Litter moisture content
Wet litter
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Official 2016 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 22 Sep 2015, 00:19:31 EST by System User on behalf of Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation