Home Crop Monitoring Litter Management: How often it must be changed

Litter Management: How often it must be changed


Once you hear questions like how lengthy can I depart the litter on the poultry ground earlier than altering them? Properly this will depend on how cautious you’re in dealing with feeds and water within the housing in order that they don’t spill and make the litters moist. The kind of feeders and drinkers getting used may also decide this.

Chickens that are saved on ground techniques are in everlasting contact with the litter they reside on. To a big extent this will have an effect on their efficiency. High quality management and administration will assist conserving it in good situation.

Nevertheless, as soon as in two months will not be unhealthy and other than that at all times change the litter every time it will get moist or dusty even when it occurs the following day after altering it the day gone by, you must change them as a result of they’ll have an effect on you birds. The climate situation also needs to be thought of because the litter will get moist sooner throughout the wet season. It’s also good to vary the litter when it is dusty.

Litter is an important product in poultry rising, as a result of birds are uncovered to the litter and its contents (microbes, moisture, ammonia, mud, odour, and texture) from the primary day of life.

Badly managed litter could facilitate the unfold of sure infectious illnesses, and in addition creates issues which result in severe financial losses. The “litter problems” haven’t but been categorised or recognized particularly, since they’re linked with different administration issues as nicely.

Retaining litter dry is a crucial a part of total administration on each poultry farm. Litter situations affect chook efficiency, which in flip impacts income of growers and integrators.

Dry litter helps management ammonia ranges, supplies a wholesome flock surroundings, and reduces condemnations resulting from hock and footpad burns and breast blisters.



Right this moment, frequent use of built-up litter requires larger consideration to element than ever earlier than. Poultry litter consists of bedding materials (shavings, rice hulls, and so on.), manure, feathers, and different parts.

Dry litter is vital for the well being and welfare of birds, in addition to the individuals who work within the homes. When litter begins to retain moisture it will clump collectively, which is known as caking.

Why dry litter begins to cake is often misunderstood, however it will not be sophisticated. An excessive amount of moisture inside a poultry home may cause litter to cake—it’s simply that easy.

Nevertheless, it takes a very long time (days and in some instances, perhaps weeks) for moisture ranges within the litter to construct up sufficient for cake to type. Moisture can construct up as a result of the air flow price inside the home is insufficient over a protracted interval (not just some hours).

Broilers drink about 2 kilos of water for each pound of feed consumed, or greater than 50,000 gallons per 20,000-bird home every flock. Solely about 20 p.c of the water consumed is used for progress; most of it ultimately reaches the litter as manure.

To forestall caking, this added moisture throughout the litter must be eliminated by means of ample air flow. As soon as cake begins to type, it is tough to reverse the method. It often requires over-ventilation to appropriate the issue, which might result in extreme gasoline use throughout chilly climate and excessive power prices year-round.

Caked litter additionally will increase home ammonia ranges. Adverse results of ammonia on broiler well being, welfare, efficiency, and carcass high quality have been nicely documented.

There are a number of kinds of litter generally utilized in poultry homes similar to pine shavings, hardwood shavings, pine or hardwood chips, rice hulls, peanut hulls, sand, crushed corn cobs, chopped straw, hay, or corn stover, and processed paper.

Learn extra: How to Make Cash in Poultry Farming

These supplies are often used at charges starting from 2-5 kg per sq. meter, and the selection of such supplies ought to be made primarily based on the relative benefits and downsides of every beneath specific farm situations (Desk 1).

Desk 1 – Benefits and downsides of varied litter materials

Litter materials Benefits / Disadvantages
Pine shavings Most well-liked litter materials however changing into restricted in provide and costly in areas.
Hardwood shavings Often excessive in moisture and vulnerable to harmful mould progress if saved improperly prior to make use of.
Pine or hardwood chips Used efficiently however could trigger elevated incidence of breast blisters if allowed to grow to be too moist.
Rice hulls A great litter materials the place obtainable at a aggressive value. Younger chicks could be vulnerable to litter-eating (not a significant issue).
Peanut hulls An affordable litter materials in peanut-producing areas. Tends to cake and crust however can be managed. Vulnerable to mould progress and elevated incidence of aspergillosis. Some issues with pesticides have been famous prior to now.
Sand Subject trials present comparable efficiency to pine shavings. Lengthy-term reuse potential with de-caking. Harder to keep up appropriate ground temperatures throughout chilly climate brooding. Want ample time and air flow previous to brooding to guarantee dryness.
Crushed corn cobs Restricted availability. Could be related to elevated breast blisters.
Chopped straw, hay or corn Stover Appreciable tendency towards caking. Mildew progress may also be a drawback.
Processed paper Numerous types of processed paper have confirmed to be good litter materials in analysis and business conditions. Tendency to cake with elevated particle measurement. High dressing paper base with shavings could decrease this downside. Cautious administration important.


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