Evaluation of various methods and application rates of ferrous sulfate heptahydrate in the control of atmospheric ammonia in an enclosed broiler house Public Deposited

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  • Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the various methods and application rates of ferrous sulfate-heptahydrate in the control of atmospheric ammonia in an enclosed broiler house. The first experiment was conducted to determine the optimal rate of application of ferrous sulfate-heptahydrate on built-up litter. Ferrous sulfate was applied on built-up litter at 0.38, 0.76, and 1.52 kg/m² of floor space prior to chick placement. No significant differences were observed among the treatments in mean body weight, feed conversion, bird mortality, litter moisture and total respiratory dust level. There was significantly lower atmospheric ammonia for 28 and 35 days after application of 0.76 and 1.52 kg ferrous sulfate than either the untreated or 0.38 kg level. Litter pH was also significantly lower for all ferrous sulfate application until 35 days after application. The optimal rate of ferrous sulfate application on built-up litter was 0.76 kg/m². The second experiment was conducted to compare the application of ferrous sulfate and clinoptilolite on built-up litter. No significant differences among the treatments were observed in mean body weight, feed conversion and bird mortality. Atmospheric ammonia levels were not significantly different between ferrous sulfate and clinoptilolite treatment throughout the experiment. However, both chemically treated groups had significantly lower ammonia in the pens until 21 days after application than the untreated group. Litter pH was significantly lower in the ferrous sulfate treatment than the clinoptilolites and untreated groups until the 21 days of the study. Litter moisture until 28 days and total respiratory dust level at 49 days were significantly lower in the treated groups than in the untreated control. Ferrous sulfate appears to be a more effective chemical to suppress the evolution of ammonia from litter than clinoptilolite. The third experiment studied the various methods of application of ferrous sulfate to reduce atmospheric ammonia in an enclosed broiler house. Mean body weight at 28 days and 49 days was significantly higher with the application of 0.76 kg granular ferrous sulfate on the built-up litter than ferrous sulfate application with water or suspended in boxes. Bird mortality was also significantly lower in direct litter application than the other methods. Atmospheric ammonia and litter pH were significantly low up till 28 days with the granular application on the litter than either the water or hanging box methods. Litter moisture, litter score, feed conversion and total respiratory dust level were not significantly different among the treatments. Although the granular application on the built-up litter was more effective in suppressing the evolution of ammonia, ferrous sulfate kept in hanging boxes in the pens may be a better approach because the possibility exists for the ferrous sulfate to be recycled.
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