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Ammonia and Nitrous Oxide Emissions from a Commercial Broiler House

D. M. Miles, P. A. Moore, R. T. Burns, J. P. Brooks
Journal of environmental quality 2014 v.43 no.4 pp. 1119-1124
Pinus, air flow, ammonia, carbon dioxide, flocks, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide, poultry housing, poultry manure, wood shavings, Mississippi
Complex variation in gas emissions from animal facilities has been shown in recent research reports. Uncertainties in these emission estimates are driving research activities concerning different animal species across the globe. Greenhouse gas (N₂O and CO₂) and NH₃ concentrations were measured in a modern, tunnel-ventilated, commercial broiler house in Mississippi during five flocks (spanning approximately 1 yr). These were flocks 9 through 13 on reused pine shavings litter, representing litter reuse beyond 2 yr. Gas concentrations obtained from a photoacoustic multigas analyzer were coupled with ventilation measurements of air flow through the house to develop NH₃ and N₂O emission rates. Ammonia emission during a flock (43 d) averaged approximately 14.8 ± 9.8 kg d⁻¹ in the commercial house (equivalent to 23.5 g bird marketed⁻¹ or 0.54 g bird⁻¹ d⁻¹). Nitrous oxide emission averaged 2.3 ± 1.7 kg d⁻¹ in the house (equivalent to 3.64 g bird marketed⁻¹ or 0.085 g bird⁻¹ d⁻¹). Emission rates increased with time from Day 1 to Day 43 and reached average values on Day 23 and 24 for NH₃ and N₂O. Even with extended litter reuse, estimates of NH₃ emissions from the broiler house agree well with recently published research that reused litter in eight or fewer flocks. This is important information for farmers who may not be able to afford to replace the litter with fresh bedding material annually.