U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Canonical Discrimination of the Effect of a New Broiler Production Facility on Soil Chemical Profiles as Related to Current Management Practices

Cynthia L. Sheffield, Tawni L. Crippen, J. Allen Byrd, Ross C. Beier, Kathleen Yeater
Plos One 2015 v.10 no.6 pp. article e0128179
Paleustalfs, broiler chickens, calcium, copper, discriminant analysis, electrical conductivity, environmental impact, farms, flocks, groundwater, groundwater contamination, iron, leaching, longitudinal studies, magnesium, manganese, nitrates, organic matter, pH, phosphorus, potassium, poultry housing, poultry production, risk, sodium, soil pollution, soil profiles, soil water, time management, zinc, Texas
The effect dirt-floored broiler houses have on the underlying native soil, and the potential for contamination of the ground water by leaching under the foundation, is an understudied area. This study examines alterations in fifteen quantitative soil parameters (Ca, Cu, electrical conductivity, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, NO(3), organic matter, P, pH, S, soil moisture and Zn) in the underlayment of a newly constructed dirt-floored broiler house over the first two years of production (Native through Flock 11). The experiment was conducted near NW Robertson County, Texas, where the native soil is a fine, smectitic thermic Udertic Paleustalfs and the slopes range from zero to three percent. Multiple samples were collected from under each of three water and three feed lines the length of the house, in a longitudinal study during February 2008 through August 2010. To better define the relationship between the soil parameters and sampling times, a canonical discriminant analysis approach was used. The soil profiles assembled into five distinctive clusters corresponding to time and management practices. Results of this work revealed that the majority of parameters increased over time. The management practices of partial and total house clean-outs markedly altered soil profiles the house underlayment, thus reducing the risk of infiltration into the ground water near the farm. This is important as most broiler farms consist of several houses within a small area, so the cumulative ecological impact could be substantial if not properly managed.