The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the USPOULTRY Foundation have completed a funded research project at the University of Arkansas on the production and environmental benefits of windrowing broiler litter.
The project is part of the association's comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A complete report, along with information on other association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY's website.
Dr. Yi Liang, University of Arkansas, and a group of researchers from the University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State University and Mississippi State University, recently completed a research project, funded by USPOULTRY, which evaluated the effect of in-house broiler litter windrowing on several important production and environmental factors. Potential pathogens, such as Clostridium spp. and E. coli, were reduced below detection limits after windrowing. The moisture content of litter was reduced significantly by windrowing and the quality of the paws (paw score) improved in the windrowed houses. Water soluble phosphorous levels were very similar in windrowed and non-windrowed litter. Windrowing did not eliminate ammonia emissions from the litter.
Overall, the windrow process provided a positive effect to most of the parameters studied and provided no negative effects. It provides producers an option for reducing potential pathogens in the broiler house, reducing litter moisture, and improving paw quality.