Poultry manure, an added value subproduct

With the transformation of poultry manure, by means of different treatments, such as drying, an alternative is generated to give value to an abundant waste in our laying hen facilities and also mitigate the negative environmental impact that is produced when poultry manure is not processed.


With this article, Zucami’s technical team pretends to present TIPS that help our clients to learn about a plus value subproduct such as poultry manure in our laying hen farms.

Poultry manure, organic waste from farms.

Poultry manure is a mixture of chicken feces and urine, to which are added feathers, cells of the digestive tract mucosa, the non-digestible portion of feed and several mineral salts.
Layer manure and broiler manure are two different products:

Layer Manure.

Excreta from laying hens that collect during the egg production stage or during periods of laying hen development, mixed with feed waste and feathers.

Broiler Manure.

Excreta from broilers (meat), from its inception until it is marketed, mixed with feed waste, feathers and materials used as bedding.

Quantity and quality of poultry manure.

Knowing the quantity and composition of poultry manure and litter produced with different poultry production practices is essential for efficient and environmentally friendly management.
There are several factors that influence the quantity and quality of the manure, such as the age of the bird, the production and feeding system of the hens, feed consumption and composition, the amount of feathers, environmental factors such as temperature and ventilation, etc.
As a reference, it has been proved according to different studies that on average, birds produce 120-140gr of feces per day, which contain 75% of water.

What is poultry manure used for?.

The most common and advisable management of poultry manure is to use it as an organic fertilizer, contributing to increase agricultural production by improving crop productivity.
At the same time, it prevents the need to increase the agricultural area, conserving the soil and avoiding its degradation.
Knowing the effect this waste has on the environment makes it possible to adopt measures to increase sustainable productivity in poultry farming and, at the same time, to guarantee the health of producers, consumers and the environment.

Poultry manure management.

Fresh handling based on temporary piles can entail a number of problems (high costs of transport to the field, leachates, emissions, bad odors, difficulty of application in the field…).
To minimize these problems, two possible alternatives for handling prior to application, drying and composting, are proposed..
COMPOSTAGE:
Composting is an aerobic fermentation, that is to say, in the presence of oxygen, of fresh organic matter of animal or vegetable origin, which is decomposed giving rise to a stabilized final product called compost.
This process occurs in a spontaneous way, although we facilitate it through the realization of flips.

The humidity rate, the dimensions of the piles, the space occupied by this waste, the management costs and labor costs make the drying of poultry manure the most cost-effective and efficient way to treat this product.

DRYING OF THE POULTRY MANURE:

The process of drying poultry manure seeks to achieve a more easily manageable product, improving its subsequent storage and agricultural valorization, also reducing the possibilities of contamination, as well as the emission of odors and the proliferation of insects in comparison with fresh handling.

Poultry manure drying can be carried out outside the poultry houses or sheds, taking advantage of the air extracted from the ventilation of the houses for drying.

The drying of poultry manure has the following advantages:

Energy efficiency:

  • They are used to dry the chicken manure, the calories produced inside the house by the animals and that go outside through the forced ventilation system.
  • In the summer, outside air is taken in on days when the air temperature is high.

Environmental efficiency:

  • Drying takes place continuously 24 hours a day, so that the poultry manure remains fresh in the facilities for only 24 hours.
  • This reduces ammonia emissions to the atmosphere compared to the current classic system of storage up to the moment of distribution in plots.
  • In addition, the proliferation of odors and flies is prevented, which favors a healthy environment around the farm.

Fertilizer efficiency:

  • The product obtained has between 80-85% dry matter, which makes it very manageable and can even be pelletized for better distribution with the usual means.