Ammonia emissions from U.S. Tom Turkey growout and brooder houses under cold weather minimum ventilation

Susan W. Gay, Eileen Fabian, Jennifer L. Zajaczkowski, Patrick A. Topper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Ammonia (NH3) emission data in four tom turkey houses (two growout; two brooder) in Pennsylvania were monitored during winter 2003 and 2004. Data were collected during three 48-h periods for growout houses and during two 48-h periods for brooder houses. All houses were located at the same site, under contract to the same integrator, and managed by the same producer. Ammonia concentration was measured using electrochemical sensors in a portable monitoring unit; ventilation rate was determined using a fan assessment numeration system and fan run-time data. Mean NH3 emission rates for the growout house with used litter and the growout house with new litter were 2.3 and 0.98 g NH3 ·d-1 ·bird-1, respectively, for birds of ages 64 to 99 d. Expressed in terms of 500-kg animal units (AU), mean NH3 emission rates were 152 and 68 g NH3 ·d-1 · AU-1, respectively. The 57% difference between the two NH3 emission rates was due to differences in litter total ammoniacal nitrogen concentrations and litter pH. For brooder houses, NH3 emission rates were not calculated because NH3 concentrations were less than the 1-ppm resolution of the electrochemical sensor. Daily variability in NH3 emission rates from a single growout house was relatively small compared to variability of NH3 emission rates between houses due to litter management differences. The mean NH3 emission rate for the growout house with used litter determined during this study was similar to the rate currently used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; however, the NH3 emission rate for the growout house with new litter was 59% lower. Ammonia emission rates determined during this study apply to only growout houses with tom turkeys under cold weather minimum ventilation. Future work is recommended to determine NH3 emission rates from growout and brooder houses during mild and hot weather and from housing with hen turkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Engineering in Agriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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