Hen manure from high-rise houses was treated biweekly with mechanical agitation alone or in combination with added cardboard, hay, or sawdust. Compared to non-agitated, non-treated control manure, house fly numbers were reduced in agitated treatments and in those with added carbon sources in concert with lower manure moisture, higher manure temperature, and greater ammonia levels. Chemical composition of the manure was altered by the agitation and addition of composting materials, increasing dry matter, and decreasing the nitrogen concentration. Adding hay or sawdust increased both the carbon and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of the final products. All the composted and agitated manure treatments appeared to reduce the bulk density and improve the consistency of raw manure; however, ammonia respiratory protection for the skid loader operator is necessary during in-house agitation, and may be a health concern for the hens as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology