The management of air and water emissions, phosphorous run-off, and waste management pose additional burdens on both small and large producers alike.
Ammonia in poultry houses is not directly produced by the birds but rather from the break-down of nitrogen in the form of excreted uric acid. Warm temperatures, moisture, pH in the neutral range or slightly higher (7.0 – 8.5) and the presence of organic matter favors bacterial growth and the production of ammoniacal nitrogen, all conditions which are normally present in poultry waste handling systems.
Reduced Ammonia Levels
It has been reported that a dietary approach that utilizes lower protein, dietary acidifiers and zeolite absorbent compounds can reduce ammonia volatilization from layer flocks as much as 80%.
When a small amount of St. Cloud Zeolite is mixed into the birds’ feed, bedding or applied topically to the manure, ammonia levels, which are often dangerously high in poultry houses, are significantly reduced.
Feed Supplement Benefits
The inclusion of St. Cloud Zeolite in the birds’ diet is the most efficient and effective delivery method for an overall poultry management system. In addition to the immediate result of a significant reduction of odor and ammonia gas, St. Cloud Zeolite may:
- make phosphate more soluble and better utilized for bone development
- lower mortality
- increase the number of gradable eggs and shell thickness
- increase the nitrogen content of manure and compost that is plant accessible, preventing nitrogen imbalance and a reduction of phosphate resulting in greater benefits for operations fertilized with chicken manure containing St. Cloud Zeolite.
Birds fed a St. Cloud Zeolite amended feed supplement require less feed and water to gain as much weight as birds receiving conventional feed. In studies using St. Cloud Zeolite amended feed, increased feed efficiency values (FEV) to more than 5% above normal rations were observed. Birds fed St. Cloud Zeolite amended feed also produced droppings with 25% less moisture due to the moisture absorption and retention properties of its internal lattice structure.
Increased Manure Application Rates
The intensification of farm operations also brings challenges in managing manures and the ever increasing environmental requirements designed for the protection of natural resources. Often, transport distances and crop land availability impose serious constraints on the disposal of manures high in phosphorous and low in nitrogen.
St. Cloud Zeolite’s unique ability to capture and bind ammonium nitrogen results in more nutrients being retained in the manure and thus may allow increased application rates and decreased requirements for the purchase of ammonium requirements.