Poultry Litter Selection, Management and Utilization in Nigeria
The introduction of commercial poultry in Nigeria has rapidly revolutionarised the poultry industry over the years. This has increasingly raised concern in poultry waste disposal. About 932.5 metric tonnes of commercial poultry manure are annually produced in Nigeria. Ammonia gas is majorly a product of poultry manure and to some extent green house gases. Pathogenic microorganisms can thrive in poultry wastes. These constitute environmental and health hazards to livestock and the teeming population. The concern on how to manage poultry wastes under intensive production systems led to the discovery of suitable poultry droppings and moist absorbents referred to as litter materials. Caging birds may soon become unethical, wood shavings and saw dust are most popular but are increasingly used to manufacture other wood products, alternative litter materials are seasonally available, poultry litter is effectively utilized as nitrogen based fertilizer and livestock feed supplement, therefore, the demand and price for litter materials is magnified. Thus, farmers cannot secure enough good quality litter material for their birds. Economic losses due to poor litter are significantly high. In view of these therefore, careful selection, adequate management and proper storage and utilization of poultry litter are of paramount importance to reduce environmental pollution, disease spread and economic losses associated with poultry litter.
Received: February 03, 2012;
Accepted: March 16, 2012;
Published: May 17, 2012
Many individuals and organizations worldwide rely upon the poultry industry
for substantial portion of their income and low-cholesterol animal protein intake
(Adene, 1989; Moore et al.,
1996). The introduction of commercial poultry in Nigeria resulted into its
rapid evolutionary changes (Adene, 1997). Breeders and
broilers in most countries are raised exclusively on deep litter system (Durojaiye
et al., 1991; Embury, 2004). This rapid growth
of the poultry industry has increasingly raised concern of poultry waste disposal
(Moore et al., 1995). In Nigeria, about 932.5
metric tonnes of commercial poultry manure was reported to be annually produced
(Adewumi and Adewumi, 1996; Adewumi
et al., 2011). The current poultry manure annual production record
in Nigeria appears to be unknown but is expected to be multiples of the above
figures. Ammonia and green house gases produced by poultry litter have negative
impact on the environment (Meda et al., 2011).
The concern on how to manage poultry wastes under intensive production systems
led to the discovery of suitable poultry droppings and moist absorbents called
litter material (Asaniyan et al., 2007). At present,
the animal welfare organizations frown at caging poultry, wood based litter
materials are now being diverted for the manufacture of other wood products
while alternative litter materials appear to be seasonal (Charles,
2005). This means that first, deep litter system may be favored and the
demand and cost of litter materials magnified (Charles, 2005).
Secondly, the requirements for adequate litter materials will not be met and
or the litter materials once in abundance will become scarce or unobtainable
(Embury, 2004). The implication is that farmers cannot
secure enough good quality litter material for their poultry (Adene,
1989), with a detrimental effects on poultry performance.
Economic losses associated with poor litter in poultry include foot and leg
problems, respiratory infections, poor weight gain and feed conversion (Charles,
2005; Musa et al., 2012). Cost of poultry waste
disposal not normally captured in production budgets may contribute significantly
to overall production expenses (Doye et al., 2009).
In some countries, old litter is removed and replaced with new one after many
sets of birds are grown (Kelley et al., 1995),
this is not the case in Nigeria because of poor quality structures, poor management
practices and frequent weather variations which necessitate frequent litter
change (Sa idu et al., 2008).
Poultry litter contains high nitrogen and phosphorus making it a very good
organic fertilizer and feed supplement (Ndegwa et al.,
1991; Wood, 1992; Moore et
al., 1996; Leo et al., 2009; Doye
et al., 2009). However, poultry litter may contain pathogenic microorganisms,
drug residues and hard or metallic objects that are injurious to crops, poultry,
humans and other domestic animals (Collins et al.,
1989; Kelley et al., 1995; Doye
et al., 2009; Musa et al., 2009; Musa
et al., 2011, 2012; Musa
and Saidu, 2012). This study discusses aspects of selection, proper
management, storage and efficient utilization of poultry litter.
SELECTION OF POULTRY LITTER MATERIALS
Researchers have identified sand, pine shavings, shredded papers or paper chips,
dry straw, rice hulls, maize cobs, corn silage, peat as alternative litter materials
(Ibrahim and Abdu, 1992; Asaniyan
et al., 2007; Beri, 2011). Basic requirements
of good litter include moisture holding capacity, microbial tolerating ability,
low cost, availability and nontoxic to poultry (Shannaway,
1992; Jesse, 2004). Good litter materials are expected
to Protect and insulate the bird from dirt, damp and cold floor; conserve heat
and should be moisture and faecal absorbent to provide warm soft and spongy
surface for optimum comfort of the birds (Ruszler and Carson,
1968; Jesse, 2004). In Nigeria, wood shavings (soft
and hard) are available year round from the wood work and furniture enterprises,
it is the commonest poultry litter material which today is characterized by
periodic shortage due to increasing number of poultry producers (Dafwang,
1990). Unfortunately, hard wood shavings are reported to poorly absorb moisture
and are frequently contaminated with Aspergillus (Charles,
2005; Musa and Saidu, 2012), showed highest
prevalence of Salmonella organism (Beri, 2011) and posed
a significant problem when obtained from chemically treated woods (Embury,
2004). Poultry consumes as much as 4% of their diet as litter and so saw
dust is likely consumed which may lead to nutritional deficiency, starvation
and mortality (Jesse, 2004; Charles,
2005). Sawdust is most popular litter material in some nations, but it is
subject to regular caking around drinkers and feeders (Charles,
2005; Mijinyawa and Dlamini, 2006), has high moisture
holding ability and commonly contaminated with Aspergillus (Charles,
In Nigeria, majorly big poultry producers can afford to buy large quantity
of wood litter materials while small producers are forced to use insufficient
amount of litter due to cost and scarcity (Dafwang, 1990).
Rice hulls work well as litter material because they are free from dust, have
high thermal conductivity, drying rate and compressibility (Embury,
2004) but may be costly and restricted to certain regions, easy molding
and bacterial growth restrict its use (Jesse, 2004;
Corn silage was found to be suitable alternative for common litter material
with very low Salmonella prevalence (Beri, 2011).
Straw is any grass material used as litter material. It is however difficult
to manage and easily cakes (Jesse, 2004). To be an efficient
litter material, straw should be chopped to one inch or less because long straw
tends to bridge or mat quickly (Jesse, 2004). Alternatively,
straw can be effectively used as a top dressing over old litter; it is cheaper
than most litter materials and readily available hence more economically viable
(Jesse, 2004). Straw can best be used half and half
mixture with shavings, rice hulls or old litters (Jesse,
Chopped straw was found to be free of Salmonella but had side effects on the
health and environment (Beri, 2011).
Bagase, is a sugar cane by-product when sugar is extracted. It is common but
not readily used as litter in northern Nigeria; it is highly moisture absorbent
and dries easily, however it cakes easily (Jesse, 2004).
Recycled papers like newspapers, cardboard, shredded papers and chopped news
papers are gaining importance as alternative bedding materials in poultry industry
because of their relative cheapness and availability from paper related industries.
However, paper products hold high level of moisture which frequently cakes and
increases chances of breast blisters and other carcass defects (Jesse,
2004). Paper based litters were best applied as top dressing or mixed with
other conventional wood litter materials (Jesse, 2004).
Pine shavings and sand as separate litter materials were successfully used
and had no variations on broiler performance (Asaniyan et
al., 2007) while sand as litter reduced darkling bee populations, had
longer period before clean-out (up to 5 years) but would not heat up appropriately
during cold periods when compared to shavings making it suitable material during
the summer (Jesse, 2004; Asaniyan
et al., 2007). Sand is not compatible with composting, incinerating
and pelleting but is currently attracting research interest in many places (Jesse,
2004; Asaniyan et al., 2007).
Composted or heat treated litter is cheap, dust free, associated with low odor
and low pathogenic organisms or parasites and therefore appears to be good and
suitable litter, but not recommended for brooding (Embury,
2004). Old litter treated by the heat process produced a bedding material
suitable for rearing turkeys and could be incorporated into livestock feeds
(Grimes et al., 2003; Owen
et al., 2008a).
Finally, each type of bedding material is subject to factors that will enable
it to be a successful litter material (Charles, 2005).
A good litter is started using adequate materials applied to a depth of at
least 2 cm (Cool sand), 5-10 cm (wood shavings), 10 cm (chopped straw) and 8
cm for any other litter material on a dry damp-free floor (Moore
et al., 2004; Asaniyan et al., 2007).
Environmental and indoor conditions of poultry houses (temperatures flock density
and air movements) have significant influences on litter quality and NH3
emissions (Terzich et al., 1998; Meda
et al., 2011). Birds pass out concentrated waste (uric acid) making
it possible to house a lot of birds on litter with the major problem of only
moisture buildup (Jesse, 2004; Asaniyan
et al., 2007).
Deep litter management despite its importance seems to be neglected in poultry
industry in Nigeria (Ezeokoli et al., 1984).
For a litter to be well managed, considerations must be given to such factors
as: type of litter used at the time of the year, depth of the litter, floor
space per bird, feeding and watering devices, kind of floor, ventilation system,
routine litter management practices, litter amendment procedure and incidences
of disease that can have effects on litter value (Asaniyan
et al., 2007).
Depth of the litter varies with the type of litter material in use and will
influence performance particularly if it prevents dust bathing (Moore
et al., 2004; Asaniyan et al., 2007).
High stocking density leads to decreased water and gas exchanges between air
and litter (Meda et al., 2011), high chances
of feed and water spillage due to space competition, high secretions and excretions
in the litter, high temperature and ammonia build up in the poultry house and
subsequently high chances of bad litter occurrence, but naturally well ventilated
poultry houses with relatively light stocking densities maintain a good litter
(Anonymous, 1990). Litters if well managed can be changed
between crops (Anonymous, 1990) or commonly changed when
they appear bad or following diseases outbreaks in most places. Poor litters
are dusty, wet and cake easily (Anonymous, 1990). A good
litter should adhere slightly and easily breaks up when dropped from the hand,
but when litter is too wet it normally balls up if squeezed in the hand, too
dry litter does not normally adhere (Anonymous, 1990).
Litter materials on earthen floors have been reported to hold as much as 10%
moisture making it almost impossible to effectively manage than litters on damp-proofed
concrete floors (Terzich et al., 1998). If the
back of the hand feels damp when applied onto a litter, then it possibly contains
at least 30% moisture which encourages breast blisters, rapidly converts uric
acid to toxic ammonia and supports the growth of fly larvae and coccidian organisms
Litter management has few rules but most decisions are subject to operators
judgment. Litter materials should be checked for bacterial and fungal contaminations,
fine particle litter materials should be covered with paper to avoid litter
eating, treat new litter material with approved antifungal agents while litter
intended to be reused should also be treated with lime (Anne,
2007). Special attention should be paid to drinker points, such areas are
liable to caking and should be rototilled to activate litter or removed and
fresh litter material added (Sanjay et al., 2006;
Anne, 2007). However, tilling of litters is frequently
associated with rapid increase in ammonia levels in poultry houses and therefore
should be done with windows open or fans on to rapidly dissipate the ammonia
((Anne, 2007). A working litter warms the poultry house
while a wet litter cools the house by taking away heat in the process of drying
out (Ruszler and Carson, 1968). Ammonia build up beyond
40 Part Per Million (PPM) is potentially dangerous to the birds and the operator
(Ritz et al., 2004). The consequences in birds
include decrease feed intake and productivity, respiratory tract infections
and blindness (Wheeler et al., 2004). Ammonia
levels of 15-20 PPM is acceptable and can be estimated fairly accurately by
using the operators sense of smell or litmus paper or more accurately
using a dragger gas detector which is commercially available (Xin
et al., 2002).
AMMONIA MANAGEMENT IN POULTRY FARMS
Micro-organisms in the litter convert birds excreta and spilled feeds
to ammonium (NH4+) which is soluble in water and is convertible
to ammonia in the presence of high pH and temperature (Sanjay
et al., 2006). On the other hand a high ammonia level in litter is
reported to increase fertilizer value but with a consequence of environmental
pollution posing health hazards to neighbors (Sanjay et
al., 2006). Ammonia in the presence of rainfall contributes to soil
acidification and also facilitates algae growth in water bodies (Sanjay
et al., 2006). Today there is growing concern in regulating ammonia
emissions from livestock worldwide (Sanjay et al.,
2006). The concept of litter amendments has shown drastic reduction of ammonia
levels in poultry houses thereby improving birds health and performance
(Sanjay et al., 2006). Ammonia emission is reduced
with regular litter change, use of appropriate litter material, decreased manure
moisture and improved indoor conditions (Meda et al.,
Poultry litter amendments to effectively control ammonia levels involves application
of acidifiers, alkaline materials, adsobers, inhibitors, microbial and enzymatic
treatments, superabsorbent polymers and even dietary manipulations (Blake,
2001; Sanjay et al., 2006; Meda
et al., 2011; Timmons and Harter-Dennis, 2011).
Acidifiers such as alum, sodium bisulphate, ferrous sulphate and phosphoric
acid are the most effective and widely used poultry litter amendment and work
by creating acidic conditions in litter so that ammonium rather than ammonia
is retained and this helps facilitate bacteria and enzyme inactivity so that
ammonia is not produced in the litter (Sanjay et al.,
2006; Moore et al., 1996). Alum reduced NH3
by 71-92% while phosphoric acids by 56-92% (Moore et
al., 1996). They suppress ammonia levels below 25 ppm for 3-4 weeks
post application and improve in-house air quality in poultry houses (Sanjay
et al., 2006).
Alkaline materials like agricultural lime (CaCO3), hydrated or slaked
lime (Ca (OH)2), or burnt lime (CaO) work by increasing litter alkalinity
(pH>7) which help to convert more of the ammonium within litter to gaseous
ammonia that can be readily lost through venting so that lower ammonia level
is achieved when next batch of chicks are brought. However, this practice is
associated with loss of soluble phosphorus level in litter with low fertilizer
value and may have negative impact on the environment as ammonia levels may
later increase significantly when fresh manure is added to the litter (Sanjay
et al., 2006).
Adsobers like certain natural clay type (zeolite) and peat are good in adsorbing
ammonia and lowering ammonia levels if used in poultry houses (Sanjay
et al., 2006). Inhibitors in poultry litter slowly convert uric acid
and urea to ammonia by the process of inhibiting enzymes and microbial activities.
In the recent past, phenyl phosphorodiamidate was reported to inhibit urease
activity and reducing conversion of urea in to ammonia (Sanjay
et al., 2006).
Microbial and enzymatic treatment of litter uses beneficial microbes and enzymes
which can convert uric acid and urea fairly rapidly in to ammonia which can
then be vented out thereby reducing the ammonia levels before chicks are placed
in the house later. Such microbial products like USM-98 or Yucca schidigera
extract as a natural feed additive were reported to significantly lower ammonia
levels, improve bird weights and reduced mortality (Sanjay
et al., 2006).
Dietary manipulation involves reducing the nitrogen intake per bird by reducing
the crude protein in poultry diet, because ammonia is formed by the breakdown
of undigested protein and uric acid in the manure (Meda
et al., 2011). A 1% reduction of CP resulted to 10-22% reduced NH3
emission (Meda et al., 2011).
Increased age and weight at slaughter will influence NH3 emissions
because nitrogen excretion per day per bird increases with increasing daily
feed intake (Amanullah et al., 2010).
POULTRY WASTE PROCESSING AND UTILISATION
Poultry waste materials including litter and dead birds must be properly managed
to ensure beneficial use and to prevent adverse effects on the environment and
poultry health. Litter should not be reused when a disease outbreak occurs in
a flock (Anne, 2007). Effective management of poultry
wastes incurs expenses not normally recognized in production budgets, such wastes
may be valuable by-products or strictly a net cost. In some advanced countries,
poultry farmers register their operations with appropriate agencies, keep records
of poultry wastes and develop an approved animal waste management plan. In the
developing countries this is not the situation and therefore environmental pollution
and disease spread is rampant. Below are some practical activities that may
render poultry waste easily manageable and ensure environmental safety.
Converting poultry litter into bio-fuel: Efforts towards safe disposal
of poultry wastes resulted in to a recent technology that converted poultry
litter to valuable bio-oil, usable gas and crop fertilizers (Anonymous,
2007). Broiler and turkey litters were converted into bio-oils and fertilizer
while the gas generated was used to operate pyrolysis unit in a self-sufficient
machine (Anonymous, 2007). The thermochemical unit in
this system succeeded in destroying the pathogenic microorganisms and reduced
the chances of disease transmission (Anonymous, 2007).
There are currently several electrical generating plants in the UK and recently
in the US that are utilizing poultry and turkey litter as their primary fuel
Composting of poultry litter: Composting of poultry litter and dead
carcasses is an option to be considered to increase value and market for poultry
litter readily needed in forestry, crop and vegetable farms, homes, lawns and
golf courses (Forbes, 2006). Composting is a simple natural
biological phenomenon that renders poultry litter odourless, stable, consistent
and soil-like that is unable to damage crops and surface waters. It is a controlled
decomposing natural breakdown process of organic materials (Anne,
2007). The process utilizes aerobic microorganisms in the poultry litter
in the presence of oxygen and water to change the chemical and physical nature
of poultry litter to form a humus-like material referred o as compost (Forbes,
2006). Composting reduces litter weight to as much as 40-80% (Anne,
2007) and compost has been reported to air condition soils and improve soil
quality by adding organic matter, nutrients and beneficial microbes thereby
increasing soil porosity, density, water and nutrient holding capacity (Forbes,
2006). It is important to note that the major nutrients of poultry litter
include carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and others needed for plant
and microorganisms growth and reproduction (Embury, 2004),
it is referred to as an excellent soil amendment (Anne, 2007).
Composted broiler litter for instance has a pH of 5.5-6.5 and is weed free making
it suitable fertilizer for seedlings, shrubs, roses and fruit tries and is rich
in vitamin B12 (Embury, 2004; Anne,
Storage of poultry litter: The demand for poultry litter like some other
seasonally demanding goods appears to be sporadic and therefore requiring temporary
holding until an appropriate application time even though fresh poultry litter
has the highest nitrogen content making it of greater fertilizer value (Embury,
2004). Proper storage of poultry litter will ensure the most benefit use
of valuable fertilizer nutrients and will prevent contamination of surface waters
on poultry farms (Dan et al., 2009). The most
valuable nitrogen in poultry litter is gradually lost to the atmosphere as ammonium
over a prolonged period (Doye et al., 2009). Covered
stockpiles; involves stockpiles of litter that is covered using plastic sheets
anchored to the earth or other devices to protect against rain and atmospheric
losses. Stockpiles with ground liners; this involves the use of good plastic
as liner to ground or concrete slabs to primarily prevent nutrient leaching
to ground water (Dan et al., 2009). Permanent
storage structures with sufficient roofs and concrete floors appear to be best
but associated with high risk of spontaneous combustion and fire outbreaks (Dan
et al., 2009).
Applying poultry litter to crops: Certain considerations are put in
place before litter can be effectively and safely applied on farms (Dan
et al., 2009). Poultry manure should not be applied to very steep
lands, lands in close proximity to surface waters, drainage ditches and wells.
Avoid application prior to heavy rains and to crops best apply at the time of
nutrient needs. Litter should generally be applied to as close to planting time
as possible and should be mechanically incorporated to plants as soon as possible
after application (Forbes, 2006). This approach will
minimize loss due to ammonia volatilization and nutrient loss by wind and water
erosion. Application of litter well ahead of planting will lead to denitrification
and leaching (Forbes, 2006). A trial of bioactive compost
on crops indicated that compost containing poultry litter gave plant maximum
levels of nutrients required, growth promoting effects and cost benefit (Kavitha
and Subramanian, 2007).
Poultry litter as ruminant feed supplement: Poultry litter has traditionally
being used efficiently as a fertilizer; it is now also used as a cost-saving
livestock feed supplement for ruminants especially cattle, goats and sheep (Murthy
et al., 1995; Anonymous, 2006; Adegbola
et al., 2010; Nwaigwe et al., 2011).
It is high in urea, a source of nitrogen, which improves the rumen environment
making feed more efficiently utilized and the animal better nourished with whatever
feed that is made available (Murthy et al., 1995;
Adegbola et al., 2010). Uric acid which is a major
content of poultry waste can be utilized by rumen microbes for protein production
as it is not easily dissolved in the rumen fluid and the ammonia is only slowly
released making it more efficiently utilized than other non-protein nitrogenous
sources (Abdel-Baset and Abbas, 2010). Composted litter
is reach in B vitamins especially B12 (Anne, 2007). Ordinarily,
the rumen micro flora seems to take about 3 weeks to adapt before it can fully
utilize uric acid therefore do not give the manure mixture to young cattle less
than 5 months old, or to sheep and goats less than 3 months old (Murthy
et al., 1995). When processed by an acceptable method, poultry litter
is a very economical and safe source of protein, minerals and energy for many
classes of ruminants (Murthy et al., 1995; Abdel-Baset
and Abbas, 2010; Adegbola et al., 2010). Also,
it has a total digestible nutrients value similar to average quality hay and
can provide a major portion of the energy to maintain ruminant if it is readily
consumed (Abdel-Baset and Abbas, 2010). However, poultry
manure has been reported to be best economically used in the ruminant feeding
as a forage substitute during drought and when there is forage shortage. The
poultry litter contains high fibre and ash and so are the rations formulated
containing poultry litter generally attributed to excretion of minerals in the
litter (Chauhan, 1993; Anonymous,
At higher levels, poultry litter in ruminants depressed growth rate because
dried poultry litter is low in the essential amino acid needed by animal and
also because of excessive amount of calcium the litter contains (Abdel-Baset
and Abbas, 2010). In another development, it was shown that poultry manure
can replace groundnut cake in the diet of goats without any depression in growth
rate and efficiency of feed utilization when used with a good source of carbohydrates
such as cassava peel (Adegbola et al., 2010).
Digestibility of crude fiber was also reported to be higher in rations containing
poultry litter and that incorporating poultry litter up to 25% in the rations
of camels did not have any adverse effects (Abdel-Baset
and Abbas, 2010) and that poultry droppings could effectively substitute
cotton seed cake in the diets of suckler cattle (Bayemi
et al., 2001) and was found to improve daily weight gain in growing
cattle (Mubi et al., 2008). Similarly, Khattab
et al. (1995) and Gabr et al. (2003)
were able to demonstrate such with buffalo calves and sheep respectively. Unfortunately,
poultry manure can carry pathogenic organisms that can cause disease in other
animals if the manure is not sun-dried well enough (Adene,
1997). Furthermore, wood shavings as the commonest litter materials in Nigeria
are usually obtained from wood work industries that may contain sharp or metallic
objects which have caused traumatic ventriculitis in poultry traumatic pericarditis
in ruminants (Musa et al., 2009; Musa
et al., 2011). A research concluded that poultry waste intended to
be used in compounding rations for cattle should be dried or ensiled and screened
for metallic objects to render it safe for use by the animals (Abdul
et al., 2008; Musa et al., 2011).
Ensiling sorghum forage or molasses with poultry waste had improved crude protein
content of the silage almost twofold. Rations formulated with 30% of the concentrate
as poultry waste gave about 10 kg of milk/day (Odhuba, 2006;
Owen et al., 2008b).
However, wet poultry manure should not be fed to livestock and the optimum
supplement level for dairy cows is 1 to 2 kg daily (Abdul
et al., 2008).
Poultry litter as fish and rabbit feed supplement: Nigeria is reported
to be the largest importer of frozen fish in the world (Solarin,
1992). Aquaculture integration with livestock particularly poultry has been
on the increase in Nigeria in recent years with a major limitation of formulated
fish feed. Research works have been conducted to determine the effectiveness
of feeding cow, pig and poultry manure in variety of fish species (Campos
and Sampao, 1976; Anonymous, 2006). Chickens because
of their short intestines are capable of excreting about 20% undigested feed
and that 10% of feed fed to chickens are wasted to the litter in the process
of feeding making available 10-30% total protein content of dry chicken waste,
1100-1400 kcal kg-1 energy and soluble synthesized vitamins in abundance
in the poultry manure (Tuleun, 1992; Anonymous,
2006). Some farmers while taking this advantage have constructed battery
cages directly on ponds while others continue to feed fish poultry manure (Rangayya,
1977) so that waste is now recycled in to inputs. The nitrogenous waste
from birds can also efficiently fertilize ponds for growth of plankton as fish
food (Adewumi et al., 2011). In fact a report
from the United States indicated no difference in terms of growth rate of tilapia
cultured in manured ponds compared to fish fed pelleted commercial feed (Collins
and Smitherman, 1978). However, use of poultry litter in Clarias
species as sole feed was reported to have adverse metabolic effects (Omitoyin,
2007). The use of poultry litter as supplement was reported to have added
advantage over routinely used protein sources in rabbit diet (Owen
et al., 2008a).
Economic losses as a result of poor litter and poor litter management are significantly
high. Litter type and management are dependent upon cost, availability and quality
of materials used. Therefore, materials intended to be used as litter material
should meet the criteria for selection. Research is needed to determine the
exact need and rate of poultry litter application to plants and animals. Poultry
waste should best be fed to ruminants after ensiling and following careful considerations,
should not be utilized where BSE has been reported. The basic technology of
feed compounding using poultry manure can be developed and transferred to farmers.
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