As a poultry farmer, one of your public health responsibilities is keeping a lid on the pungent smell that emanates from your poultry farm.
The local authorities generally have the responsibility of dealing with bad odor complaints by your neighbors and the general public. Poultry farms are some of the worst abusers when it comes to bad odor.
Any smell emanating from your premises is a public nuisance, especially if your poultry farm is situated in an area with a large human traffic, which is not always recommended anyway. Ideally, poultry farmers are situated as far away as possible from areas with a frequent people traffic. The smell coming from your poultry farm is also prejudicial to the health of all those who come into “contact” with it ranging from the workers to customers, visitors and random people passing close to your farm.
If you are a repeat offender, you will most likely face an enforcement action and possible prosecution if you fail to properly manage the odor coming from your poultry farm. That is why it is important to have a proactive odor management plan that will help you minimise the impact the risks and the smell so as to have a healthy and habitable poultry farm.
What is the cause of odors in the poultry farms?
The various odorous gases associated with poultry production include hydrogen, skalote, thiophenol, mercaptan, thiocresol and finally, hydrogen sulfide. However, the biggest offending gas emanating from poultry farms and various other farming concerns is ammonia. The gas is colorless but has a very sharp and irritating smell.
Apart from its pungent smell, the gas is also corrosive and irritates the nose. Even if you are exposed to the ammonia gas in low concentrations, you may still experience eye and skin irritation. Its impact is particularly prevalent because it is a light gas that disperses very quickly and settles in low lying areas. That is why it has such an adverse impact on people close to your poultry farm.
Odours in a poultry farming enterprise are mainly caused by the feed, housing, the poultry themselves, manure and waste including the carcasses of the chickens.
The mitigation technique that you will use is site-specific. The method can vary depending on factors such as the scale of the poultry farming operation, the location and the type of poultry farming enterprise that you are engaging in. The most effective mitigation techniques against bad odors are effective monitoring and good housekeeping. Both of these will require some initiative on your part in order to make them work.
In order for you to check on the intensity of the odor emanating from the poultry house, you can also do some “sniff testing”. You can also buy a field olfactometer that you can use in monitoring the sources of bad odors.
There are various additives that you can use in masking the odors coming from your poultry house. While transferring and disposing of manure is an effective technique in getting rid of the bad odors, it is not a long-term solution.
Here is a look at some of the techniques that you can use in masking the bad odors coming from your poultry farm:
How To Eliminate Odour From Poultry
#1 Managing Feed
Take time to clean out all the feed spillages. You can also avoid fine grinding the food and cut down on the protein content of the feed. Certain feed additives can also help mask the bad odors.
#2 The Litter and Manure
Make sure you frequently clean out the manure. Control the temperature and humidity in the building and make sure the manure is dried. You can also provide enough litter or straw that will help in binding the nitrogen and prevent the ammonia from escaping.
#3 Proper ventilation
Proper ventilation is key to managing the odors coming from the poultry house. Extracting the air from the poultry house will help in dispersing the odors inside the house. You can also boost the ventilation by using a fan.
Catching or destocking can also help reduce the bad odors coming from your poultry house. Use catching curtains and ensure the doors are shut when catching.
#5 Spent manure
The manure should be removed and transferred to a contained area. You can haul them to trucks and ensure the trucks are covered when you are still loading. Loading may sometimes take a few days.
#6 Managing carcasses
The chicken carcasses should be collected as quickly as possible before they start rotting and pose a health risk.
Take steps to minimize dust in the poultry enterprise. Frequently clean out the dust in the poultry house and in the ventilation vents.
#8 Land spread the manure
The poultry manure provides a good fertilizer that you can use on your farm. Collect them on a regular basis and spread them on your farm. When spreading, you should also consider the wind direction. If necessary, treat the manure before spreading it out on the farm. Have a good manure management plan for your poultry farm.
#9 Managing Dirty Water in the Poultry Farm
Have a dirty water collection system on the farm that is well contained. It is advisable to maintain drains as well as concrete areas where you can direct the dirty water. Dirty water should be cleared out as soon as possible.