Best practice litter management manual for Australian meat chicken farms

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  4. Litter re-use
  5. Practical and economic considerations

Practical and economic considerations

Watson and Wiedemann (2018) provided a summary of the practical considerations that need to be assessed before expanding the practice of litter re-use in the Australian chicken meat industry (Table 4). They demonstrated that litter re-use can be an economically attractive option if it is managed correctly, with large savings achieved when adopted over a several year cycle.

Table 4. Practical considerations of re-use litter application (Watson and Wiedemann, 2018)

Practical considerationsRe-use
SupplyCommercially available in Australia?Yes
OperationOptimisation of product in an Australian context?Would need to be optimised for each farm, and with each bedding type.
Could it be available if demand was high?Yes. With further research, re-use could be expanded to other regions and for different bedding types.
What might it cost with high demand?Very low cost
ManagementAdditional management practices needed?Yes
RegulationRegulatory/market barriers?Some. Several growers identified that re-using litter may make it harder to comply with accreditation schemes and there is a perception that it will lead to meat chicken health, ammonia and odour issues, which may increase management costs. Although there is the potential for these problems to occur, they can be avoided with appropriate management practices. There may also be the need for vaccination against Marek’s disease.
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