Chicken farm odour modelling

Any application to build new, or expand existing, poultry farms requires modelling of the potential odour emissions to surrounding areas. This informs the extent of the potential impact of the new facilities to neighbouring properties (which may be farming operations or residential buildings).

However, the robustness of the modelling used may be questioned if the application is approved, but odour complaints still arise. This will adversely impact on future applications and, ultimately, the ability of the industry to expand operations.

This project aims to improve confidence in odour modelling results for tunnel-ventilated meat chicken farms (the main shed-type used in the industry) by comparing model results with actual known odour impacts for multiple existing farm sites.

These farms have been selected through consultation with industry and the State Government, and the project will involve a small amount of field work on-site. The aim is to establish a monitoring site that provides data to inform the odour models, as well as monitor the rates of ventilation and ventilation patterns used on existing farms. This will inform when odour emissions might peak.

The primary output of this project is expected to be a review of odour modelling methodologies for tunnel-ventilated chicken meat farms, including alternative odour emission estimation methodologies and a review of the various assumptions used to inform the modelling.

Project details

Project code: PRJ-010714
Principal investigator: Tracy Freeman
Research organisation: Air Quality Professionals
Project duration: March 2018 – May 2020

Related research

PRJ-010619: Summarised findings from Australian poultry odour research (2006-2017)

PRJ-009910: Addressing odour abatement and assessment knowledge gaps using PTR-TOFMS

PRJ-009544: Broiler Farm Odour Dispersion Modelling from AERMOD, AUSPLUME and CALPUFF


Tracy Freeman, Principal Air Quality Consultant, Air Quality Professionals,

Sue Hatcher, Manager, Research – Chicken Meat RD&E Program – Food Safety, Environment and Consumer Needs, AgriFutures Australia,

Rachele Osmond, Senior Extension Officer – Poultry, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries,