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Microorganisms can reduce harmful gas concentrations on poultry farms

Microorganisms can reduce harmful gas concentrations on poultry farms fot. FLICKR | Article originally written in Polish by the Chamber of Agriculture in Opole


    Poultry meat is very popular in Poland thanks to its availability and low price. In recent years, there has been a dynamic development of this food production sector. However, raising poultry also has its drawbacks, including those related to higher gas concentrations, which have a negative impact on the effectiveness of poultry operations, as well as on the environment. Researchers from Opole, Poland, have found an ally in the fight against this problem.

   Researchers at the Opole University of Technology conducted a study which showed that the use of microorganisms to reduce harmful gases brings positive results. The main purpose of using microorganisms in the study was to reduce the level of carbon dioxide. At low concentrations, this gas is neutral and odorless, however, after exceeding the permissible standards it may cause shortness of breath and bone demineralization. In broiler breeding, ammonia also poses serious problems, as at higher concentrations it has toxic properties and may cause a state of general poisoning.

    In 2013-2015, Dr. Katarzyna Szwedziak and Żaneta Pruska from the Opole Technical University conducted research at a broiler farm using products containing beneficial microorganisms. For almost 8 weeks, the farm with 16.5 thousand broiler chickens was observed. Research consisted in introducing products containing beneficial microorganisms into the liter through misting one of the poultry houses.

    Using a gas meter, measurements were taken once a week in the control poultry house as well as in the house where beneficial microorganisms were used.

    Research showed that the concentration of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide in broiler houses is highest in winter and springtime and lowest in autumn and summer. Based on the analysis of preliminary results, the researchers have concluded that the use of products containing beneficial microorganisms may become an innovative way of controlling chemical characteristics of the microclimate in livestock housing. The use of such products has also reduced the emission of harmful gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. 

This article was originally written in Polish by the Chamber of Agriculture in Opole