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Ammonia Emission and Productivity of Laying Hens Fed Diets Containing Distiller Dried Grains

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2012 IX International Livestock Environment Symposium (ILES IX)  ILES12-1457.(doi:10.13031/2013.41571)
Authors:   Eileen Fabian Wheeler, Paul H Patterson, Heather K Burley
Keywords:   Egg production, air emission, ammonia, DDGS, diet, probiotic, economics, environment

Laboratory and field studies of diets containing distiller dried grains with solubles (DDGS) have reported reduced ammonia (NH3) emissions from egg laying hen manure. The study reported here was conducted on-farm in Pennsylvania, one of the major egg producing states. The goal was to document any changes in egg quality and gas emission improvements through the use of DDGS diets while maintaining or improving hen productivity. Three isocaloric, amino acid balanced diets containing 10% corn DDGS with or without the probiotic Provalen were compared to a corn-soybean based control diet. Hens were 20-65 wk of age with each diet provided to two of six rows of stacked manure-belt cages (six decks high) in one house. Feed intake, water consumption, hen body weight, egg production, egg case weight, mortality, feed cost, and egg income were provided weekly by the cooperating egg company. Replicated monthly data, including hen body weight, hen-day egg production, egg weight, albumen height, Haugh units, yolk color, shell strength, and shell thickness, were determined from collected eggs. Ammonia gas measurements utilized a non-steady state flux chamber method coupled with photoacoustic infrared gas analyzer. Results indicated that including 10% DDGS with or without Provalen probiotic had economical benefits on a commercial scale. The 10% DDGS diet improved egg production, albumen height and yolk color. DDGS diet ammonia flux from belt manure in the hen house was variable and offered no consistent improvement.

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