A high concentration of ammonia in the poultry house has adverse effects on the health and performance of birds. However, it is not easy to measure the magnitude of such adverse effects.
Ammonia in a poultry house comes from the birds themselves. Unused nitrogen is excreted as uric acid (80%), ammonia (10%), and urea (5%).
When ammonia gas is exposed to moisture, it reacts and forms a basic, corrosive solution called ammonium. This aqueous ammonium solution causes harm to birds. The ammonium damages the lining of chickens’ respiratory tract and paralyses or even destroys the cilia of the epithelial cells. In such conditions, the mucus on the mucosal surface of the trachea cannot be cleared by the cilia and thus microbes become trapped. When the microbes reach the lungs or the air sacs, they cause infections.
Poor growth rate and performance of birds growing in high atmospheric ammonia concentrations is strongly related to the influence of ammonia on birds’ immunity and their intestinal histomorphology. Exposure to high ammonia concentrations negatively affects the development of the birds’ immune system as well as intestinal villi
Studies have shown that high concentrations of ammonia can alter the normal organ function of animals, impair energy metabolism, induce cell apoptosis, and cause mitochondrial damage in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract
Guideline exposure levels for ammonia is set to 20-25ppm, however, in practice, the concentration of ammonia in some broiler houses may easily exceed 30-70 ppm. Ammonia being denser than air is usually undetectable by averaged height person inside the poultry shed where as at bird’s level concentration of ammonia may lead to unforeseen consequences
Field Case Study
A case study was undertaken to evaluate efficacy of VicRAL 6k in reducing ammonia levels in broiler shed.
Two broiler sheds with capacity to house 25,000 broilers each were selected with size of 360 ft x 50ft (18,000 sq. Ft) for the study. The age of broilers was 38 days
The shed was divided into equidistant five zones for recording of ammonia level. Ammonia level was also measured at exhaust fan outlet.
Vicral 6k was diluted to 50 ppm and spray was done twice a day. Ammonia level was recorded in each zone before and 2days after the spray.
Following was the observation as shown in illustration below.
Shed 1 (Ground Floor)
Shed 2 (First Floor)
There was significant reduction in ammonia levels post VicRal 6K spray within the shed in range from 25 to 50% in different marked zones.
Above absorption clearly indicated that VicRal 6k is very effective in significantly reducing ammonia level, thus preventing incidences of respiratory distress which in turn helps to control exposure to respiratory diseases and other infections.