How to Keep Poultry Litter Dry

I can think of few things that are as fun as putting on your mud boots at 4:30 in the morning and wading through the thick muck of a wet chicken house floor. Not only is it unpleasant...

I can think of few things that are as fun as putting on your mud boots at 4:30 in the morning and wading through the thick muck of a wet, chicken house floor. Not only is it unpleasant, to say the least, a wet floor is also detrimental to bird performance and health.

With high moisture levels in poultry litter come many adverse effects. Damp areas throughout poultry houses provide a fitting environment for several types of bacteria which can grow and cause countless diseases, increased insect presence, and odors including ammonia. Along with these effects, you can expect to see your birds experiencing a new array of physical ailments including but not limited to hock burns and breast blisters.

Now, as many of you know, an uncomfortable bird is going to spend much less time on its feet and moving. At the end of the day, this means less food and water consumption and an overall less healthy animal. So, in raising birds in wet litter, you sacrifice not only the comfort of your animals but also the future market value of carcasses.

If you are reading this article, then you are probably all too familiar with the downsides to wet floors in your poultry houses. The good news is that dealing with moisture is, typically, not difficult. That is unless you are trying to deal with it in an environment used to grow food.

A lot of growers ask how to dry chicken manure in the most efficient way. Although there are many ways to chemically change the moisture content of poultry litter, most of the products on the market can be toxic and unhealthy. If something is corrosive to the metal equipment in the house, imagine how it must be affecting your feathery assets walking on that floor.

When it comes to wet litter, leaky water lines and poor drainage from storm runoff are just a couple of things that can turn your perfect pine shavings into a muddy mess. These are things that require plain ole manual labor to fix. Southland Organics would not be much help in these areas without coming to visit and staying for dinner. How we CAN help is by providing solutions to the more difficult causes of moisture in the house. Even in the cases of water accumulation from lines and drainage, Litter Life provides natural mechanisms for poultry litter management practices.

Litter Life is an organic litter treatment that has many health benefits. We like to say that Litter Life creates a Healthy Litter Floor and, as we mentioned before, a healthy floor means healthy birds.

We receive calls and emails daily from growers in need of solutions to the many problems that arise when raising poultry. These problems range from ammonia levels to caked bedding material to darkling beetles, as well as common concerns about how to keep poultry litter dry and how to manage poultry waste. Litter Life deals with all of these and more.

When it comes to broiler chicken waste management, no matter what drives a customer to use Litter Life, the one thing they all acknowledge is its effectiveness as a chicken manure management tool.

Decomposing waste is essentially the task at hand on a litter floor. Liter Life’s base formula is rich in carbon with humic and fulvic acids that are teeming with indigenous biology. These are nature’s essential players in processing the high levels of nitrogen present in litter back to the natural balance necessary to decompose at the rate needed for a healthy floor.  The more carbon you are able to add to balance the nitrogen, the faster decomposition will naturally occur. The humic acid source we use in Litter Life has a very high carbon count, making it the best option for managing poultry manure and ensuring good litter quality.

You do not have to research for long to find the importance of the carbon to nitrogen ratio in relation to composting. When the C:N ratio is in proper balance, decomposition greatly accelerates. The ideal ratio for decomposition in poultry waste varies from 25:1 to about 30:1. Chicken manure NPK content is high. In other words, poultry litter nutrient content is high, like many other manure varieties, that is why it is used regularly as fertilizer. It is highly effective! Though good for growing, these high levels of nitrogen in chicken manure have a tendency to negatively affect the ratio needed for decomposition on your floors. When the carbon to nitrogen ratio is off, decomposition takes longer leaving high levels of moisture in the litter and corrosive levels of nitrogen on the floor, hence foot burns.

Additionally, Washington State University recently found that when this carbon to nitrogen ratio is low, available carbon is used too quickly, which leaves excess nitrogen that is then released as ammonia. Decomposition is a drying process by nature and is a necessary part  of effective litter management in poultry.

Another obstacle to keeping dry poultry litter occurs when caking takes place. The good news is that Litter Life provides a solution to this issue as well. The organic, fulvic acid in Litter Life penetrates and breaks up compacted soil. Each fulvic acid molecule is highly oxygenated, which allows it to make changes to the poultry litter composition. Whether you are planting a tree in hard ground or need to break up a litter cake, organic acids penetrate and aerate. Although Little Life’s primary use is as a litter and manure drying system, this product is beneficial in more ways than one.

Besides being extremely effective, it is also organic. Until recently, no one was certifying litter treatments for organic use. We received our first approval two months ago from the State of Pennsylvania. Our poultry probiotic Big ole Bird was certified last year and has paved the way for Litter Life.

This product provides a broiler house management tool that is safe if you happen to spill it on yourself or carry it into your own house. It is nature’s solution to nature’s problems.

Learn More About Litter Life

The Author
Allen Reynolds
Poultry Development
Allen has worked in the poultry industry for 15 years, gaining experience in raising birds, house operations, equipment and bird health. As our Poultry Development Rep, he is passionate about improving the lives of farmers through natural poultry solutions and education. In addition to outstanding customer service and superior poultry support, he is also involved in helping growers through our Poultry Biosecurity Youtube Channel. Allen works to stay up to date on the latest industry news to bring relevant topics to our subscribers. He is often seen as the host, sharing profitable tips and tricks to poultry farmers. Outside of the office, Allen enjoys working on the farm, scuba diving, and riding dirt bikes.