Poultry Manure Characteristics

Manure with total solids (TS) of up to 4%, 4 10%, 10 20%, and more than 20% is categorized as liquid, slurry, semisolid, and solid manure, respectively.[1] Table 1 shows physicochemical properties of poultry manure.[2] As excreted, poultry manure with estimated TS content of 25% falls into the solid manure category. Other properties of excreted manure, such as total manure production and nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and volatile solids (VS), vary with type of poultry bird. For example, for the same live weight (445 kg or 1000 lb), broilers have the highest daily production of total manure, total solids (TS), VS, N, P, and K, whereas turkeys produce the lowest amount for all these properties.

Once excreted, poultry manure characteristics change further, depending on various manure management systems of collection, storage, transfer, treatment, and utilization. Depending on the type of manure management system, excreted manure may combine with feathers, spilled water and feed, process-generated wastewater (water for flushing gutters, etc.), bedding (sawdust, wood shavings, peanut hulls, etc.), and dead birds. As a result, the properties of excreted manure differ not only within one species, but also among different types of poultry birds (Table 1). To understand these differences, a description of some poultry manure management systems is provided in the next section.

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