In many places, poultry farms are sited and intensively managed in the residential areas with little welfare improvement and major concern of poultry waste disposal. The mean poultry litter generated per bird/day was estimated at 0.11 kg so that millions of metric tons of poultry manure are annually generated. Wastes generated from poultry farms constitute hazard to public health as well as potential source of conflict between neighbours. Beside environmental consequences, poultry waste impacts serious welfare and production effects on poultry. Suitable poultry droppings and moist absorbents referred to as litter materials were later discovered. Recently, conventional caging of birds is considered unethical, common litter materials are seasonally available, wood based litter materials are now being diverted for the manufacture of other wood products, the use of poultry litter as fertilizer and livestock feed supplement has increased, therefore, the demand and price for litter materials is now magnified. Adequate litter materials cannot be easily met by farmers and non-environmentally friendly alternative litter materials may be sought by farmers creating negative socio-economic impacts on poultry and the environment. Therefore, careful selection, adequate management and proper storage and utilization of poultry litter are here given due attention.
Part of the book: Poultry Science