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Modifying Hen Diets Reduces Egg Facility Emissions

Iowa is the nation's number-one state in egg production. Iowa has 55 million laying hens and the industry continues to grow. Egg producers need practical steps to reduce air emissions from production facilities, especially for ammonia.

Iowa State University scientists have conducted lab-scale and field commercial-scale studies to examine both treatment of bird manure and nutritional changes in the bird diet. Their studies show that dietary modification holds promise.

A yearlong field monitoring study revealed that a nutritionally balanced, a diet that has 1 percent less crude protein would lead to about a 10 percent reduction in ammonia emissions while maintaining bird production performance. Another project has shown that increasing dietary fiber in the feed of laying hens can reduce ammonia emissions by up to 40 percent without adverse effects on egg production. Three diets with increased fiber all were effective.

One of the diets involves the addition of dried distiller’s grains, a by-product of corn ethanol production.

Read the story at ISU Research Impacts.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology;
Animal health and production and animal products;
Bioenergy, natural resources, and environment;
Agriculture economics and rural communities
U.S. States and Territories
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