Cage-free laying hen housing systems have introduced a challenge of poor air quality. This is due mostly to increased bird activity in floor areas with litter, which produces increased concentrations of Particulate Matter (PM). While Acidic Electrolyzed Water (AEW) systems can help mitigate PM levels and disinfect housing environments, added moisture in a housing system may generate higher levels of ammonia because of an increase the moisture content of the litter. This lab-scale study, and later commercial scale investigation, tests the effect of AEW on PM, ammonia generation, and emissions. The goal is to identify the optimal combination of AEW spray dosage and PH to reduce both PM and ammonia.
The preliminary results of the lab-scale study indicate PM can be reduced by 60-70% through the use of AEW. However, because spraying liquid on litter can enhance NH3 emissions, it is important to apply a low pH liquid to the litter. When assessing this research for wide-scale industry application, the potential corrosive effect of low pH liquid application on the housing equipment needed addressed. Therefore, a commercial poultry litter additive was tested together with neutral electrolyzed water spray to attempt a simultaneous reduction of both NH3 and PM. Results from this portion of the study indicated that if the litter additive was applied at the higher end of the recommended rate, litter NH3 emissions could be reduced by up to 79%. The commercial cage-free layer house field verification study is on-going at this time.