Final report summary: Suitability of litter amendments for the Australian chicken meat industry

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Reuse of litter in Australia is not common because the preference is for the use of fresh bedding such as wood shavings or straw, but there is currently considerable pressure on the supply of fresh bedding material for meat chickens. Despite perceptions, reusing litter can be beneficial for the new batch of chickens because it is warmer and more insulating than some bedding materials, and helps to establish healthy gut bacteria. However, it’s important that reused litter is appropriately managed to reduce risks relating primarily to ammonia production and pathogen loads. To reduce these risks, the chicken meat industry may need to consider the use of litter amendments in the future. The project involved a literature review and industry consultation on the use of litter amendments. The purpose of consultation was to understand industry views on litter reuse and potential future role of litter reuse and amendments.

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