Free range chicken farms – odour emissions and nutrient management

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

  • Project code: PRJ-005044

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Tuesday, June 1, 2010

  • Project completion date: Friday, May 31, 2013

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 1-Improving environmental sustainability outcomes


This project will contribute to two ideals/strategies/performance measures in the 2009–2014 RIRDC R&D Plan: (1) support the expansion of the fast growing free range sector; and (2) improve understanding of environmental impacts; reduce the potential for negative impacts on neighbours; and improve planning of farms (incl. free range) by local governments.

This project will focus on measuring odour and soil nutrients on free range farms for comparison with the surrounding environment and conventional meat chicken farms. The information collected will assist local government planners to determine whether free range meat chicken farms should be considered separately from conventional meat chicken farms for planning purposes.

Odour emissions from the range and production shed will be measured and compared against odour emissions from a similar grassy/earthen surface outside the range, from a conventional farm in the vicinity of the free range farm, as well as previously reported odour emission rates from conventional tunnel ventilated meat chicken farms.

A comprehensive soil nutrient assessment will be undertaken to determine the key issues limiting the sustainability of the range areas by measuring nutrient accumulation on the range and provide information on the potential losses from these areas in leaching and runoff.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Objective Summary

>Quantify range odour emission rates to determine whether range areas generate significantly more odour emissions compared to surrounding areas where chickens do not access.
>Measure shed odour emission rates from tunnel ventilated free range sheds and compare with conventional tunnel ventilated sheds and previously reported odour emission rate data.
>Quantify nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) accumulation in the soil within the range area and the potential for nutrient runoff.