Litter and Environment – BMPs and data to support production and industry growth

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

  • Project code: PRJ-011502

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Friday, July 26, 2019

  • Project completion date: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

  • Journal Articles From Project: An industry survey on litter management and re-use practices of Australian meat chicken growers Animal Production Science (Issue: Vol 62(5) 401-408 on 21/12/2021), Review of litter turning during a grow-out as a litter management practice to achieve dry and friable litter in poultry production Poultry Science (Issue: 100(6) 101071 on 9/2/2021)

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


This project will address a number of RD&E objectives relating to litter, litter management, litter reuse, odour emissions, on-farm fan activity and in-shed air quality (atmospheric gases). Many of these topics are related and it is therefore logical to group these objectives together so they may be addressed holistically.

This project will involve industry consultation, on-farm measurements/experiments, data collection, literature reviews and writing best management practice for the Litterpedia webpage. The combination of topics to be covered, and development of industry manuals and extension material will form a knowledge foundation for industry workshops in the short to medium term.

This project has a ‘capacity building’ aspect, as we are proposing to recruit one new scientist/engineer/extension specialist to support this research and become skilled in aspects of litter and shed management (including drinkers), litter reuse, air quality measurement and chicken meat industry practices. It is anticipated that the new staff member will develop an industry network during the consultation stages and assist with delivering the practical findings of the project at industry workshops, meetings and conferences by the end of the project.

This project will combine findings from this research as well as industry feedback/comments/suggestions and previously reported information to produce “Litterpedia”  webpage relating to litter management (including practices such as tilling) and litter reuse. Data and information collected from this project could potentially form the basis for the future development of a training tool / platform to improve the knowledge and understanding of internal and external shed interactions.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

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

Objective Summary

The project has the following objectives:

  • Develop a comprehensive best practice manual for managing litter that will include litter reuse and a troubleshooting guide.
  • Conduct an industry survey of the current and potential barriers to reuse of chicken litter and report on the options for overcoming these barriers.
  • Develop baseline information for odour emissions at chicken grow-out farms to improve the data available for assessing new or expanding farm developments. Odour emissions measurements will focus on events including litter conditioning, pickups and clean-outs, including peak emissions prior to pickups.
  • Conduct a comparative analysis of the advantages vs disadvantages of various litter management options (including tilling) on bird welfare relating to atmospheric gasses (ammonia (NH3) and Carbon dioxide (CO2)).
    These project objectives address (or partly address) a number of the AgriFutures strategic RD&E objectives to deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes (Objective 2) and Manage the environment for sustainable development (Objective 3)