Litter Treatment Using Zeolite as a Management Protocol to Enhance Broiler Performance and Control Ammonia Emission in Broiler Production in the Humid Tropics

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Published: 2022-02-19

Page: 58-72

C. Ezenwosu *

Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

V. C. Udeh

Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

A. E. Onyimonyi

Department of Animal Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


A 9-week study was conducted to evaluate the effect of using zeolite as a litter management protocol to enhance broiler performance and control ammonia emission in broiler production. A total of 140 broiler birds (arbor acre) were used for the study. After brooding them together for 2 weeks as a way of stabilizing them, they were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups labeled A-D in a completely randomized experimental design and each treatment was replicated 5 times with 7 birds per replicate. Litter treatment were as follows: treatment A (control) had no zeolite treatment, B (200g zeolite kg-3 litter), C (400g zeolite kg-3 litter), and D (600g zeolite kg-3litter).The experiment was divided into two phases. Starter phase lasted for 3weeks,while finisher phase lasted for 4 weeks. Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Results showed significant differences (P<0.05) in the mean values for total feed intake, average daily feed intake, total body weight, average daily weight gain, final body weight and feed conversion ratio in both phases in favor of the treatment groups. Moreover, the litter chemical analysis showed significant differences (P<0.05) in the  mean values for moisture, uric acid, pH, phosphorous, ammonium nitrate, total volatile fatty acid, ammonium sulfate, ammonia, nitrogen, and  ash among the study groups in both phases. Difference in the litter microbial load values among the treatments were also significant (P<0.05). In conclusion, litter treatment using zeolite as a management protocol to enhance broiler performance and control ammonia emission was able to enhance performance of the birds by exerting diminutive effect on major culprits in odor production and microbial activities in the litter. It is therefore, recommended that farmers can adopt this litter management protocol to enhance performance of birds and reduce ammonia emission in broiler houses.

Keywords: Zeolite, litter, broilers, feed intake, microbial load, ammonia

How to Cite

Ezenwosu, C., Udeh, V. C., & Onyimonyi, A. E. (2022). Litter Treatment Using Zeolite as a Management Protocol to Enhance Broiler Performance and Control Ammonia Emission in Broiler Production in the Humid Tropics. Asian Journal of Research and Review in Agriculture, 4(1), 58–72. Retrieved from


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