Litter conditions are very important to the performance and health of today’s market poultry, making proper litter management between flocks a top priority for producers. Proper litter preparation helps ensure a healthy environment for the new chicks and helps reduce the potential for bird health problems. In-house windrow composting is a cost-effective management practice that reduces the amount of pathogenic microorganisms in poultry litter. This technique improves the overall quality of litter that will be reused for the growth of successive flocks.
In-house windrow composting, or “windrowing” as it is often called, is a simple technique to implement into your litter management practices. After the birds are removed from the house, the litter is piled into windrows along the length of the house. Natural bacterial metabolism generates heat within these piles or rows. Within 48 hours, the internal temperature of these piles will surpass 130°F, which is sufficient to inactive most pathogenic microorganisms found in poultry litter. Most producers will maintain the windrows for 5-9 days before spreading the litter out to be reused for the next flock of birds. Often, producers will turn these piles during this time to release moisture, increase aeration, and ensure that all parts of the litter windrow are heated to inactive pathogens.
Given the increasing cost of quality bedding material and its decreasing availability, proper litter management is now more important than ever. Priefert’s Litter Back Black is specifically designed for litter windrowing and is a solid, yet still economical, choice for producers. This heavy duty blade mounts to the 3-point hitch on your tractor. Its 360 degree pivoting offset and wall scraping blade speeds up the house cleaning process and provides a more complete cleanout. This blade also comes with a 10” x 12” removable wing attachment to ensure that you can clean all the way to the sidewalls. With this blade, you can not only create safe litter conditions for your birds, but you will also save money by reducing expensive cleanout and shavings costs.
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