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 Post subject: Ammonia Burns
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:05 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:58 am
Posts: 4234
Location: Plainland, SEQ
AMMONIA BURNS

Birds affected:
Affects all birds

How is the Ammonia created:
Ammonia gas (NH3) is a bacterial breakdown product produced when uric acid from poultry manure combines with water forming a suitable environment for bacterial growth.
Bacterial growth, and the resulting NH 3 production, is also dependent upon litter or manure pH and temperature.
In intensive production systems, high levels of ammonia gas buildup are associated with inadequate ventilation.
Ammonia is not typically a problem for birds raised in extensive or semi-extensive systems.

Detection:
- Easily detected by smell, and if your own eyes start to burn after you have been in the shed for a while.
- The high humidity encountered in the Northern Territory (Australia), particularly in the Top End, may result in high levels of ammonia being present in poultry sheds.
- This is easily detected by smell and, if not remedied, may lead to respiratory problems and sometimes severe conjunctivitis (ammonia burn).

Symptoms:
- Extremely irritating to the membranes that line the eyelids, eyes, sinuses and trachea of the caretaker and the poultry. Affected birds have reddened, swollen eyelids, and are sensitive to and avoid light.
-
- Lopsided or abnormally shaped eyes
- Watery eyes
- Facial swelling
- The bird may become blind if the ammonia burns are severe enough or not treated
- Severe conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva (membranes that line the eyelids) and the exposed sclera (white part of the eye)).
- Continuous concentrations over 30 ppm can damage the bird’s respiratory tract and reduce performance
- High levels may cause keratoconjunctivitis (eye rubbing with wing, eyes becoming closed and sensitive to light). If high ammonia levels persist, the cornea, the outermost part of the front of the eyeball, becomes ulcerated and blindness may occur.

Prevention:
- Keep coop clean and dry
- Cleaning litter and replace with fresh litter
- Remove all wet litter
- Feed Vitamin A
- Good ventilation
- Humans can detect a level of 25 ppm of ammonia.
- The presence of detectable levels of ammonia indicates inadequate ventilation
- Treating litter with super phosphate (2.2 lb/10.5 sq. ft.) will reduce the release of ammonia. There are also many commercial sources of litter amendments, which reduce ammonia output.
- If the litter in the shed is kept dry and clean and the sheds are well ventilated ammonia should not be a problem.

References:
http://www.welphatchery.com/index.asp
http://www.msstate.edu/web/siteindex/?keyword=ammonia
http://www.ansc.umd.edu/
http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s25.html
http://fowlfacts.proboards.com

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