Hicks, Kevin Charles (2007) Design of aeration ploughing tool for poultry litter within shed to reduce odour generation. [USQ Project] (Unpublished)
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[Abstract]: Odour impacts from ‘broiler’ farms are a major issue facing the Australian meat chicken industry. Urban encroachment into traditionally rural areas, as well as intensification of the broiler farms in recent times, have exacerbated the problem. This issue is placing poultry producers under increasing pressure to control and reduce odour emissions. At present, there are three main categories which deal with the treatment or mitigation of the odour emissions from broiler sheds: 1. Using dispersion to dilute odour before reaching sensitive receptors; 2. Preventing odours from reaching the outside environment (eg: by using an odour treatment system); and 3. Preventing the production of odours at the source (ie: within the broiler house). Odour dispersion is used as the primary method for preventing odour impacts. When broiler farms are built, appropriate separation distances must be maintained between the farm and neighbours. If large separation distances are required, the costs for purchasing large parcels of land can be significant. Treatment of odour leaving the broiler shed is not currently a viable option due to excessive cost and a lack of available technology. Perhaps the most effective way to reduce odour impacts, at reasonable cost, is to prevent the generation of odours at the source, that is, within the broiler house. Aeration of the litter is one technique that may be able to reduce the generation of odours within the broiler house by preventing the formation of anaerobic zones within the litter. Anaerobic zones are believed to be responsible for significant odour generation. The aim of this project is to test the efficacy of an automated plough system to regularly disrupt and aerate the litter. Several plough designs were investigated. Two designs that were investigated in detail were a blade plough, which runs underneath the litter, and a paddlewheel plough, which rotates while moving through the litter and causes significant disturbance of the litter material. Both theoretical systems would be powered by an electric motor installed at one end of the shed connected to a fully reversible winch system to pull the plough through the litter. Each plough system was designed to meet the following requirements: • Ease of operation; • Low maintenance and cleaning requirements; • Minimal impact upon the chickens; • Compliance with workplace heath and safety requirements; • Low infrastructure and operating costs; and • Effective odour reduction. These systems were modeled using the solid modelling package ProEngineer, Wildfire V2.0 and engineering analysis was performed on each of the designs. Reduction of odour generation was not assessed during this investigation.
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