Relation Between Microclimate and Air Quality in the Extensively Reared Turkey House

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Abstract

Good air quality in poultry houses is crucial for animal health and productivity. In these houses, air is generally contaminated with noxious gases and microorganisms, the concentrations of which depend on numerous factors including microclimate. In this case study, the relation between microclimate and air concentrations of noxious gases and microorganisms was investigated in extensively reared turkey house. The study was carried out at a family household in Dalmatia hinterland, Croatia, with 50.3±3.1 turkeys kept in the house during the study period. Air temperature, relative humidity, airflow rate, concentrations of ammonia, carbon dioxide, bacteria and fungi in indoor air were measured three times per month from September to December, in the morning, prior to releasing turkeys out for grazing. Air temperature ranged from 9.73 to 26.98 °C, relative humidity from 63.29% to 75.08%, and airflow rate from 0.11 to 0.17 m/s. Lowest ammonia and carbon dioxide concentrations were measured in September (2.17 ppm and 550 ppm, respectively) and highest in December (4.50 ppm and 900 ppm, respectively). Bacterial and fungal counts were lowest in December (2.51×105 CFU/m3 and 3.27×103 CFU/m3 air, respectively) and highest in September (6.85×105 CFU/m3 and 1.06x105 CFU/m3 air, respectively). Air temperature and relative humidity showed negative correlation with concentrations of noxious gases and positive correlation with air microorganisms (P<0.05 all).

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