The Alltech Feeding Times Issue 36 - Winter 2021 Winter 2021 - Page 30
Fig . 1 : Harmful effects of ammonia concentrations in poultry and humans
Use Yucca schidigera extract : This component mitigates ammonia emissions from nitrogen within the feces by playing a role in binding ammonia . De- Odorase ® is derived from Yucca schigidera and has been shown to reduce blood urea and blood ammonium ions , reduce excessive nitrogen breakdown in the ceca and bind ammonia so it stays in the manure instead of being released as gas . When it is used in the feed from the time the birds are placed to the time the birds leave the barn , it can control the release of ammonia into the air .
Managing the manure once it is in the barn : Acidifying agents can be used to lower the pH of the litter ( below its usual 7.5 – 8.5 ), which will help slow down and decrease the activity of the microbes that break down the nutrients in the manure to release ammonia . Another strategy could be to use odor and moisture absorbents in the litter or manure . These absorbents , which are usually clay-based , act to either slow down the microbial activity or lower the moisture content of the litter . De- Odorase can also be used as a spray over and on manure to help control ammonia that has been released and reduce its odor . There may also be microbial and urease enzyme inhibitors that can be used to prevent the action
All these strategies , however , can be negatively affected by litter and manure accumulation , litter and manure moisture , bird type , barn temperature , disease challenges or a combination of these factors .
Poultry farm ammonia emissions from manure and ammonia gas in the barn are complex topics in the poultry industry , but with a combination of good ventilation , good barn management and a strategy for reducing ammonia gas formation , this issue can be successfully overcome at any time of the year .
Dr . Kayla Price is the poultry technical manager for Alltech Canada . She provides technical and sales support , with additional research responsibilities . Prior to joining Alltech , Price received her Ph . D . from the University of Guelph with a research focus on the environmental influence on live coccidiosis vaccine success in chickens . From this background , she gained a passion for poultry intestinal health . The poultry industry is everchanging , and she strives to share this enthusiasm with others .
16 THE FEEDING TIMES
9 TIP S O N H OW T O C A R E FOR
H OR S ES I N THE
W I NTE R
your generators and cook stoves and batteries for your
lanterns on hand. Manure carts that can push through
snow (thanks to their higher clearance and wider tires),
along with a sturdy manure fork, might also be useful.
We like to keep a metal pitchfork and flat metal shovel
on hand in case we need to chip away at frozen manure
piles for removal.
3. Set up a water supply that won’t freeze or get ice-
cold during winter weather events.
A horse drinks 8–12 gallons of water per day and prefers
water temperatures of around 45–65 degrees. Horses
drink less when the water is ice-cold, and research shows
that they cannot get adequately hydrated by solely
eating snow. Inadequate water intake can lead to colic,
so make sure your horses are drinking enough. On very
cold days, plan to break the ice twice daily — or consider
getting a tank heater, a plug-in heated stall bucket or a
heated muck bucket for the water.
4. Develop a back-up plan for watering your horses.
If you are concerned that you might lose power to your
private well and/or you live in an area that often loses
power, you should have a back-up plan. Water can
be stored in rain barrels or garbage cans. Emergency
officials generally recommend keeping a three-day
supply of water on hand, which translates to a minimum
of 30 gallons of water per horse.
5. Check your turnout blankets.
Look for rips or other needed mending or washing
so they will be ready for use when you need them.
Blanketing horses appropriately in the winter is key for
their ability to maintain body heat during cold weather.
6. Consider your own wintertime, waterproof clothing
Now is a perfect time to make chore-efficient updates to your horse farm equipment and property. The weather is
cool enough for hard work and the timing is good, allowing you to accomplish key tasks that will help you ease into
and thrive through the coming winter months, when horse keeping is most challenging. Here is a to-do list to get you
1. Review your lighting needs.
During the winter, horse owners often have no choice
but to feed both the morning and evening meals in the
dark. As such, having indoor as well as outdoor lighting
will help immensely with chore efficiency. Make sure
you have enough light to weigh your hay and to ensure
that you’re feeding quality hay that is mold-free and
green. Cleaning paddocks and staying mud-free will
be easier if there’s outdoor lighting so you can see the
manure. Additionally, providing solar lighting along
walkways or drives will help make nighttime travels safer.
Prepare the proper lighting now, instead of waiting until
the temperatures are freezing and you have to feed
by flashlight, set up lighting in frozen ground or hang
outside lights in sub-zero temperatures.
2. Consider your winter equipment needs.
The simple items are often the most beneficial — for
example, a headlamp that frees up your hands for
outside evening chores, like filling stock water tanks,
or is handy in case of power outages. If winter storms
are likely in your region, make sure you have fuel for
THE FEEDING TIMES
This is a fundamental but often overlooked step. As
a horse owner, if there’s an emergency, you are likely
to be working with horses in inclement weather for
an undetermined amount of time. Invest in a good,
waterproof jacket, insulated mud boots and insulated
waterproof gloves. These items will go a long way toward
helping you stay ahead of your winter chores and will also
be crucial if there’s a winter emergency. You are no good
to your horses if you become hypothermic and have a
medical emergency yourself.
7. Flood-proof your property.
If you live in a flood-prone area (e.g., near a creek, river or
wetlands), it is good to review the high-water locations
on your property. If it is difficult to visualize or determine
where they are, get help from your county or your local
conservation district. Acquaint yourself with the historic
high-water locations recorded for your property. If you
live in an extremely flood-prone area, it may be wise to
WINTER ISSUE – DECEMBER 2021
consider building a “critter pad.” A critter pad is a large
mound or small hill that’s built above flood level and is
used to keep animals out of water. Critter pads usually
require special permitting and must be specifically
engineered using the approved fill material to ensure
that they can stand up to high traffic, heavy rains and
high volumes of water — and, of course, that they will
remain above flood levels. In some cases, there may be
funding or technical assistance available to help with
the development of a critter pad. Contact your local
conservation district, the Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS) or the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) for more assistance.
8. Check your gutters and downspouts.
Now is the time to clean and make needed repairs or
additions to your roof runoff system. Doing this will
benefit you and your horse by reducing the amount of
mud your horse will have to stand in during the winter.
It will also make chore time easier. “Keep clean rainwater
clean,” as they say, by diverting rainwater away from your
paddocks and high-traffic areas to a location where it
won’t get muddy. Some good choices include grassy
swales, dry wells, rain barrels, stock watering tanks, well-
vegetated woods or an unused portion of your pasture.
9. Determine if you need footing for any of your
These areas get a lot of heavy use during winter and
can often benefit from being bolstered with additional
footing material. Footing — usually coarse-washed sand
or crushed rock (no larger than 1 inch) — is generally the
best choice and is also the easiest to clear of manure.
Having 3 to 6 inches of footing material for horses to
stand on will help with drainage and mud management
and will also help eliminate erosion.
Taking these steps this fall will not only make your life
easier come winter, but it will also contribute to your
horse’s health all year long.
Read more tips and ideas on winter preparedness and
nature-based solutions for horse property management
at Horses for Clean Water.
Alayne Blickle is an accomplished horsewoman and
educator who works with horse
and small acreage livestock owners
and teaches horse-keeping and
land management practices. An
Blickle has been a pioneer in the
field of horse-keeping and land
management. In the mid-90s, she
created her own consulting business,
Horses for Clean Water, which she
continues to lead today.