Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2014 ASABE and CSBE/SCGAB Annual International Meeting

Publication Date





Montréal, QC


Research concerning comparative environmental impacts between conventional cage and emerging alternative laying-hen housing systems is relatively limited under US production conditions. As an integral part of the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) project, a 27-month continual environmental monitoring (covering two single-cycle flocks) described in this paper quantifies the indoor gaseous and particulate matter (PM) concentrations, thermal environment, and housing ventilation rate (VR) for a conventional cage (CC) house, an aviary (AV) house, and an enriched colony (EC) house. Results show that indoor temperature and relative humidity (RH) in all three houses were well maintained through proper ventilation management and supplemental heat in wintertime (AV house only). Daily mean(±SD) indoor ammonia (NH3) concentrations were 4.3(±2.6) ppm for CC house, 7.1(±6.3) ppm for AV house, and 2.8(±1.8) ppm for EC house. The NH3 concentrations in the AV house were significantly higher than those in CC or EC house, and occasionally exceeded 25 ppm under cold weather conditions (ambient temperature <7.2°C). Daily mean(±SD) indoor carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations were, respectively, 2153(±1058) and 11.1(±5.7) ppm for CC house, 2485(±1268) and 11.6(±5.5) ppm for AV house, and 2241(±1145) and 11.8(±5.9) ppm for EC house. The particulate matter (PM) concentrations in AV house were significantly higher than those in CC or EC house. Daily mean (±SD) concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 were, respectively, 0.59(±0.16) and 0.035(±0.013) mg m-3 for CC house, 3.95(±2.83) and 0.410(±0.251) mg m-3 for AV house, 0.44(±0.18) and 0.056(±0.021) mg m-3 for EC house. Overall, indoor air quality of the EC house was comparable with that of the CC house; however, the AV house experienced poor indoor air quality, especially during cold weather, resulting from the presence of floor litter and hens activities on it. Therefore searching for mitigation practices to improve indoor air quality in AV housing system is needed.

Copyright Owner

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers




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