Document Type


Publication Date



Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering | Industrial Technology

Course Number and Title

TSM 416: Technology Capstone


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering


Agricultural Systems Technology (Honken); Agricultural Systems Technology, Industrial Technology (Baumgard)


Michael Anderson and Jacek A. Koziel

Problem Statement

 Cage-free chicken farms are prone to significant amounts of dust in the air due to the disturbance of the litter (bedding) on the ground. We needed to develop a physical test system and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that is able to capture and record dust samples. So the client is able to test different litter management practices, vegetable oil, for example, to minimize the amount of dust airborne in cage-free chicken farms.

 The ideal amount of litter management treatment is unknown. This must be solved to help lower the amount of dust that is airborne in cage-free chicken farms. A high amount of dust in the area from the disturbed bedding will cause the air quality in the barn to be very poor. High dust concentrations result in harmful effects on not only the health of chicken production employees but also the birds.

 Many poultry production companies over the United States are implementing different litter management practices to try and reduce the airborne dust due to the ban of battery cages for raising poultry in some states. Michigan, Ohio, Washington, and California have bans on battery cages. This results in many more poultry farms in the states listed above to turning to cage-free farms.