A lot of organizations and people depend on the poultry products, around the world, as a source for a great part of their animal protein needs. A lot of countries are involved in commercial poultry and have relied on the industry for both food and unemployment. In many countries, both broilers and breeders get raised using the deep litter system. The growth of the poultry industry and the manner in which its waster has been disposed has raised serious concern over environmentalists, who feel Mother Earth is desecrated by the illegal and harmful disposal of poultry waste. Some countries are safely turning the poultry waste into fertilizer, while others are merely applying the harmful ammonia into the soil without first making it safe. 

The poultry litter, if managed poorly, can lead to the release of ammonia, as well as greenhouse gases, which are known to destroy the environment.

The need to safely control the poultry waste to prevent the escaping of greenhouse gases, as well as ammonia, has led to the research into different litter materials that are known to absorb the moisture, as well as the poultry droppings.

Many poultry farmers are opting from wood-based litters to those made from alternative products.

 There are economic losses to the farmer that comes from poorly managing their poultry litter, and they are feed conversion, foot and leg problems, poor weight gain and so on, but this doesn't stop some farmers from cutting cost.

The cost of disposing their poultry waste has led a lot of farmers to cut corners in the disposal.

Old litters are meant to be removed and changed with a new set, but that is not the case in many countries.

Poultry litter usually possesses high volume of phosphorus and nitrogen, which makes it to be a great feed supplement and even organic manure.

There is a snag to this, as it contains drug residues, harmful microorganisms, as well as hard objects that can be deemed dangerous to animals, humans, and even plants.

Selecting The Poultry Litter Materials.
Over the years, after a number of researches, it has been noted that pine shavings, rice hulls, sand, paper chips, pear, corn silage, and so on can act as alternative materials for litter spreaders.

Some characteristics of a good poultry litter material are being non-toxic to the poultry, as well as other animals, being affordable, having microbial tolerating ability, and possess moisture holding capacity.

For a litter material to be considered good, it has to have the capability to insulate and shield the bird from inconveniencing conditions like damp, dirt, and the cold hard floor. The material has to have the ability to absorb fecal matter, thereby offering a spongy, warm and soft surface for the birds. It has to also conserve heat for the birds.

 Some farmers opt for wood shavings because of their availability from furniture firms, and this makes it a very common litter material used by farmers in some parts of the world. The hard wood shavings may be common and used by a lot of farmers, but they are known to easily get contaminated by Aspergillus and are poor moisture absorbent. Among the other used litter materials, they tend to have Salmonella organism in great numbers. This worsens especially when the wood shavings come from woods that are chemically treated.

Birds are known to consume a percent of the litter, as they feed on their food. This may then lead to starvation, nutritional deficiency, and in a worst case scenario, mortality.
Wood shavings are used in a lot of countries as litter material but are known to come around feeders and drinkers.

The big poultries that use wood shavings are able to buy them in large quantities, while the smaller producers of poultry make do with a tiny amount of the wood shavings.

Some farmers opt for rice hulls too. It can make a good litter material because it has the following characteristics:
• High compressibility
• High drying rate
• Dust free
• High rate of thermal conductivity

This is costly to some farmers, and may not be accessible to some poultry farmers in some areas.

Some farmers do not make use of it because of its bacteria growth, as well as easy molding.

Coin silage is another litter material that can be used in poultry farms. It is known to have a low predominance of Salmonella, unlike those mentioned above.

Straw can be used for poultry litter. It is a grass material, cakes easily, and not so easy to manage.

To effectively use straw as a litter material, it should be cut down to below an inch. When a straw is longer, it may mat or bridge easily.

 Straw can also be used to top dress an old litter. Some farmers favors it because it is affordable and can be seen around.

The straw can easily be used with rice hulls, or shaving, or even old litters. When the straw is chopped, it doesn't have Salmonella but may have effects on the environment, as well as health of the poultry.

Some poultry producers make use of the Bagase, a by-product of sugar cane after the sugar has been removed. It is known to be an absorbent of moisture while drying quickly. It is known to cake quickly.

Some poultry farmers make use of newspapers, shredded papers, and other recycled papers as litter spreaders. They are used because of their availability and affordability

Recycled papers are known to cause breast defects, and cake easily. They can be used effectively as a top dressing or if used with another litter material.

Heat treated litters are good litter materials because they are dust free, as well as affordable, and known to have low harmful microorganisms, with little or no odour. They do not work well with brooders.

If cool sand is used as a litter, it should have a depth of 2cm, while wood shavings should have a depth of 5-10 cm, chopped straw should have one of 10cm.

The indoor conditions, as well as the environment, affect the NH emissions and litter quality.

To be considered well managed, a litter must have adhered to the following factors:
• Floor type,
• Watering, as well as feeding devices,
• The period in the year,
• Litter amendment processes,
• Litter depth
• Prevalence of disease,
•The housing ventilation system,
• Routine litter management practices.

 Author Bio: Thomas M. Strother is the blogger at spreaders.com which specialize in making spreaders and dump trucks from last 24 years. They provide quality products in agricultural areas like lime and fertilizer spreader, construction and other needs from tailgate salt spreader to litter spreader. They make sure that customer requirements are full filled.