Effect of aluminum chloride and dietary phytase on relative ammonia losses from swine manure.
Ammonia (NH3) losses from swine manure contribute to odor problems, decrease animal productivity, and increase the risk of acid rain deposition. This study was conducted to determine whether aluminum chloride (AlCl3) or dietary manipulation with phytase could decrease relative NH3 losses from swine manure. Twenty-four pens of nursery pigs were used in two trials, and the pigs were fed normal or phytase-supplemented (500 IU/kg) diets. Aluminum chloride was added to manure pits (1.9 x 1.2 x 0.5 m) under each pen at 0, 0.25, 0.50, or 0.75% (vol:vol) of final manure volume. Manure pH and NH3 losses (measured by relative NH3 flux) were determined twice weekly. The addition of AlCl3 at 0.75% decreased (P < 0.05) manure pH from 7.48 to 6.69. Phytase decreased (P < 0.05) manure pH to 7.07 compared with 7.12 in the normal diet manure. Aluminum chloride administered at 0.75% without phytase reduced (P < 0.05) relative NH3 losses 52% for the entire 6-wk period. Relative NH3 losses were decreased (P < 0.05) from 109 mg of NH3/(m2 x h) in pens containing pigs fed the normal diet without AlCl3 to 81 mg of NH3/(m2 x h) in pens housing pigs administered the phytase diet, a 26% reduction. When the phytase diet and 0.75% AlCl3 additions were used in combination, relative NH3 losses were reduced (P < 0.05) by 60% compared with pens of pigs fed the control diet without AlCl3. Decreases in manure pH were likely responsible for the observed reduction in NH3 losses. Multiple regression was performed with relative rates of NH3 losses as the dependent variable and rate of AlCl3 addition, diet, and manure pH as independent variables. The model was tested using a stepwise regression (P < 0.001), and results indicated that the most important factors determining NH3 losses were manure pH and diet. However, the contribution of AlCl3 cannot be discounted. When manure pH was regressed against AlCl3 and dietary phytase, AlCl3 levels accounted for 64% of the variation in manure pH (P < 0.001). Dietary manipulation with phytase and application of AlCl3 to manure are promising management practices for the reduction of NH3 from swine facilities.
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