In-house composting in high-rise, caged layer facilities

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2000: $60,975.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $20,325.00
Region: Western
State: Utah
Principal Investigator:
Richard Koenig
Utah State University

Annual Reports


  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: manure management
  • Crop Production: nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, agricultural finance, value added
  • Pest Management: cultural control, physical control
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, public participation, urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, sustainability measures


    Composting inside high-rise, caged-layer facilities can reduce fly populations by generating temperatures above the lethal limit for fly larvae. This method of fly control has led to reduced pesticide use, and generated a product (compost) which is more marketable than fresh manure. Refinements in the technique have allowed for more precise carbon rate and turning frequency recommendations for different seasonal climates and bird ages. Atmospheric ammonia (a major consideration for bird and worker health) was shown to vary within high rise buildings and over time. Laboratory and in-house evaluations of physical and chemical controls show promise to reduce atmospheric ammonia.

    Project objectives:

    1. Determine the effects of carbon rate and turning frequency on in-house composting and fly control for pullet manure;
    2. Determine the effects of material moisture content on in-house composting and fly control;
    3. Evaluate commercially-available amendments to reduce ammonia production during in-house composting;
    4. Evaluate the economic feasibility of in-house composting relative to traditional poultry manure management practices (land application of manure, traditional outdoor composting procedures); and
    5. Disseminate research results to poultry producers and assisting professionals in Utah, the Western SARE Region, and the United States.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.