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Admixture of certified biochar in compound feed of turkeys and broilers considering animal welfare.

Deutsche Version anzeigen


Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz

Federal State

Lower Saxony and Bremen


Calenberger Straße 2
30169 Hannover

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Admixture of certified biochar in compound feed of turkeys and broilers considering animal welfare.

Project description

In poultry fattening pododermatitis is been known for decades as a problem. Recently in the context of animal welfare the pododermatitis at broilers and turkeys won special attention. There is a close correlation between pododermatitis and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract because intestinal instabilities cause to wet litter and therefore lead to a pododermatitis. Subject of this project is to examine whether the quality of the litter and therefore the pododermatitis can be improved by using a certified and activated biochar and/or reducing protein in feed. Because of the special pore structure the activated biochar has the property to absorb and bind five times of its own weight of water and substances dissolved therein (for example, nitrogen compounds, pathogenic germs or toxins). Biochar also causes a redox buffer effect in the digestive area. These features may provide an improved intestinal health and therefore a reduced use of drugs with equal biological performances.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

Charcoal was fed as an feed additive to broiler and male turkeys in a ratio of 2 kg per tonne. In addition, a protein-reduced alternative combined with charcoal was tested. Both were compared to a control group (no charcoal/ standard protein level). The measured data contained e.g. growth performance, scoring parameter as food pad dermatitis (FPD) status, litter quality, chicken and turkey cuts and microbiological testings.

In general, there is no impact of feeding charcoal (2 kg/t) on the measured parameter. However, for broiler flocks an improved litter quality and FPD status was quantified. Besides that, there was no influence on male turkey performance. But there were differences in terms of protein-reduced treatments and the control group. Broiler performance decreased when feeding them with lower protein level, while the male turkeys maintained their weight until the end of batch. In addition, protein-reduced treatments produced drier litter… (see final report)

Key words

  • Animal husbandry
  • Pest/disease control

Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020 for Operational Groups (in the sense of Art 56 of Reg.1305/2013)

OG contact information

Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen, FB 3.5
Mars-la-Tour-Str. 6
26121 Oldenburg

Phone: 0441/801609

Email: stefan.sagkob@lwk-niedersachsen.de

Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Farmer
  • Farmer

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


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