Using Litter Management to Avoid Ammonia-Induced Blindness
Another area ammonia has a significant impact on broiler health is the eyes. When poorly managed litter and improper ventilation allow ammonia levels to reach 50-100 PPM, ammonia actually dissolves on the eyes to produce ammonium hydroxide. This irritating alkali can cause keratoconjunctivitis. If levels greater than 100 PPM persist, corneal ulceration and blindness may occur.
Visible signs of ammonia damage include swollen or red eyelids, and partial or complete closure of the eyes. As with respiratory health, ammonia blindness is a significant broiler health issue. By the time ammonia levels are high enough to cause blindness, the birds have already lost a significant amount of weight and feed conversion. The severity of damage depends on the concentration of ammonia and duration of exposure.
With proper litter management procedures, however, ammonia blindness can be avoided for improved broiler health and performance.
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