Bedding solution boosts poultry farming sustainability


New product aims to meet one quarter of the UK demand by using waste streams from the paper industry

Resource management company Veolia says it is extending sustainability for the farming industry with the introduction of a new poultry bedding solution for farmers. The solution uses waste streams from the paper industry to produce Agribed, a bedding material specifically developed to support the welfare of chickens and turkeys. By converting this unused by-product the new material will boost the circular economy in the farming industry, and has the potential to deliver greater cost savings.

Currently working with 300 poultry farms and with a target of meeting one quarter of the UK demand, the product has been developed by Veolia’s organics team. The production process takes the discarded fibre, from the pulping processes in paper and cardboard mills, and effectively transforms this into a kiln-dried paper crumb bedding for use in poultry sheds. Approved by Defra, the Environment Agency and Red Tractor for use as animal bedding, the product is delivered under Veolia’s Arden brand.

Agribed is sterile and helps to optimise bird health and welfare where the key benefit of its high absorbency ensures that poultry sheds stay drier and friable for longer. The material also acts as a very effective insulator, and the composition and pH in paper crumb actively reduces ammonia and reduces pododermatitis (podo) as measured by exceptional podo scores .

After use the product has potential bio energy applications where it can be used to provide renewable heat for poultry farms which lowers the carbon footprint, and the resultant ash can be used as a soil conditioner. Easy to spread and clean out after use, it meets the high standards required for this application.

Donald Macphail, Chief Operating Officer – Treatment at Veolia said: “Veolia’s Arden branded products are widely respected for poultry bedding solutions, and Agribed now adds an important circular economy solution that can help reduce costs in the industry. By recycling an underused source of material this further helps to reduce waste, increases sustainability for the industry, and also has the potential for cutting carbon.

“During a period of uncertainty in many supply chains, the Agribed product now offers high quality bedding options and will help maintain consistent reliable supplies at affordable prices.”

Veolia’s Arden products supply bedding materials to the equestrian industry, poultry and dairy farmers, agricultural colleges and dairy research centres. Other products include applications such as spillage absorbents, fibre board, filtration systems, food smoking, packaging and paint filler. Production is carried out at the automated manufacturing facility with technically advanced screening, blending, dust-extraction and treatment processes that meet clean bio-secure standards.

In a statement the firm said the new initiative showed it was “accelerating the process to radically change patterns of production and consumption and placing ecology at the heart of every process”.

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