By Rupin Chopra and Apalka Bareja
Guidelines for Poultry Farms in India
The Guidelines issued for Poultry farms were developed in 2015 and were applicable to poultry farms handling 1 lac birds or above. However, in 2020, the National Green Tribunal directed the Central Pollution Control Board to revisit the guidelines for the enforcements of a proper mechanism for all poultry farms handling more than 5000 birds and that they should be subjected to the same environmental guidelines which they have to follow latest from 1.1.2023.
Environmental Concerns and the Guidelines issued
The first and foremost is gaseous emission which is due to the generation of Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulphide from the excreta from the birds which causes odour. The main cause of such odour is due to anaerobic conditions in the litter which occurs due to its storage at one place for longer period.
The guidelines provide that for the minimization of odour and gaseous emissions, proper ventilation and free flow of air over the manure collection point (well-designed storage facilities) should be there to keep it dry. The manure should be protected from run off water and unwanted pests/insects.
Feed Mill Dust
During the production of feed various ingredients are mixed and grinded together leading to the creation of a sizeable amount of dust. The feed mill operations are typically located inside the mill building and dust extraction systems are generally used to collect the dust.
The guidelines make it mandatory for a dust collector system to be installed to control the emissions from all the mixing and grinding and that the workers working in such mills should also be provided with dust masks for their protection. The feed mill and go down should be located on a well elevated ground. The floor of the feed mill and go-down shall be concrete and raised above the ground level by a minimum of 2 feet.
- Manure/Poultry Droppings/Litter
Excreta is collected in various forms sometimes it is directly collected on the ground below in case of a cage system. Such litter is collected and kept dry to undergo aerobic composting. The manure is removed once in every four to six months and sold to farmers. In deep litter system, excreta are collected in bed made up of Agro residue such as rice husk, saw dust, groundnut hulls, wood shavings, and dried leaves. Once in a day or two days the bed is scratched for mixing of litter.
- The guidelines provide for proper ventilation and free flow of air over manure collection points along with a proper method of disposal to be followed depending upon the nature of the Poultry farm (Small, medium, large and cluster).
- For small poultry farms (5000-25000 birds) the method of composting should be adopted.
- For medium and large poultry farms the guidelines provide for a method of composting or biogas production for the disposal or utilization of manure and litter.
- Poultry farms which are in cluster should develop common facilities for biogas production for composting or their combination.
- The land application of manure should be properly balanced according to the nutritional requirements of the soil and crop.
- The litter / manure storage facilities shall be minimum 2 m above the water table and of adequate size based on type and number of birds handled. Its base should be constructed with stone slabs of concrete or impermeable compacted clay.
- Proper disposal should be there for domestic hazardous waste and dead birds and with the help of proper care and disease prevention program the mortalities on such farms should be reduced.
- Hatchery Waste
Large quantities of solid waste comprising of egg shells, unhatched eggs, dead embryos and chickens and a viscous liquid from eggs etc is generated during the hatching operation. This waste is generally disposed of through open burning or through the use of a rendering plant.
The guidelines provide that substantial effort should be made towards the converting of such shells to animal feed so as to provide a nutritious source of calcium especially for poultry feeds. Un-hatched eggs should be disposed of by composting or rendering and that extrusion with soya bean meal can be used to make a shell/hatchery meal.
- Disposal of dead birds
Death of birds on poultry farms is a common phenomenon and their carcasses should be properly disposed. Dead birds cause nuisance, odour and aesthetic problems like disease, insect, rodent and predator problems if the birds are not disposed immediately. Dead birds are either burned at relatively high temperatures using different fuels which causing atmospheric pollution and also odour nuisance or buried in the burial pit in the premises.
The guidelines provide that dead birds should be separated from other live birds promptly and stored in closed containers and disposed of within 24 hours using the proper disposal methods – burial or composting. Procedure for both the methods is prescribed in the guidelines provided for the people disposing off to properly follow.
Waste water Management
Water in poultry farms is used for drinking (for the birds), sprinkling during the summer and for cleaning sheds and equipment in between batch replacement. There was no such process for the management of waste water which was generated from the poultry farming. The wastewater is generated during cleaning operations and is collected and stored in holding tank and utilized in gardening in the poultry premises itself.
The guidelines provide that the waste water generated from the cleaning operations should be collected in appropriate holding tank and should be put to use in the green belt. Efforts may be made for dry cleaning of the sheds with use of disinfectant so as to avoid use of water. The guidelines provide for a reduction in water use and spills from drinking devices in the form of leakages or overflow by using calibrated, well-maintained self-watering devices along with improvement in the drainage system to reduce the problem of standing water to control mosquitoes and flies.
Various other Guidelines
The guidelines provide for the regulated use of antibiotics on poultry farms as per the advisory issued by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Ministry of Health and the Drug Controller General of India.
There are certain siting standards that need to be adhered to. These are that a new poultry farm should preferably be established
- 500 m from residential zone in order to avoid nuisance caused due to odour& flies
- 100 m from major water course like River, Lakes, canals and drinking water source like wells, summer storage tanks, in order to avoid contamination due to leakages/spillages, if any.
- 100 m from national Highway (NH) and 50 m from State Highway (SH)in order to avoid nuisance caused due to odour& flies.
- 10-15 m from rural roads/internal roads/village pagdandis
- The Poultry sheds should not be located within 10 m from farm boundary for proper cross ventilation and odour dispersion
These are the guidelines which are applicable to all poultry farms handling more than 5000 birds. According to the decision of the NGT poultry farms handling more than 5000 birds should obtain the consent to establish and consent to operate under the Water Act, 1974 & Air Act 1981 from State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Committee w.e.f. 01.01.2023. The Poultry farms are categorized under “green” category and therefore the validity of consent for such farms will be 15 years.
These guidelines can help ensure that a proper and sanitary environment is maintained on such poultry farms along with the minimum wastage of resources. Also, these guidelines will ensure proper methods of composting are utilised and waste is disposed of in a sanitary way and all the poultry farms are abiding by the compliances placed under various Acts.
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, CPCB, 2022 https://cpcb.nic.in/openpdffile.php?id=TGF0ZXN0RmlsZS8zNDFfMTY0MTgwNzg1Nl9tZWRpYXBob3RvMjg2MjgucGRm
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 6.1(ii), CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 6.2 (i), CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 6.2 (ii), CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 6.3 (iii), CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 7, CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 1.0, CPCB, 2022
 Environmental Guidelines for Poultry Farms, Guideline 8.0, CPCB, 2022