Characterization of the indoor environment and gas emissions in rabbit farms

Salvador Calvet, María Cambra-López, Fernando Estellés Barber, Antonio Germán Torres

Abstract

There is a need to characterize gas concentrations and emissions from rabbit production. A study was conducted in order to determine ammonia, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide concentrations and emissions in three rabbit farms in the Spanish Mediterranean area. Gas emissions were measured for 187 days in two different production stages (reproductive does and fattening rabbits). Gas concentrations were measured every two hours. Indoor temperature, relative humidity and ventilation flow were measured hourly. As a result, indoor temperature and relative humidity varied throughout the year, following a sinusoidal daily variation pattern. Maximum gas concentrations (14.3 mg/m3 of NH3, 7041 mg/m3 of CO2 and 5.10 mg/m3 of N2O) did not exceed the maximum recommended thresholds considering human health and animal welfare. Ammonia emissions were on average 55.9 and 10.2 mg/h per reproductive doe and fattening rabbit, respectively, and they were affected by temperature and relative humidity. The average carbon dioxide emission was 12588 mg/h per animal for does and 3341 mg/h for fattening rabbits. Nitrous oxide emission from does was 10.3 mg/h per animal, whereas for fattening rabbits the emission was negligible. Daily variation patterns of all measured parameters were observed and characterised in this study.

Keywords

rabbits; ammonia; carbon dioxide; nitrous oxide; emissions

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 Universitat Politècnica de València

 

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

 

e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs