Chicken Farming and Its Environmental Impact

Over the past years, poultry farming has dramatically grown, and trends towards intensification and concentration have led to the rise of environmental concerns. The chicken industries have made incredible adjustments to meet the increased demand for meat and eggs globally. According to the United States department of agriculture data, the United States, the annual consumption of chicken meat per capita has dramatically improved over the past decades. This high increase in demand for food most people consider healthy and economical has led to significant growth of chicken farming. However, the growth of chicken farming has been accompanied by structural changes with the sector which is far more waste amount produced which has led to environmental problems (Gerber, Opio, and Steinfeld, 2007). Increased pressure in the industry to lower the production costs and increased supply in the market has led to the adoption of efficient operations that have made it possible to meet market demand for chicken meat. The concept paper examines the environmental effects as results of intensive chicken production.

The environmental effects of poultry farming do not only significant in specific areas but focus on global impacts. The main aim of chicken production is the provision of high-value proteins in a sustainable manner. However, improver management of chicken waste has turned out to be significant environmental pollution. The increased ecological threat caused by chicken production globally has received considerable attention. Recently chicken farmers are under pressures from different bodies to reduce the impact of their production on the environment and adopt safety measures that will contain waste from chicken farms. In future, it may turn out hard to carry large amounts of chicken wastes released to the environment as the demand for chicken meat continues skyrocketing. Intensification of production and global concentration of chicken production often lead to environmental concerns (Arvanitoyannis, and Ladas, 2008). Despite significant demand in chicken manure, their impact on the environment has turned out to be worrying due to the high concentration of pollutants.

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The driving forces affecting the development of chicken farming is no different from other livestock commodities.Currently, specialized facilities only pay significant attention to the production of animals and purchase of their feed which has led to minimal attention being given to waste disposal. This has led o limited land to spread increased production of manure. Chicken farming factories concentrate large numbers of chicken on a small piece of land which led to the adverse impact of the environment due to increased levels of faeces production, microbial pathogens (Blaettler, 2018).  These facilities have given a serious threat to the environment due to the high concentration of poultry. The wastes production from these chicken factories hurts contaminating soils, air and water, which affects both human and animal health.

The vast amounts of waste from these factories have led to increased environmental pollution. Local disturbances and land degradation are significant issues associated with poultry farms. Poor management of manure from poultry farms has led to increased pollution on water bodies and soil. Nutrients, pathogens and heavy metals deposited on land are mainly caused by poor management of manure and generally take place where manure is stored. The odour produced from decomposing chicken bodies and faeces is a significant problem in the environment due to air pollution. Also, the application of pesticide in control of chicken pest has turned out to be a substantial menace to the environment due to the negative impacts associated with it. Some of the pesticides contain heavy metal such as lead and copper, and when dumped to the environment may threaten human life.

Disposing of manure has become a significant issue due to increased environmental pollution, which contaminates drinking water. Algae blooms can increase the growth of Pfiesteria piscida bacteria which causes different ailments to people and animals when present in drinking water (Rodić, Perić, Đukić-Stojčić, and Vukelić, 2011). Nitrogen traces in manure leads to accumulation of nitrates in both underground and surface water, which later led to the blue baby syndrome. High accumulation of nitrates in drinking water calls for specialized treatment which tends to be expensive. Another major problem associated with chicken farming is the accumulation of large amounts of manure which has become hard to manage many chicken farming factories.

Increased environmental pollution calls for serious mitigation to ensure the rate is brought to almost zero. Chicken farmers should ensure there are appropriate measures taken in dumping and storing chicken waste to reduce cases of environmental pollution (Burton, and Turner, 2003). Also feeds and drugs used should be free from the harmful substance that would reduce their side effects. Adoption of high-quality animal waste management techniques has shown to play a critical role in reducing side effects of environmental pollution.  Application of manure in the farms should correspond with the rate of crop uptake. The fertiliser should be stored for two or more months before being applied to farms and ponds.

In conclusion, high demand from chicken globally has led to increased cases of environmental pollution which requires stern measures to be put in place to reduce future pollution. Before releasing chicken waste into the environment, it is vital to ensure appropriate measures are taken to minimise negative impacts on the environment. Chicken is associated with different pollutants which have turned out to affect water sources, soil and even air.


Arvanitoyannis, I. S., & Ladas, D. (2008). Meat waste treatment methods and potential uses.       International Journal of Food Science & Technology, 43(3), 543-559.

Blaettler, K.G. (2018). The Effects of Sewage on Aquatic Ecosystems. Accessed from             com/effects-sewage-aquatic-ecosystems-21773.html”>

Burton, C. H., & Turner, C. (2003). Manure management: Treatment strategies for sustainable agriculture. Editions Quae.

Gerber, P., Opio, C., & Steinfeld, H. (2007). Poultry production and the environment—a review.             Animal production and health division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Viale Delle Terme di Caracalla, 153.

Rodić, V., Perić, L., Đukić-Stojčić, M., & Vukelić, N. (2011). The environmental impact of          poultry production. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry, 27(4), 1673-1679.


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