Ensure Poultry Litter Quality with KEM SAN® Liquid Antimicrobial

Litter pathogen control in broiler production is a critical aspect of proper poultry care. Poor poultry litter quality can impact bird health and lead to reduced performance. Effective litter management practices work to maintain a dry litter bed by preventing wet or caked litter. In conjunction with good management practices, a litter treatment like KEM SAN® Liquid Antimicrobial can help ensure a more comfortable environment and improve paw quality in any brood.

Why Poultry Litter Quality Matters

Wet litter increases a flock's exposure to high ammonia levels, which is the leading culprit in the development of Footpad Dermatitis (FPD). Wet poultry litter has also been shown to cause ulceration of broiler footpads and lesions as moisture increases. Comparatively speaking, it's similar to a human staying in a swimming pool too long, resulting in soft skin on toes and fingers.


FPD can have a marked economic impact on your broiler business. Financial losses due to the condemnation of chicken paws should be expected. As an infection outbreak progresses, a limit in bird mortality may also result in additional losses due to reduced growth, feed conversion and overall animal health. Essentially, as the severity of FPD increases, the financial impact on your bottom-line also intensifies.

The Cost of Footpad Dermatitis in a Flock

  • Financial losses
  • Limited bird motility
  • Stunted growth
  • Reduced feed conversions
  • Overall poor quality of life

Improving Paw Quality Equals Improving Profits

It has been estimated that U.S. poultry producers fail to benefit from approximately $300 million annually in lost revenue due to condemned paws from FPD.1 In recent decades, chicken paw prices have skyrocketed due to an insatiable export demand for high quality paws. Restaurateurs and chefs alike now covet this previously wasted broiler part for vitamins, trace minerals, collagen and calcium properties. Adding chicken feet to the menu has transformed this product into one of the most profitable parts of the chicken behind the breast and wings, who knew?

The Uphill Battle of Maintaining a Dry Litter Bed

Poultry litter is like a big sponge that soaks up moisture, so maintaining a dry litter bed can be difficult. Though proper ventilation can help remove excess moisture, it's not the end-all solution. Other factors can contribute to damp litter:

  • Condensation forming on walls due to lack of insulation
  • Type, quality and quantity of litter
  • Downtime between flocks
  • Poor drinker management
  • Evaporative and fogger-based cooling systems
  • Weak intestinal health

In all reality, by the time poultry producers see caked litter, it will be an uphill battle to increase ventilation and reverse the problems.

Using KEM SAN Liquid Antimicrobial as a Litter Pathogen Control

As previously stated, industry litter treatment recommendations include the use of acidifiers to control litter ammonia. Beyond retaining ammonia, the acidic environment is also unfavorable for bacteria and enzymes, leading to reduced future ammonia production.

Kemin continuously works to improve animal welfare with products to create a healthier environment. KEM SAN Liquid Antimicrobial utilizes a unique combination of the most effective organic acids, acidifying the environment to kill and inhibit a broad range of pathogens. Applying KEM SAN Liquid Antimicrobial to poultry litter is a good management practice to reduce the negative impact of pathogens and improve poultry litter quality. Backed by years of research, KEM SAN Liquid Antimicrobial is recognized industry wide as a key component to any pathogen reduction plan.


1Hald, Tine, et al. "Human health impact of Salmonella contamination in imported soybean products: A semi-quantitative risk assessment." Foodbourne Pathogens & Disease. 3.4 (2006): 422-431.