Approximately 50 million metric tons of poultry wastes are produced annually in the United States. Production of this byproduct is not without costs. Cost incurred for handling and disposal of broiler litter, for example, has been estimated to be .26c per kg of liveweight salable bird .
Although costs are associated with this byproduct, it is not a source of revenue for many producers. The traditional use of litter has been as a fertilizer. However, for many poultry producers, land is a limiting factor. In some cases, the value of the plant nutrient content of the wastes does not justify their use instead of commercial fertilizers when handling costs are considered. Thus in many instances these wastes create a pollution problem and may be negatively priced.