The Effect of Used Broiler Litter on the Growth and Persistence of Campylobacter
Williams, Zachary Thomas
Litter is a possible source of Campylobacter colonization for broilers as well as contamination of crops when used as fertilizer. A survey of Arkansas broiler litter indicated that Campylobacter recovery rates were higher in pine shavings and rice hulls than sand. Two experiments utilized three types of litter, which were artificially contaminated with Campylobacter. After 24 hours no Campylobacter could be recovered from any sample. Campylobacter growth was also examined for used pine shaving litter in varying conditions: aerobic atmosphere, micro aerobic atmosphere (6% O2), and moisture content. Campylobacter was recovered for all treatments at the initial sampling, and by the 12 hour sampling time, only the added moisture and micro aerobic atmosphere yielded recoverable Campylobacter. This research suggests that without birds present in the house to shed fresh Campylobacter cells onto the litter, that the litter itself is incapable of harboring the bacteria long enough to colonize sequential flocks.