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Pak J Biol Sci. 2014 Jan 1;17(1):74-9.

Poultry farm hygiene: microbiological quality assessment of drinking water used in layer chickens managed under the battery cage and deep litter systems at three poultry farms in southwestern Nigeria.


Water troughs from deep litter and caged chicken water troughs (drinkers) fixed to each of the different 3-tier cages containing layer chickens in Farms A, B and C were subjected to a 7-day study which involved the monitoring of poultry farm hygiene. Drinkers were washed before filling with water on Day 1. For Days 3, 5 and 7 water was served without prior washing. The occurrence and characterization of the bacteria isolates were investigated and data obtained were analyzed and compared. For the bacterial count on Day 1, for layer chickens on cage system, no significant differences (p > 0.05) among the farms and between the farms tier interactions. On Day 3, no significant difference (p > 0.05) among the parameters. On Day 5, there was significant difference (p<0.05) among the farms and on Day 7, there was high significant difference (p < 0.01) among the farms. On Days 5 and 7, there were no significant differences (p>0.05) among the tiers nor between the interactions of the farms and tiers. The bacterial count in water troughs of layer chickens in deep litter system, on Day 1, had no significant differences (p > 0.05) between the farms, water troughs and their interactions. On Day 3, no significant difference (p > 0.05) among the parameters. On Days 5 and 7, there were significant difference (p<0.05) and a high significant difference (p < 0.01) between the farms respectively. On Days 5 and 7, no significant differences between the water troughs and between the interaction of the farms and the water troughs. Farm A isolates contained Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus vulgaris, Streptococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermis, Klebsiella sp., Salmonella sp., Bacillus subtilis, Lactobacillus salivarius and Corynebacterium sp. Farm B had Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermis, Bacillus subtilis, Corynebacterium sp., Escherichia coli, Streptococcus faecalis and Klebsiella sp. while for Farm C, apart from the prevalent bacteria isolates obtained in Farms A and B, additional 2 bacterial isolates, Lactobacillus salivarius and Pseudomonas aeuriginosa were found. In conclusion, water troughs when cleaned on daily basis carry minimum bacterial load. Those left for 3, 5 and 7 days uncleaned had progressively high bacterial loads, suggesting that the flock of birds and the consumers of the eggs and meat from the chickens are at risk of bacterial infection unless strict farm hygiene is ensured through regular monitoring.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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