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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Bennett, D
item Higgins, S
item Moore, Randle
item Byrd Ii, James
item Beltran, R
item Corsiglia, C
item Caldwell, D
item Hargis, B

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2005
Publication Date: 12/31/2005
Citation: Bennett, D.D., Higgins, S.E., Moore, R.W., Byrd Ii, J.A., Beltran, R., Corsiglia, C.M., Caldwell, D.J., Hargis, B.M. 2005. Effect of addition of hydrated lime to litter on recovery of selected bacteria and poult performance. Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

Interpretive Summary: The effectiveness of adding hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) to poultry litter to reduce disease causing bacteria numbers was examined. Hydrated lime was added to wood shavings at various concentrations. Young turkeys were raised on the litter for 49 days, during which time disease causing bacteria numbers and turkey body weights were measured. The addition of the hydrated lime did not consistently reduce pathogenic bacterial numbers in these experiments, but did reduce total bacteria numbers. Additionally, it was observed that the addition of as much as 1% lime to the total litter weight, allowed for the turkeys to grow more quickly than the control birds that were raised on wood litter with out lime added.

Technical Abstract: Recently, we demonstrated that 10 or 20% (wt/v) hydrated lime in used poultry litter significantly reduced Salmonella enteritidis survival in vitro. However, preliminary studies with day-of-hatch poults suggested that lime in excess of 5% (wt/v) in new litter caused mild but apparent ocular and respiratory irritation and were not further evaluated. Presently, we evaluated the effect of lower concentrations of hydrated lime in new dry pine wood shavings (0, .2, 1, or 5% wt/v) on recovery of Salmonella, Campylobacter, coliforms, total aerobic colony forming units (cfu) and poult performance (hatch to 7 weeks). While lime did not affect body weight at 3 weeks-of age, at 7 weeks-of-age, turkeys from lime-treated pens (either 0.2 or 1%) were significantly (p<0.05) heavier (219 gm/bird) than turkeys grown in control pens. While incorporation of lime at the selected concentrations did not affect Campylobacter or Salmonella recovery, lime did reduce overall aerobic CFU and significantly increased weight gain in this experiment, possibly through reduction of other low level pathogens not measured in this study.

Last Modified: 06/26/2017
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