Development of a flaming machine for the disinfection of poultry grow-out facilities
Journal of Agricultural Engineering
Chemical treatments are commonly adopted for poultry house sanitation. In fact, ordinary floor disinfection is needed to deplete the pathogenic population (i.e. various species of bacteria and fungi) and reduce the risk of meat contamination. The increasing focus on the health of consumers and operators, as well as on food quality, has led farmers to consider alternative environmentally friendly methods. Research was carried out to set up a new machine for floor disinfection of poultry houses
... of poultry houses by open flame. The trials were run in controlled conditions in the laboratory of the University of Pisa, Italy, and on a private farm. The first experiment consisted of a series of test bench trials carried out to evaluate the efficacy and the adjustment of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-fed open flame burners on pre-inoculated steel plates. In the second experiment, the operative parameters of a custom-built 1.5 m wide mounted flaming machine were determined and the biological effects of the treatment were compared to ordinary chemical treatments. The results obtained were very promising. Test bench trials showed a 4-log reduction in E. coli, and microbial determinations carried out on-farm did not show any difference between thermal and chemical treatment. In addition, the cost estimation showed that thermal disinfection is approximately 4-fold cheaper than chemical sanitation methods. The effective working capacity of the machine was approximately 1700 m<sup>2</sup> h<sup>–1</sup>, and the LPG consumption was approximately 16 kg per 1000 m<sup>2</sup>. Flame disinfection of poultry grow-out facilities could represent a valid alternative to chemical disinfection.