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Evaluation of litter material and ventilation systems in poultry production: III. litter reuse, darkling beetle populations and intestinal parasites

DOI: 10.1590/S1516-35982011000600028

Keywords: broiler chickens, litter temperature, oocysts, organic fertilizer, oscillating ventilation, stationary ventilation.

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Abstract:

it was evaluated the quality of rice husks or soybean straw as litter substrate and the effect of litter reuse for four consecutive flocks of broiler chickens on populations of darkling beetle and intestinal parasite and as organic fertilizer. the experiment was carried out in four 12 m × 10 m poultry houses, internally divided in 4 boxes/poultry house with 200 birds/pen for four consecutive flocks, each flock with a duration of 42 days and with a 15-day downtime between flocks. the evaluated treatments were two ventilation systems (stationary or oscillating fans) and two litter materials (soybean straw or rice husks). darkling beetle population was followed by collecting the insects in traps, three traps per box, and endoparasite litter contamination was determined by eggs/oocyst counts per gram of litter. levels of dry matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, organic carbon and ph were evaluated by physical/chemical analyses of samples of the litters in each flock. overall, litters of broilers used by three flocks meet the minimal legal requirements to be marketed as simple organic fertilizer, regardless to the material used as substrate. soybean straw presented higher darkling beetle counts in stationary ventilation system as well as in oscillating ventilation system. the probability of rice husks litter present contamination by eimeria spp oocysts is 18.78 times higher in rice husks than in soybean straw litter when both are submitted to oscillating ventilation, and 1.32 higher when stationary ventilation is used. litter temperature does not influence significantly levels of contamination by oocysts.

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