Dynamics and Diversity of Microbial Contamination in Poultry Bedding Materials Containing Parts of Medicinal Plants
Author / authors
Microorganisms thriving in poultry bedding materials during their exploitation are in- volved in the development of several diseases and disfunctions of animals. They can also contaminate food products and pose risks to the environment and human health. This study provides an analysis of dynamics and diversity in microbiological contamination observed during the exploitation of poultry bedding materials containing parts of medicinal plants: Satureja hortensis, Origanum vulgare, Melissa officinalis, Salvia officinalis, and Thymus vulgaris, compared with standard types of beddings: straw chaff and straw pellets. The research was carried out in two 42-day experimental cycles in- volving in total 2400 broiler chickens. Each week, the total count of mesophilic bacteria, fungi and yeasts, the presumptive presence and count of Staphylococcus sp., Escherichia sp., Listeria sp., Salmonella sp., and Candida sp. were determined by culturing on selective media, along with pH and moisture measurements. After 35 days of the experiment, a reduction of the total count of mesophilic bacteria above 1 log compared to the control (11.86 vs. 13.02 log CFU/g) was observed. As the count of yeasts decreased after 21 days, an increase in the total count of bacteria was reported, which indicates a strong competition between microorganisms. The results improve our understanding of the temporal effects of using materials containing parts of medicinal plants on the microbial contamination in poultry litter.