Effects of aging on persistence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and coliforms in poultry manure
The use of poultry manure as soil amendment in peri-urban vegetable farming coupled with consumer awareness on food safety and the risk of microbial contamination call for improvement of on-farm management practices. The effects of aging on the persistence of coliforms in poultry manure was evaluated over an eight (8) week period using three (3) different treatment conditions; an Aerobin composter, Turned and Unturned windrow. Temperature, moisture content, pH, total and faecal coliforms were measured over the study period. Coliform numbers reduced by more than 90% (>90) at the end of week four for all the treatments. At the end of week eight, more than 95% reductions had been recorded in the Aerobin, Turned and Unturned windrow. Mean temperatures varied from a low 34.6oC in the Aerobin to 38.1oC in the turned windrow to 41.7oC in the Unturned windrow. Mean moisture content in the aging material was 1.63% in the Aerobin, 2.6% in the Turned windrow and 2.9% in the Unturned windrow. Composting in the Aerobin recorded the lowest mean pH of 7.6, followed by the Turned windrow, 7.8 and the Unturned windrow 8.1. The study highlights the need for further studies into the interrelationship between temperature, moisture and pathogen reduction during aging.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science,2016