>In response to Benbrooks post, I have a related question regarding
>manure and E. Coli and orchard grazing systems.
>What about grazing sheep in apple orchards? Does the
>bad strain of E. coli, or any strain of E. coli have a particular
>association with sheep? Or does the E. coli have a species
>specific link to cows, hogs, chickens, geese, guineas, whatnot?
geese and even more ducks are the animals with the highest risk
for infection with e. coli and then spreading it. that's because of
their special form of cloacae, which differs from these of other
>Here I refer to publicity linking E. coli to raw apple cider.
>Unfairly, the orchard in Oklahoma linked to E. coli sickness was
>blamed for apple drops, yet they don't pick drops.
then it's different from the apple cider in germany, switzerland and
france. in these countries the cider is MOSTLY produced from
dropped apples and not from picked ones, which are too valuable for
making cider from them.
>Is there a best management practice that says you can graze
>orchards until 30 days or 60 days before harverst? In other
>words, does E. coli breakdown outdoors etc.
>What about using raw poultry litter as a fertilizer for orchards?
there were some cases, where orchards were watered with the
"cleaned" water from sewage-plant-run-off further up the river.
better check for that condition..
here's something about the lifetime duration of coli's:
Roesicke E. Greuel E.
SURVIVAL OF SALMONELLA, COCCIDIA OOCYSTS AND ASCARIS EGGS IN
MANURE OF CHICKEN IN DIFFERENT KINDS OF HOUSING SYSTEMS
Deutsche Tierarztliche Wochenschrift. 99(12):492-494, 1992 Dec.
The time of survival of Salmonella typhimurium, coccidia
oocysts and ascaris eggs in manure of layer was determined in 5
different housing systems and 2 storing places for litter. The
experiments were carried out in a stable of experimental
station Frankenforst of the university of Bonn with a flock of
2200 hens. The effects of the environment conditions
temperature, dry matter content, pH-value and intestinal
microflora of the manure have also been studied.
The time of survival was different depending on the housing
system. A recovery of viable coccidia oocysts was possible
after 13-370 days, ascaris eggs 53-347 days and Salmonella
typhimurium 2-175 days. The tenacity of the investigated
testorganism mainly depend on the dry matter content of the
manure. The longest period of survival of salmonellas was found
in dry environment conditions, wereas coccidia oocysts and
ascaris eggs have been observed with the shortest period of
The possibility of the examined resistant parasite stages to
develop was disturbed. Only few of them were able to develop
and with a longer development time than those examined in the
The results of this study indicate that chicken manure, before
using it in plant production, should be stored long enough to
prevent men or animals from possible infections. [References:
i searched through some literature on comparisons between
contaminations of conventional against organic henkeeping
found indications, that avery is not totally wrong. i also
asked the breeders from our department of animal breeding and
they also PARTLY confirmed the literature. according to them it
is more a question of hygienic conditions than a difference
between the two systems (the standard deviation IN the system
is larger than BETWEEN the systems).
the following are no comparisions of organic vs. conventional,
but between the three most common systems, nevertheless
comparing data from the caged-hen system with the other two
still is interesting.
the problem with free-ranging seems to be rain or any wet
condition (wet air, wind, rain, snow, winter). the hens begin
to suffer from cold and get stressed resulting in a reduced
abilitity to counterfight infections. the then ill hens remain
under constant contact with the infected excrements and
REINFECT themselfes again and again (so permanent cleaning as
far as possible seems to be the key to avoiding infections)
infections result in diarrhoea, and the infection remains in
the wet straw. then rain or any wetness softens the skin of the
hens, so bacteria can penetrate it much easier. result:
freeranging hens need a longer and more often application time
for antibiotics than housed hens. (Woernle, 1982; Heider u.
Ma., 1992; Grashorn, 1993). the need for application of
antibiotics can be increased sixfold (Woernle, 1982). some
expert do even name this system "pharmaceutical drug dependant"
1996). typical illnesses for free-range systems are botulism,
skin and foot infections and parasitosis (worm eggs,
toxoplasms, coccidia) caused by sparrow excrements, bugs,
snails, cats, rats and mouses (Boch u. Supperer, 1983; Böhm,
1993). the problem contributing most to the conditions seem to
that one cannot clean and disinfect the run of the hens..
some infections like tuberculosis, cholera (pasteurella
multocida, a facultative human pathogen) and red legs (1:1
translation, english name unknown, infection of the lower
extremities) are even found EXCLUSIVELY in free-range systems
(Morgenstern u. Lobsiger, 1994).
then there is the problem of cannibalism and feather picking,
which is more often found in this system. in the hen-keepers
journal DGS 1 / 97, p. 27) there was a report of a free-ranging
farm with more than 5000 hens, which suffered from a DAILY loss
of 60 - 70 hens by cannibalismus, because they could not
shorten the bills due to the animal rights league. reasons for
the picking are itching, mites and skin infections, which are
more often found in free-range systems than in housing systems
(Morgenstern u. Ma., 1995). it is reported, that older and thus
more experienced hen-keepers are better of than younger and
unexperienced ones and "hobby farmers" (Morgenstern u.
at the 3. scientific congress of organic farming
(jan 1995 in kiel) there were reports of up to 50% !! animal
losses due to coccidia and the broad usage of coccidiostatica
on organic farms, which was NOT according to the ifoam-rules.
(Zollitsch u. Ma.,1995)
contaminations of eggshells:
caged hens : max. 240 coliform-forming colonies per egg
freeranging hens: max. 4,7 millions
table 1: contamination frequencies of hen eggs from caged,
ground-kept housing and free-ranging systems with germs
(Escherichia coli, Proteus and similars. (Matthes, 1983)
| | free-ranging |ground-kept h.| caged house|
| shell surface | 53,0% | 28,1% | 11,3% |
| inner shell | 5,0% | 2,5% | 0,0% |
| (germ penetration)| | | |
| egg yolk | 3,1% | 0,6% | 0,0% |
and at last there's another risk, which is no risk for the
consumer: i remember a recent talk with a collegue, who
complained, that ALL his 25 hens and ducks were killed by the
fox in less than 3 weeks, although he took precautions (clothes
with human urine, fences). the ducks were just killed and not
carried away (too large). but hens in an accessable hen-house
are really easy prey and cocks won't help either. a good cock
is the first to get killed. (anybody has some better ideas than
human urine as repellant against foxes ???)
and now the highlight, my collegues from the breeding station
told me: my most consumers eggs from free-ranging systems are
recognized as healthier than caged eggs. consequence: it's
especially the risk groups among the consumers (rheumatics,
diabetics, older people and these with transplants,
hiv-infected, children), who tend to prefer these eggs or to
whom they are served! accoording to them this makes almost all
the published statistics they read about relations of infection
risks between the three systems suspect, even wrong and
sometimes just ridiculous, because these risk groups get the
salmonellosis much easier and by a much lower number of germs
than healthy people !
literature (sorry, mostly in german, most of them standard books
for university students)
Siegmann, O: Kompendium der Geflügelkrankheiten. Parey Verlag,
Woernle, H, Deutsche Geflügelwirtschaft und Schweineproduktion
Heider, G et al: Krankheiten des Wirtschaftsgeflügels. Bd. I
u. II, FischerVerlag, Jena - Stuttgart 1992
Grashorn, M, DGS 1993/Nr.34/S.10-14
Tüller, R, Landwirtsch. Wochenblatt Weser-Ems 1996/Nr.16/S.46
Boch, J, Supperer, R, Veterinärmedizinische Parasitologie.
Parey Verlag, Berlin 1983
Böhm, R, Dtsch Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 1993/100/S.275-278
Drost, H, van der Drift, DW u. Oude Vrielink, HHE (1995):
Labour hygiene. In: Aviary housing for laying hens( Blockhuis,
HJ, Metz, JHH, eds) IMAG-DLO Report 95 - 31, S. 103 - 116
Hoop, R, Swiss Veterinary 1995/12/S.11-15
Morgenstern, R, Lobsiger, Ch, Lohmann Information
Morgenstern, R et al., Vortragsveranstaltung des Bayerischen
Geflügelwirtschaftsverbandes 1994, zit. n. DGS-Magazin
Morgenstern, R, zit. n. Landwirtschaftsblatt Weser-Ems 1996/
Siegmann, O: Krankheiten des Wirtschaftsgeflügels. Bd. I,
Fischer Verlag, Jena - Stuttgart 1992
Zollitsch, W et al., Beitrag zur 3. Wiss. Tagung des
Ökologischen Landbaus in Kiel, Wiss. Fachverlag, Gießen
Matthes, S, Hohenheimer Arbeiten 1983/126/S.86-101
Woernle, H et al, DGS 1986/Nr.43/S.1318-1320
why i'm nevertheless a fan of eggs of higher-priced ground-kept
hens from a local farmer ? a caged-house egg in germany costs
about 19 pfennig. this means, mr. average can buy one egg from
the salary of less than 1 minute work or 70 eggs for 1 hour. and
this means: the foodstuff for the caged-house hen is way too
cheap (and thus bad, too often tasting like old fish) and a
farmer cannot make a living with prices like that... in other
words: it is not SUSTAINABLE for the entire farming community !
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