Bacteriological evaluation of composted manure solids prepared from anaerobic digested slurry for hygienic recycled bedding materials for dairy cows
Changes in mastitis‐causing pathogens, pH and water content in composted manure solids (CMS) prepared from digested slurry were evaluated during turning at 2‐day intervals for 8 days (C1–C4). The numbers of streptococci, coagulase‐negative staphylococci and coliforms were 2.6 × 101, 1.7 × 102 and 1.0 × 101 colony‐forming units (cfu)/g in CMS (C4) (summer), and these counts were markedly lower (P < 0.05) than those in CMS (C0 and C1). The bacterial counts ranged from 101 to 1.7 × 102 cfu/g in CMS (C4) (summer) and were within approved levels, <1 × 106 cfu/g, indicating a minimal mastitis risk. The temperatures in CMS (C1–C4) increased to 63°C–74°C in summer and 67°C–70°C in winter. The mean pH values in CMS (C0–C4) were 9.2 in summer and 8.7 in winter, and water contents ranged from 61.7% to 69.6% in summer and 73.2% to 66.2% in winter. The significant decrease of pathogenic bacteria in CMS appears to be closely related to temperature >63°C for 8 days, pH 8.7–9.2, and water content 62% to 73%. This study demonstrates that prepared CMS has value as a recycled material with the potential to alleviate udder health issues in dairy cows.
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