Is this really clean?

Why only cleaning doesn't work

When do you know a stable is really clean? Here we make a distinction between optically clean and a completely germ-free living environment. The ultimate goal is to make a distinction between two rounds and start with a good basis. No more diseases or bacterial pressure from the previous round should be left behind. These can negatively affect the next couple.

In practice we see that cleaning is done in many different ways and that everyone has a different view on cleaning. In recent years we see a shift taking place, with more and more degreasers being used. This is a good development! But why is this a good development and should we work with a degreaser?

Why degreasing?

We assume that a barn contains few germs (bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.) when a new round is set up, but because of manure from the chickens, contamination enters the barn. Manure is a mixture of fats and proteins on one side and bacteria/parasites on the other side. Because of the fat, it adheres to all surfaces and the chicken comes into regular contact with it. Surfaces to think about are: drinking lines, feeding lines, the floor and the bottom meter of the wall. On these surfaces a greasy dirt builds up with a lot of germs. Fat and proteins are a very good source of nutrition for germs, but at the same time they are also a protective layer for the germs it contains. The germs can therefore grow uninhibited and cannot be touched by disinfectants. 

If this layer of grease is not removed every round, the germinal pressure remains in the barn. When new chickens enter the house, they are curious and cocks and scratches everywhere in the house. Also, this layer of fat with all the germs is not spared, so they get all the germs from the previous flock. This has a direct impact on the health of the animals and therefore the technical and economic results.

It is therefore necessary to thoroughly degrease all contact surfaces for the chicken to remove the dirt and thus the germs. With a good degreasing you can already remove more than 95% of all germs! Only then is a disinfectant effective. 

But what is important about a detergent?

This can be well explained using the Sinner circle (see below). This circle shows that the cleaning effect depends on 4 factors, namely: time, temperature, mechanical work and the cleaning agent. Temperature in a barn is not at 50-70 C during cleaning. The share of this does not become 25%, but much smaller. Looking at mechanical labour, it makes little difference whether the cleaning product is sprayed at 150 or 200 bar. This share remains 25%. Because the small proportion of temperature has to be compensated, time and detergent have to be increased. So it is important that a detergent is very powerful and strong degreasing, in combination with a long contact time. The effect is therefore shown as: adhesion time x degreasing power. This makes the difference in the whole process.

This results in a well degreased stable and a good basis for disinfection. A dirty stable with a layer of fat cannot be disinfected! 

Hygiene specialist

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