Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Susan Watkins

Committee Member

Dustan Clark

Second Committee Member

Michael F. Slavik


Biological sciences, Disinfectants, Microbes, Sanitation, Water


An evaluation of poultry farm water supplies was conducted to determine the value and impact of water system sanitation practices in commercial broiler houses on microbial levels. Water line cleaning between flocks using concentrated disinfectant solution before placing chicks reduced biofilms retained in the lines to a safe level. Occasional microbial surges were noticed during different points of flock grow-out period even when daily water sanitation was present indicating water is highly susceptible to microbial contamination. However, the daily water sanitation practice controlled the occasional microbial surges in water from sustaining and kept drinking water to a microbiologically acceptable level. Regardless of the line cleaning between flocks and daily water sanitation practice, biofilm buildup in water lines reoccurred by the 6th week of bird grow-out period requiring a mandatory line cleaning between flocks to optimize system hygiene and to ensure microbiologically safe water for the next flock of chicks.

The second study involved using hydrogen peroxide as an alternative disinfectant to chlorine for water sanitation. An in vitro trial was conducted to evaluate commercially available hydrogen peroxide products at their recommended concentrations for residuals and efficacy over time. Effective Residual Concentration (ERC) of 25-50 ppm of hydrogen peroxide in test solution (drinking rate for birds) started in the lowest concentration tested at 59. 14 ml of product added to 3780 ml of water creating stock solution for all products tested. At this concentration, all products maintained the ERC level at least for 3 days of preparing test solutions, with tendency of holding this residual level for a longer period by stabilized products than non- stabilized. Significant bacterial reductions within an hour of contact time were achieved in 48 hours post treatment microbial water introduction in test solutions as challenge. However, higher residuals or longer contact time was required for mold control.

Key words: water sanitation practice, microbial levels, disinfectants, efficacy