Some Canadian livestock producers are reporting success with an on-farm unit which produces a disinfectant solution which the manufacturer says is less caustic but more effective than chlorine.
Called Envirolyte, it uses an electrochemical process similar to the one in a lead-acid battery, producing the cleaning agent from a salt and water (brine) solution.
Klaus Lahr, president of Envirolyte Can-Am Ltd. in Winnipeg, says Envirolyte can be used to treat well water, sterilize hoses in milking barns, wash down hatcheries and to eliminate biofilms that hold bacteria.
The process uses an anode and a cathode powered by a low household current to pull the molecules of the brine apart in cells made of a non-reactive titanium alloy. The resulting solution, called anolyte, it is said to be a gentle and natural form of chlorine which is used in a three per cent concentration with water to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Fred Vos, a goat milk producer near Hagersville, Ontario, says he was having difficulty keeping bacterial counts low with conventional cleaning solutions. Then a friend who was selling the new process for his poultry equipment business got him to try Envirolyte. “The system got my counts down from over one million on some test plates to 6,000. A few weeks after that success, I was exempted from further tests. We even got our coliform counts down to zero.”
Steve Hofer, who heads the turkey operation at the Starlight Colony in Starbuck, Manitoba says his problem was not to find an efficient cleaner for his turkey barns. He says many chemicals can do that after a flock has been sent to market. Rather, his problem was to keep waterlines and troughs sanitary while the turkeys were using them.
“I bought an Envirolyte machine to make a disinfectant that the turkeys could drink in their water,” Hofer says. “It worked fine. My turkey mortality went down, my medication bills – that’s antibiotics for the feed, went down, and we have been able to provide clean water without pushing drugs into the lines.”
Hofer is making 6,000 litres of anolyte a day with the system and says the colony also plans to use the system for its hog and poultry barns. Unlike conventional chlorine bleach, there is no need to let the barns air out after using it, Hofer says.
There is also no need to try to get the taste out of the animals’ water, says Bernie Brandt, who raises chickens near Blumenort, Manitoba. He has used an Envirolyte process for two years, providing anolyte for birds that used to reject water treated with conventional chlorine. “The chickens did not like the flavour of regular chlorine and they drank less. That cut their weight. Now the water we treat with the anolyte tastes fine to the birds and we get more consistent final weights.”
Brandt says the fluid is easier to work with than chlorine. “Even if we spill the anolyte on our clothes, it does no harm. We can spray the barns with it and work there the same day.”
For more information see www.envirolytecanam.com