The daily movement of the propane flame at 2 miles per hour over the surface of recycled sand bedding in stalls reduced mastitis pathogen loads in recycled sand bedding. Hogan said the reduction of bacterial populations was greater on the surface of recycled sand bedding than at the depths of 1 to 2 inches or 2 to 3 inches in stalls, and propane flaming of bedding reduced bacterial populations in recycled sand more effectively the first 24 hours after bedding was placed in stalls compared with flaming sand at 48 and 96 hours.
“The use of propane flaming of recycled sand was shown to have great potential as a beneficial farm practice to control mastitis pathogen populations in bedding,” he said. “The reduction in pathogen exposure is directly associated with a reduced incidence of clinical mastitis.”
On-farm recycling of bedding by separation of sand from manure reduces bedding costs and aids the environmental sustainability of farms by decreasing over-the-road cartage costs and soil compaction of farmland. The use of propane flaming has the potential to serve as a clean and rapid antibacterial procedure without contaminating the environment when bedding is removed from stalls and corrals.