SEEC2017

Termites trap

 

Poultry farming produces significant amounts of waste by-products, particularly poultry litter, the used bedding on which chickens are reared. Full of excrement, this bedding must beĀ removed from the coops and disposed. Although poultry litter has been used as a crop fertilizer, its use has been restricted in recent years due to contamination and eutrophication of water due to run-off. Thus novel uses or recycling of poultry litter will economically benefit farmers, particularly small poultry operations. Here we examine the utility of the Eastern subterranean termite (Reticulitermesflavipes) as a potential inexpensive and renewable recycler of dirty chicken bedding. Specifically, we test the survivorship of termites on clean and dirty poultry bedding and discuss the potential of termites as an on-farm, sustainable solution to poultry waste.