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Health Risks of Chicken Manure

According to Environmental Health News, the poultry industry produces up to 26 million tons of chicken manure each year in the United States alone 1. Much of that manure is used as fertilizer, and there are no requirements for the manure to be examined or treated before it’s used on farm fields.


In addition to being used on farms, some American cattle farmers are feeding their cattle chicken manure 2. The reason for this is because the chicken manure mixed with livestock feed is cheaper than using hay and grains. Unfortunately, recycling chicken waste and feeding it to cattle can be unsafe.


Diseases Caused by Chickens

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Chicken manure can pose various risks to human health. The manure contains salmonella bacteria and also contains campylobacteria. Both of these bacteria can make a person sick.

Health Hazards Present in Manure

Some other health hazards present in chicken manure include intestinal parasites and residues left over from veterinary drugs. Toxic metals like lead, arsenic and cadmium are also present in the manure.


Organic Vs. Non-Organic Chicken

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An antibiotic-resistant bacteria is also found in chicken manure 1. The bacteria are called staphylococci and enterococci. When these bacteria affect the food or water supply of humans, it can infect the digestive systems of people.

Air Pollution

The Energy Justice Network states that another concern involving chicken manure is the air pollution the manure can cause. When the manure is burned at poultry plants, the toxins that are present in the manure are released into the air in the form of toxic air emissions and toxic ash.