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US Poultry Industry Getting ‘Greener’ Environment, but Veggie-Plastic Coating Pioneer Warns of Potential for Surge in Red Mite and Bacterial Issues


PHOENIX, AZ. “The US poultry industry is being driven in a much more animal friendly direction thanks to tough California regulations for poultry, but this could bring about a dramatic rise in red mite parasites and, potentially, serious avian diseases,” says Peter Roosen, CEO, of Castagra Products, Inc.

“The twin scourges of the European poultry industry are red mites and campylobacter bacteria on fresh chicken which can cause severe food poisoning in humans. There is a lesson to be learned from Europe where the move to so-called enriched cages actually caused an increase in red mites with far more hiding places for the pest to avoid treatments.”

Professors Amy Murillo and Alec Gerry, stated in their 2016 research paper: “However, the United States is transitioning from housing poultry in barren wire cages to keeping birds in group cages enriched with nesting boxes and perching structures, or even eliminating cages altogether in cage-free or free-range facilities. With these changes, we expect chicken mites to become problematic in both commercial and backyard chicken flocks much as they are in Europe today.”

A paper published in August of this year claims that 83% of the European farms are infested by red mite (D. gallinae). This prevalence reaches 94% in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Some birds have up 50,000 mites on them and can lose 3% of their blood supply nightly.

In April 2015, the US top egg producer Cal-Maine announced a joint venture with Rose Acre Farms Inc., the second-largest U.S. egg company, to build a cage-free egg production facility near Bogata, Texas. Stocking began in March 2016 and the facility is expected to house about 1.8 million birds in early 2017.

Roosen believes VOC-free, non-toxic Ecodur, which is rated for use in food production and storage environments, could make a useful contribution to the poultry industry.

“For nearly 25 years it has been used for sealing and protecting steel and concrete structures, most particularly floors and walls. It is perfect for closing up cracks, crevices, and small holes in structures whether they be wood, concrete or metal panels, all places where mites can hide and breed.

“Ecodur is highly resistant to a wide variety of chemicals so we anticipate it being very robust in this scenario where mite control chemicals and disinfectants are being used. It is being used to protect frozen food facilities and most recently, food grade marijuana medical products facilities.”

Roosen pointed out that Ecodur’s off-white color would also help cut energy costs by being reflective and providing a measure of insulating value.

The US poultry industry produces over 100 billion eggs annually with a value of $6.48 billion. There are approximately 8.56 billion birds.

Castagra Products Inc., has its registered office in Reno, Nevada, USA, and headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. It has its main toll production facility in Houston in Texas. The company is focussed on providing ultra-protective VOC-free, BPA-free, non-toxic coatings for flooring, roofing, water and waste water industries and oil, gas, frac production water storage tanks and pipes.