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In Reply to: how to disenfect wood? posted by Nat on November 17, 2001 at 07:25:59:
I would think that adding a bleach mixture to the powerwash would help get the majority of the contact germs. Alternatively, something like Lysol might not be a bad idea either albeit rather expensive depending upon the size of the sick pen. One thing too, I would use the "real" bleach, i.e. Clorox and not the generic brand. I think it is the generic bleaches that use chemicals that are unsafe for consumption whereas chlorine bleach can be diluted and ingested with very little problems. I think it is the bleaches with sodium hypochlorite that you need to stay away from - I'll have to check some labels again.
As per the wood - most of your wood types are going to provide porous surfaces for bacteria to live in. I'm not sure but I think cedar is one wood that cuts down on bacteria growth. I am thinking that perhaps painting the wooden surfaces every so often with a "dry rot" inhibitor such as copper penta might tend to also cut down on bacteria and mold growth as well. This is a product I have used from time to time where water gets on wood and starts the rotting process. Copper penta works well well.
Some paints would not be a bad idea but I think I would go with something like a marine spar varnish that coats the wood enough to seal up the pores in the wood. The more pores you keep covered, the less likely it will provide a home for bacteria. Then once you get it all varnished, powerwashing would be that much easier. You might have to revarnish every year or every other year but you'd have a good solid surface to work with.
I've heard alot of different stories on the lime. It takes awhile for the lime to completely eradicate the bacteria but repeated doses will help. Personally I would burn all the pastures every so often to eradicate any bacteria on the surface. I've been burning our pastures for awhile now (leaves and all) and it really seems to help the next crop of grass and weeds to thrive. The ash created adds extra soil nutrients. The leaves themselves (depending on how old they are) in my opinion really only serve as a good mulch in a compost pile. The fresher the leaves the better for the soil. Kind of like cutting lawns - the fresher the grass, the more nitrogen (I think this is the right one) that is present for the lawn and soil underneath.
Anyway, so much for gardening 101. Everyone does things a little different when it comes to things like this. Hopefully your whether will start putting on some weight and be his old self again.
Just as an added story to this: I was thinking how nice it would be to have a goat pen or area that could be completely germ free. But as I began thinking about it, every living thing needs a certain amount of germs and bacteria to help them thrive. People that work in "clean rooms" in places like electronics manufacturers and hospitals have a hard time adjusting to the dirty air when they get off work. They often get sick more often than people exposed to bacteria in the outside world.
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