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Health

Poultry Health and Hygiene Processes

Looking after poultry health and hygiene involves a number of protocols and processes, that to be successful, must be implemented effectively within a wider biosecurity framework. Field biosecurity covers the processes behind keeping a healthy flock from the hatchery. With healthy breeders combined with a strong level of biosecurity on a farm at hatchery and during transit, you can ensure optimum health levels for poultry.

It is important to first understand the dilemma and potential problems of infection that your poultry can succumb to. Disease transmission can come in many forms, from unhealthy chicks to outside influences. Illness and disease on a poultry farm can appear from a human in the wrong area of a farm or with illness and the wrong type of protective clothing and equipment for a specific task. Rodents, insects, wild birds, and other animals can also carry illness and disease.

There are a few other ways that illness and disease can spread on a poultry farm, with access vehicles bringing contaminants on site, the wrong type of feed being used, or contaminated feed, as well as static (in the form of litter, unclean surfaces etc.).

As a starting point to your poultry biosecurity therefore it is imperative that the challenges of rodent control and wild bird management are made a central component of your overall plan.

On a macro-biological level to contend with this there are two main thrusts to the framework, cleaning and disinfection.  There is no point at all in undertaking the disinfection process without the cleaning. The cleaning portion of the process is where you manage dirt that can be seen by the naked eye. With the use of water and the right type of detergents you can separate dirt and remove it from the surface effectively. The idea is that by cleaning as thoroughly as possible, a surface will be free from any impediments to the disinfection process that takes place once cleaning has been completed. It is important to use the right type of poultry detergents in order to provide the best possible starting point for the disinfection process to begin.

Disinfection is designed to reduce the number of pathogens (up to 99.9%) and should therefore be developed with several important characteristics in mind. It should be compatible with the detergent that has been used, offer maximum synergy and effectiveness, work well with organic matter through wetting agents and the like, and have a high concentration of active ingredients, as a diluted disinfectant does not produce a high enough standard of results.

Alongside the management of rodents, bird life, insects and humans on the poultry farm, and the disinfectant and cleaning processes, you should also ensure that there is a stringent and robust water treatment process in place. Water lines should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis in order to remove scale and biofilm, allowing for an easier flow of water and less likelihood of harmful pathogens being present in the water that is used within the feeding process for your animals.

Biosecurity on a poultry farm is a vital framework that should include a number of important factors. Having the right detergents and disinfectants as part of your arsenal is a solid start to maintaining a long-term effective biosecurity process.

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