Disease Prevention and Bio-security in poultry management

You cannot talk of bio-security in poultry production without considering the environment of the birds and the birds’ environment include all the things around the birds both living and non-living and they involve the following; feeding troughs, water troughs, feeds, water, the poultry floor, drugs, temperature ranges, light source e.t.c.

Bio-security simply means the important measures taken to prevent and manage the risk of introducing and spreading diseases and pests. These measures help to protect the community, environment and the economy of the business.

          Benefits of introducing bio-security in the poultry house

The benefits of implementing bio-security measures in your poultry house as a serious farmer cannot be over-looked, and the benefits include;

  • Reducing the risk of introducing diseases and pests into your farm
  • It helps to increase productivity and profits
  • Early detection and management of pests and diseases
  • It potentially curb the impact and cost if there was an outbreak,  as bio-security measures result to easier, faster detection and proper management of pests and diseases.
  • Bio-security measures keep your chickens healthier  and enable them to attain a reasonable marketable weights and this alone makes the farmer more happy and ready to do more.
  • As bio-security measures keep the birds safe, it also keeps the poultry farmer safe because there are diseases that can affect  animals and can also affect human beings(I.e. zoonotic diseases). So keep your birds healthy and stay healthy as well.

Ways through which diseases are introduced and spread in the farm

Disease means a state of discomfort which may alter the normal functioning of the body system and can result to death if not properly managed.

Therefore, ways through which diseases can be introduced and spread in the poultry house include;

  • Introducing new stocks without carrying out proper quarantine services
  • Poor environmental sanitation  before and after stocking
  • Feed and water -faecal and urine contamination
  • People – employees, contractors, neighbours, contaminants /manure/dirt carried on hands, boots and clothing. In a poultry house, people are not allowed to walk in anyhow as they can introduce diseases to the farm. Your employees must be mindful of what they bring into the poultry, such as chemicals with heavy odour can change the air in the environment thereby reducing oxygen level in the farm and this alone can make the birds very uncomfortable, for instance,  in our environment once the air is contaminated,  we as humans can never feel at ease let alone eating and drinking in such condition unless the air is cleared. So, same is applicable in birds also and that can make them loose weight if it continues.

        Bio-security plans and strategy 

The ability of the farmer to withstand a disease outbreak and ultimately limit the cost to the business is influenced by personal bio-security plans and strategy. It is very important to have a possible plan in place which outlines clearly the bio-security practices implemented in the farm and farm properties as a whole.

These plans may involve:

  • Consider mapping the farm and every property which outlines
  • The land and other subdivisions
  • Neighbouring properties.
  • Water ways and sites where dirty water can flow in from.
  • All stock handling facilities
  • Where your chickens currently located.
  • Consider what type of business your neighbouring properties are involved in and any associated risk (connection between fences, risks of strays, chance of cross contamination, chemical drift etc).
  • Endeavour to keep records of all activities for traceability and to support any claims made on any disease incidence. Keeping records can be as simple as writing notes on daily personal diary, using computer programs such as excel spread sheets.

Remember, bio-security is one of the most important factors that can make your birds grow and stay healthy, once you are rough with chickens they will definitely give you bad output. “Your care is equal to your output and your output is equal to your profit”.

Therefore, you must endeavour to maintain good bio-security measures to you keep you smiling! Using online advisory platforms like docpol.com can be of great help because you can never be abreast of all best practises in bio-security. For optimum prevention of disease outbreak or disease spread in your farm, subscribe to docpol.com/expert-production-guide

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