Biosecurity and hygiene is the control of diseases that may be brought into the farm by humans, animals and vehicles.
Biosecurity and hygiene are two aspects which will not cost you much, but will save you a great deal.
There are two forms of biosecurity — long and short-term.
Below is a list of general prevention and treatments on a long and short-term basis.
- Lock poultry houses to avoid people entering without authorisation. People transfer disease.
- Close poultry houses (for example, with netting to ensure good ventilation) and prevent wild birds and rodents from entering.
- Wild birds and rodents are carriers of diseases, such as chicken pox, which they spread to the flock. Ensure that you have rodent barriers, a narrow wire mesh and traps to keep them off.
- Build a hygiene corridor with a disinfection footbath. Ensure that workers enter with shoes which are only used inside the chicken house.
- Disinfect vehicles entering your farm using a hand sprayer.
- Dead animals: With the help of a vet, find out the cause of death. Bury the dead birds far away from the farm. Burning them is better.
- Never take layers from another farm into yours.
- Sick animals: Separate them from the flock for treatment.
- Keep birds of the same age together. This makes monitoring growth and feeding easy.
- Get rid of old litter, before bringing in new stock. Litter can be scraped off the floor and sold as fertiliser to farmers.
- Use concrete floors to improve hygiene and to prevent rodents.
Cleaning and disinfection
Twenty days before the new chicks arrive, start cleaning and disinfecting the poultry house. The house is cleaned with water and then disinfected. The best disinfection is time and ventilation, to guarantee a dry environment.
Cleaning and disinfection is a process outlined below:
- Remove movable equipment, clean and disinfect it using liquid soaps and bleach.
- Remove the litter and ensure that it is taken off the farm immediately.
- Clean inside the house (ceiling, walls, equipment, floor) with water and detergent.
- Rinse everything with water using a high pressure cleaner if possible.
- Let the house dry for at least one day.
- Disinfect the house using either a liquid or dry product. Ask your poultry specialist about options.
- After disinfecting, ventilate for at least 24 hours.
- Install equipment and test it!
- Allow a two-week resting period for the house.
- If necessary, use products against flies, rodents etc.
Keep it clean
Hygiene is paramount. Here are tips to ensure hygiene.
- Clean feeders and drinkers once a day. They can be scrubbed with soapy water and rinsed with clean water.
- Thoroughly clean water troughs at least once a week.
- Clean poultry house, feed storage room, warehouse and egg room twice a week.
- Clean windows, netting, air inlets and lamps every week.
- Control lice and flies by spraying.
- Keep away dead animals, wild birds and rubbish.
- Keep away grass because it is home to rodents and snakes that may attack your chicken. All the above measures can make the difference between normal and high production.