Biosecurity for poultry

Management of Farm Biosecurity

Published on: 8/1/2011
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There are many definitions of bio-security and in simple words we can define it as "keeping the birds away from the pathogens or keeping the pathogens away from the birds"

The word "Bio-security" is most preached word in the modern poultry and live- stock industries but unfortunately most of the time and in most parts of the world it is generally neglected or violated. Bio-security is most important for protection of diseases and profitability for the poultry growers. It is also important for humans especially after outbreaks of highly pathogen Avian Influenza H5 N1.

Bio-security can be divided in three major types:

1.  Conceptual bio-security.

2.  Structural bio-security.

3.  Operational bio-security.

Conceptual bio-security means what you want to do for the protection of your birds. Different ways and methods are designed and new ideas are put in future work.

Structural bio-security means how you make the infrastructure to adopt your concepts and ideas. For example when a new poultry house is constructed, is it rodent proof or not or is there any arrangements for control of wild birds entery.

Operational bio-security means the day to day routine practices to prevent diseases and harmful pathogens. It includes cleaning and disinfection, changing the solutions from foot dips, changing clothes before entering in the sheds and wearing new clean cloths and shoes.

The diseases and pathogens can come to your shed from different sources for example, hatchery, poultry feed, water, equipments, rodents, insects, wild birds, people and vehicles etc. Poultry grower should keep in mind all the above factors for its profitable and successful farming. Chick should be bought from well reputed hatchery because many vertically transmitted diseases can come through the infected day old chicks. Feed and water are also a major source of disease transmission in the flocks. The grower should use clean and sterilized water for the chicks to keep the birds healthy. Rodents can spread many diseases specially Salmonella and other bacterial diseases. The sheds and feed stores should be rodent proof and there should be continuous monitoring for the presence of rodents in the farm area by checking their urination and pings. Bait Stations should be installed in different areas for their control.  Insects can transmit many diseases and an effective control of insect is extremely important. There are many insecticides available in the market and these can be very helpful in controlling insects. Wild birds also play their role in spreading diseases via their pings and physical presence. Most of them are carrier of various highly infectious disease pathogens, for example Avian Influenza. Flock should be protected by putting wire mesh, nets and removing trees near poultry houses. During unloading feed from trucks, some feed is ped on the ground and is the major attraction of wild birds at the farms, so after unloading, that area should be thoroughly cleaned. All the equipments entering in the poultry houses should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

People are the major vector of disease transmission. They can bring the pathogens in their hairs, on their clothes, with their feet and hands. Only authorized persons should be allowed to enter the houses after shower, wearing clean on-farm clothes and shoes. Belongings like watch, camera, cigarette lighter, mobile phone, keys, ring, glasses, pen, pencil and combs etc can easily bring disease in to the poultry house. These should be strictly prohibited to enter in the house.

Vehicles are also a potential source of diseases on the farms. Only necessary vehicle should be allowed to enter in the farm after thorough disinfection of the tyres and body. The driver should observe all the required bio-security protocols.   


"Bio-security should be tailored to the risks faced by the commercial operation and it's important to ensure that bio-security policy does not make it too difficult to complete routine duties. Be aware, if the system does become too complex and unworkable, people will not comply with the program. Keep it simple. Virtually all successful bio-security programs are under pinned by staff training which explains not only what has to be done, but also "Why".

Many companies have proved that even in the face of significant disease challenge, it is possible to maintain their disease-free status and in the competitive world in which we work, a good bio-security program may well be the best investment you can ever make. "  

Please click here to read Part II

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