Biosecurity: Revisited

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Often heard, frequently misunderstood, “biosecurity” is a set of practices that all poultry owners should know and implement to protect their poultry flocks from a disease. Birds that are raised under pastured or free-range management styles are particularly in need of attention due to their increased exposure to environmental disease sources.  
 
What is biosecurity? 
Biosecurity is the practice of minimizing the spread of disease into a flock of birds, or in the event of disease occurrence, preventing the spread of disease-causing organisms off the premises. This is accomplished through practical, common-sense prevention measures.  
 
Common Routes of Infection  
• Exposure to diseased birds, either wild or from purchased stocks of questionable origin.
• Introduction of healthy birds who have recovered from disease but are now pathogen carriers.
• Shoes and clothing of visitors or caretakers who have been in contact with other birds.
• Use of borrowed equipment that is contaminated with disease organisms.
• Rodents and free-flying birds gaining access to poultry housing and feed sources.
 
Of all the possible breakdowns in biosecurity, the introduction of new birds into an existing flock and contaminated foot traffic pose the greatest risk to bird health. Properly managing these two factors should be a top priority.  
 
Know the Warning Signs
Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease. Look for changes in eating, drinking, behavioral habits, and for signs and sounds of respiratory distress.
- Sudden increase in bird deaths.
- Nasal and eye discharge.
- Lack of energy and poor appetite.
- A drop in egg production or an increase in soft or thin shelled eggs.
- Swelling around the eyes, neck, and head.
- Purple discoloration of the wattles, combs and legs.
- Tremors, drooping wings, twisting of the head and neck.
 
If your birds are sick or dying, call your local county extension office, or the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network located in Gainesville, Georgia. Each office can assist you by use of a disease diagnostic questionnaire to help identify the severity and level of concern over the symptoms your birds are experiencing.
 
Disease Prevention Practices
Because of the destructive potential that a contagious poultry disease could have on our commercial industry and small flocks alike, poultry owners are encouraged to adopt the following:
• Prevent wild birds, particularly waterfowl, from coming in contact with the flock. This may require penning of free roaming poultry during times of heightened concern of Avian Influenza.
• Avoid purchasing or coming in contact with other birds and flocks, particularly birds of questionable origin from auctions and live bird markets. Those birds may have an infection or become susceptible to an infection that is already present in birds that appear healthy in the existing flock.
• New birds represent a greater risk to biosecurity because their disease status is often unknown. Purchase new stock from reputable dealers - those that participate with the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
• Quarantine all new birds away from the existing flock for at least 3 weeks. This will help identify birds recently exposed to disease that have yet to show symptoms, though it will not identify those that have previously been sick, have recovered, and continue to shed pathogens. Sick birds that survive such viral disease become carriers of the virus and can infect previously unexposed birds in the existing flock.
• Wear dedicated footwear that can be sanitized after every visit when attending to your birds. Disinfectant footbaths may help to decrease the dose of organisms on footwear that can be tracked into poultry enclosures.
• Do not share equipment, tools, or poultry supplies with other bird owners. If you do bring these items home, clean and disinfect them before they are used in association with your poultry. 
 
During this time of heightened concern over the threat of Avian Influenza, due vigilance is warranted for backyard poultry keepers and commercial growers alike. 
 
This article was originally published in UGA Poultry Science, UGA Extension, April 2017.
Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar
Senior Manager ( Development ) C % The Andhra Sugars Private Ltd
November 23, 2017
Very nice and useful information for any bird and animal forms . Air quality , Potable Water and healthy Food with healthy environment are the key points for bio security . People who are engaged in day to day operations are to be checked for their health . In western countries generally Food is different from medicine where as Countries like India Food itself serves both as Medicine and Food which maintains self Immune system . Every body to think in those lines in future to save our future generations from unknown diseases .
Thanking you all .
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November 24, 2017

Good topic.

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Dr Wisal M.Khan Dr Wisal M.Khan
Doctor of vet Med
November 24, 2017
David Otaigbe thank you for your nice information and I totally agree with your points. bio security is key in Modern Farming.
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Robert Serwanga Robert Serwanga
Mr. Robert Serwanga.
November 24, 2017
Please detail some aspects of operational biosecurity on a poultry farm
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Wijaya Saputra Wijaya Saputra
Veterinary Doctor
November 25, 2017
In order to biosecurity in the farm easy to controlled then We must devide become three zone in the farm. It's dirty zone ( red zone), intermediate zone ( yellow zone) and clean zone ( green zone). If we will enter to intermediate zone then we must change our clothes, shower with soap and shampoo. What we do to vehicle and things, they was all washed and spray with desinfectan. That's so we do if we will enter to clean area or hen houses. I am still trush
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George Arzey George Arzey
Veterinary Doctor
November 26, 2017
Perhaps before elaborating on the risk imposed by free range flocks, one should examine the practices in poultry enterprises that should be the bastions of biosecurity - indoor breeder flocks. The epidemiological study by APHIS USDA (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/downloads/epi-ai.pdf) following the outbreaks early this year in 8 indoor breeder flocks (owned by 5 companies in 4 different USA states), demonstrates significant fundamental issues of structure and concepts that enable the ingress of avian influenza into flocks that should demonstrate to other producers that practical biosecurity is achievable.

The vast majority of flocks that contracted AI in USA or Europe were either indoor poultry flocks.or mixed free range flocks where domestic ducks, the ultimate catalyst of AI, were mixed with other poultry species.

Avoiding this practice is where biosecurity begins!.
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November 27, 2017
Christopher Hettiarachchi - Sri Lanka

Thorough cleaning & disinfection of the cages, particularly in all in all out close house broiler operation is very important. To this, introduction of another component, microbiological testing the surfaces can give better results. Following practice yielded good results; First the litter from the previous batch is removed, washed all the surfaces using a high pressure gun with water. Then spray the house with a mixture containing a surfactant and a disinfectant and leave over night. This will loosen the biofilms and use high pressure gun to wash the surfaces with water on the following day. Now disinfect the house by fogging with a disinfectant containing gluteraldehyde and BKC (tertiary ammonium compound) and leave over night. After this contact time, test the surfaces with contact slides to enumerate total count & Coliform, & to detect presence or absence of Salmonella. Entire house can be divided in to 3 or 4 zones for this purpose. Read the results after 18 to 24 hours and depending on the reading alert the farm manager if the counts are extremely high and let the disinfection is repeated. Eight to ten litters of a disinfectant containing 15% gluteraldehyde and 10% BKC dissolved in 1000 liters of water could go in a close house of about 400 feet by 40 feet. After placing the chicks, monitor the mortality during first 7 days and test if abnormal mortality occurs with, total count agar, Macconkey agar & XLD agar. If a bacterial infection comes with the chick, this test would detect it and the farmer can inform the hatchery. This procedure would give improved FCR, higher survival and fast growth batch by batch.
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Dr.Zenullah akbar Dr.Zenullah akbar
M.Sc Honor in Animal Husbandry
November 27, 2017
Really Biosecurity play main role in disease control
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Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar Sataluri Satagopa Raja Ayyangar
Senior Manager ( Development ) C % The Andhra Sugars Private Ltd
December 5, 2017
I would like to suggest the scientific community to search for natural essential oils which are useful for Bio security in the long run for echo free environment .
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David S. O. K. Quartey David S. O. K. Quartey
B.Sc (Agric), M.Phil (Animal Nutrition)
January 8, 2018
That's a nice article on BIOSECURITY. But one aspect of it is to adopt a "all-in-all-out" approach on our farms, and to avoid multi-aged flocks. It also requires the efforts and contributions from all stake holders. Farm owners as well as employees must be committed to the cause.
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