Thursday, April 8, 2010

17. Biosecurity in poultry farm

Poultry Assignment 2010

The implementation of a well planned biosecurity program is important in maintaining bird health on poultry farms. The four potential sources of diseases are from people, poultry, contaminated premises or equipment and vectors, though there are other possibilities that will not be covered. Measures must be taken to prevent or control the introduction and spread of infectious agents to a flock (Commonwealth of Australia, 2010).

People are considered to be the most common source of carrying poultry diseases into poultry farms and measures must be taken to minimize these risks (PoultryHub, 2009). Firstly, using signage and gates prevents unauthorized people from entering the farm. Visitors and service providers must wear overalls and boots provided by the farmers and footwear must be disinfected before entering the sheds (PoultryHub, 2009). Lastly, movement of people should be scheduled such that the youngest flocks are visited first and the oldest last (PoultryHub, 2009). This measure is especially important in conventional cage systems as birds are confined to their cage and are susceptible to any infections.

Another common source of infection is from poultry. Routine vaccination should be done at specific ages to prevent diseases by creating immunity in the bird’s system. Daily inspection for dead or sick birds should be done and removed immediately to prevent the spread of bacteria or virus. Sick or newly purchased birds should be quarantined from the flock. Also, giving a nutritionally balanced diet, proper ventilation and minimizing fear and anxiety in the birds will help the birds’ natural protective mechanisms to function optimally (PoultryHub, 2009). This measure is important for all types of systems.

Contamination can also come from the air, water supply and feed. Especially for conventional cage or barn systems, ensure that good ventilation systems are installed to as air borne diseases spread very quickly. Water supply should be changed regularly to prevent contamination with faeces from contact with avian or other animal species (Commonwealth of Australia, 2010). Using good quality feed is particularly important as bacteria and mould may be present in poor quality feed. Feed can also be contaminated by the raw materials used, post production and during transport or by exposure to rodents and birds on the property (PoultryHub, 2009) if not kept properly.

Wild birds, rodents and insects can be carriers of diseases and this aspect is especially important in free range farms as they have easy access to the birds’ living quarters. Possible measures to be taken are to wire net the barns to make them bird proof (PoultryHub, 2009), to discourage wild birds from visiting by removing any spilled feed immediately (deGraft-Hanson, 2002) and by sanitizing water for bird consumption. Farmers should also ensure good fencing to prevent rodents from gaining access which can contaminate poultry feed and good parasite control programs should be implemented.

In conclusion, different production systems inclusive of the type (conventional cages, free range, barn layer, household), species (chicken, ratities, etc.), and product emphasis (meat or egg) have emphasis on different aspects of their biosecurity program. However, it is still important that all aspects are covered to maintain good bird health for greater production and economical value.


Your article is very dull and boring to read.

If I write, I will give an introduction (hook), middle (main answer) and a conclusion as follows:

1. A Hook - Some current concerns of biosecurity in the poultry industry leading to massive economic losses in poultry farms e.g. H1N1 viral infections in hong kong? Some references.

2. Answer the question directly --- What aspects of the biosecurity program would I put in place to protect my poultry farm against the 4 potential sources of diseases?

This depends on what type of poultry farm I am operating. Free range or indoor housing?
Free range
Caged indoor housing

Some disease prevention procedures will apply to both. Some will be particular to free ranging birds.
1. Quarantine of new arrivals or sick birds
2. Visitors hygienic measures - procedures
3. Vaccinations. Give some examples of commercial vaccines used.
4. Good nutrition.
5. Anti-stress measures.
6. Rodent control, parasite control, wild bird control etc.
7. I have not included all you had mentioned.

You have all the facts in your report. It is just that you are not answering the question directly as a farm operator. Re-write and good luck.

P.S. The question is as follows:

Assignment question for 2010

On poultry farms, to maintain bird health the emphasis is ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Prevention involves having a well planned and implemented biosecurity program.

Diseases can be introduced to your poultry farm by
Contaminated premises or equipment

What aspects of a biosecurity program would you put in place to protect against these four potential sources of disease.

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