Q & A: How can I manage Biosecurity on a Poultry Farm

Question: I hear practitioners talking about bio-security being a requirement on a poultry farm, why do I need it, how do I do it?

Answer: Biosecurity is a practice designed to prevent the spread of disease onto your farm. It is accomplished by maintaining the facility in such a way that there is minimal traffic of biological organisms (viruses, bacteria, rodents, etc.) across its borders. Biosecurity is the cheapest, most effective means of disease control available. No disease prevention program will work without it.

Best Practices:

Contributions by: Mugisha James Frank of Jade Commodities Ltd, Ssekatawa Charles – Veterinary Consultant with Surebreed Farming Operations, Peter Ssenkungu of NutriNova Limited, Dr. Sewagudde Samuel – Genesis East Africa Ltd and Nakato Winnie Fernandes of Vic and Val Ltd.

Our understanding of biosecurity is mitigation of risk in case of disease occurrence or outbreak….Measures taken so far are;

  1. Controlled access into the farm through fencing. Farm divided into two zones, buffer zone fenced off with barbed wire and clean zone with chain link. General movement is from buffer to clean zone. Poultry coops are within the “clean area”
  2. Restricted access to the farm by visitors. Any visitors who come in have their shoes sprayed with a disinfectants or common bleach.
  3. Professionals in the poultry industry are considered as the highest risk and require special permission to access the farm because they have accessed other farms so are more prone to carry bio-hazards.
  4. Manned access points were we do spray both individuals n vehicles using disinfectants like biosafe or common bleach like JIK
  5. Records kept on a daily basis on the accessibility of the farm.
  6. All staff have protective gear in terms of uniforms, dust masks n boots.
  7. Water filters fitted to each tank in the water distribution network to reduce the incidence of Ecoli
  8. Isolation of coops for flocks from each other
    • Poultry coops spaced from each reduce air-borne contamination. The minimum distance is 20m, with 50m being the international recommendation. The open nature of the poultry coops requires breaking the effect of direct flow of air from one house to another. Beyond 15m, the air flowing from one coop gets diluted with fresher air outside the coop reducing the contamination of air entering the next coop.
    • Each poultry unit is strictly manned by one person.
    • All poultry units have footbaths whose disinfectant is changed on a daily basis.
    • Feeders n drinkers washed on a daily basis, with those of a coop washed separately from others.
    • No sharing of equipment between poultry coops.
    • Each poultry coop has a separate sick bay and isolation ward.
    • Feeds for each coop stored separately so that there is reduced contact during feed distribution
  9. All mortalities recorded and inspected before disposal.
  10. Periodical water and feed tests say every 3 months to monitor their quality.
  11. Housing is provided 4 all poultry attendants, so there is reduced contact with the outside world.
  12. Posters placed all round the farm, reminding staff of the importance of maintaining set biosecurity standards.
  13. After offlaying a flock from a coop, thorough cleaning, of the poultry house is done along with the equipment that has been in use in the coop. This is done multiple times, and a time period of at least 3 weeks to increase the effectiveness of the process.
  14. Vermin control by keeping grass within the farm short and clearing bushes.
  15. Placement of rubbish bins for easy disposal of garbage n vaccine / viral bottles
  16. Periodic burning of garbage

Additional comments and inputs are welcome…


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