Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sanitation in Poultry Farm

Water Sanitation

During routine use, material build up and contamination of a water system can and will occur. As lime and scale deposits, rust, dirt and algae collect in the water lines, the functioning of the system will be affected. The build up of these substances, on the inner surface of the system can and will provide a place for microorganisms to take hold. The organic material can supply nutrients for growth and multiplication of microbes such as E.coli. Every time the bird consumes water it will be exposed to an increased microbial load through the drinking water which could result in poor feed conversions, down grading of carcasses, increased mortality and possibly increased condemnation.
The build up of this organic material could also have a negative effect on medication and vaccines delivered through the drinking water. To keep the watering system in proper working order, a routine monitoring, cleaning and sanitizing program should be developed and applied.
The environmental protection agency of the U.S.D.A allows 5,000 coliforms per 100 ml of potable water. However, resources from major poultry officials consider any number to be unacceptable. (Good 1985, Lacy 1994, Koelkbeck 1989).
The following information is to inform the reader of the choices available for water line sanitation and disinfection. One must continue to strive for water quality, as this ingredient is a key component towards poultry health.

Cleaning and sanitizing of water lines

I) Cleaning between flocks (shocking the line)
Probably the most critical time period for the cleaning of a water line system. Cleaning water lines should be a part of the routine barn cleaning and disinfection program.
1)Flush the lines with high-pressure water to dislodge heavy organic matter.
2)Fill the lines with the cleaning solution and leave it in the lines for 3 to 6 hours.
3)Clean the proportioner and change filters.
4)Flush the water lines with clean water.
5)All plasons, cups and other open drinkers must be cleaned as well.

* Do not use these concentrations when birds are in the barn

II) Cleaning With Birds Present
The objective is to keep the water lines clean while birds are in the house. This helps to remove and prevent organic build up in the water lines:
1)Medicate or dilute the indicated concentrations to provide the level needed for cleaning (Table 2).
2)Cleaning should be stopped 2 days prior to vaccination and water medication.
3)When starting this program, monitor the birds behavior to make sure they are drinking water.

III) Sanitizing Water Lines
The objective of water sanitizing is to decrease the number of microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) in the water lines. The addition of a sanitizer to the watering system not only helps to reduce the microbial load but also aids in minimizing the algae growth, mineral deposits and slime build up. The addition of chlorine also helps to reduce oxidation of iron, which helps control rust deposits in the water lines. Keep in mind that a sanitizer should not be used 48 hours prior to and 24 hours after vaccination.

Points to consider when cleaning and sanitizing water lines
1) Some cleaners in combination with medications can enhance delivery and activity.
i) Ammonia, at low levels helps to increase the solubility of sulfa drugs.
ii) Citric acid helps keep tetracycline in solution.
iii) Citric acid as a carrier for vitamins and minerals, rather than sugar, helps reduce slime build up.
2) Some products and combinations warrant some caution.
i) Hydrogen peroxide at full concentrations can be corrosive and tissue damaging.
ii) Iodine is corrosive to galvanized steel, rubber and latex.
iii) Citric acid is corrosive to galvanized steel.
iv) Chlorine at high levels can be corrosive to all metals including stainless steel.
v) Chlorine, ammonia and commercial cleaning agents should not be mixed together since some combinations can react producing dangerous gases.

Since poultry consume about twice as much water as they do feed, it is logical that water quality and content should be considered as one of the most important nutritional elements in production. Therefore, following a water quality assurance program based on monitoring, cleaning and sanitizing should be the most important protocol to implement. With these measures in place, there is no doubt that production parameters will be maintained and optimized.

Michael Leslie
Canadian Poultry Consultants Ltd.

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