Monday, January 30, 2017

Managing Biosecurity in a changing landscape.

Take Time To Plan

While we would like to think that birds are fairly free of diseases, they can be challenged from time to time by what is in their environment.  With ABF/RWA programs and a reduction in available therapies there are fewer treatments available for common illness that may strike a flock.  Because of this, it is important to maintain a healthy environment by practicing great biosecurity.  By compartmentalizing and restricting movement of people and equipment among the birds, you reduce disease pressures on the flocks in your care.  Organic and other flocks that use outside access have to push the line of separation on their farms to the outer limits of where the birds may roam.  This means PPE and other sanitation methods may be needed to enter these pens for normal service.

Deliveries and other non-poultry visitors should be held to a minimum.  The use of Drop Boxes and other locked enclosures will help reduce traffic on the farm.  Review your documented biosecurity plan on a regular basis and make sure all who visit your location understand and follow your plan.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Getting Ahead of Flu Season

 Take all precautions to protect yourself and your birds.
Image result for person getting flu shot CDC
With fall and winter season upon us, several steps should be taken to fortify your location against disease.  With fall migrations, wild birds will over fly or even rest on or near your location.  Prevent co mingling of wild birds with poultry by exclusion methods and housing.

Hygine should also be strengthened during this period so that germs will not be carried into a poultry area.  Use washable or disposable clothing and footwear when working with birds and disinfect early and often.  The amount of money spent on C&D (cleaning and disinfection) is better spent that what would be endured from an outbreak.

Lastly, protect yourself during flu season.  Get the seasonal flu shot, and wash your hands often, especially after congregating in public areas such as bathrooms and meeting rooms.  Advancements in vaccine technologies have made the seasonal flu vaccine an important protection for all those at risk of the flu.  Always consult your physician should you have questions regarding any vaccinations.

CDC Vaccination Guidance on Seasonal Flu

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Check Watering and Feeding Equipment as Your Birds Age

How you make a presentation counts

The birds we commonly use for meat and eggs do not have valves in their throats as we do.  Because of this, chickens, ducks and turkeys (to name a few) have to swallow food and water upright or throw the food to the back of the throat in a jerking motion like a woodpecker at a log.  To aid in feed conversion and water spillage, positon trough waterers and feeders lip height at the base of the bird’s neck or slightly higher so that the bird doesn’t waste feed and water standing up.

Nipple drinkers are a special case.  They should be set at the eye of the bird so that the birds jaw is below the level of the pin of the nipple drinker.  This will aid in controlling water spillage from this type of watering system.  Bell type watering systems should be adequately weighted to keep from swinging too much.

Feeders should no more that 1/3 full, and placed with the lip of the feeder even with the base of the neck of the bird.  If using a trough raise the feeder on blocks or similar structure to bring the food up to make it easier for the birds to eat.  Pasture should be long enough for the birds to easily pull on young blades of forage.