WHAT YOU CANNOT SEE CAN HURT OUR CHICKENS; A FIRST IN BIOSECURITY 101
By Scott | April 17, 2020 |
As discussed in many reviews and talks I have given across our country and globe is the simple statement that “What we cannot see can hurt us” Viruses and bacteria are not visible with the naked eye however linger by the billions if not trillions looking for the opportunity to invade and infect our chickens. These organisms are opportunistic, somewhat ubiquitous especially in poorly managed environments. Hence, we need to step up our biosecurity measures in reducing these invisible insults. At this time, we also need to build up the chicken’s immunity, a discussion for a later time.
Strict yet practical biosecurity is one of the measures in reducing the insult to a managerial level that our birds can immunologically handle. We need to make sure we minimize the challenge!
We must not introduce new birds into an established flock without quarantine measures in place. A form of social distancing, a process we are very much familiar with in our current daily lives. With a new bird entrance, we want to keep our established flocks separate for a period of time. Not until health is observed and only then can we introduce new breeds or lines in to our established flocks.
Now for our practical approach to simple applications we can initiate immediately.
- Our shoes/boots can become vehicles of unwanted viral or bacterial intruders into the pen! Are you minimizing shoe or boot transmission via the use of foot baths, designated farm boots or simple disposable plastic boots?
- Have you considered that your hands harboring unwanted organisms will become a vehicle of spread? Do you wash your hands frequently, wear disposable gloves or practice hand rinsing? A critical step for reducing insult to your poultry as well the introduction of unwanted organisms compromising your own health. Keep disinfectant wipes inside and outside of your coop is a good preventive strategy. Washing your hands just before you enter and as you leave is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt for the welfare your flocks and family.
- Face masks work wonders for dust particles. Dust particles can cause an allergenic response if one has such sensitivities. As well, keep in mind that some organisms can be carried from poultry to poultry in the nasal passageways of our own nose! This is especially true if we practice moving freely amongst different poultry barns or frequent live poultry markets far to often. Wear a mask in these situations, stop the insult and transmission.
- Designated coveralls and clothing are another area to consider in reducing the insult. Viruses and bacteria can remain viable on clothing. Hair nets, disposable coveralls, designated hats and clothing is a practice worth considering in protecting our poultry population no matter what the size of your flock is.
It is our responsibility to understand that many organisms of concern invading our flocks we cannot see. It is our duty to reduce the insult by maintaining high biosecurity standards, reduce the insults at all levels of our biosecurity chain. Remember the effect is not just additive but multiplied with each input. Boot sanitation, washing hands, designated clothing, face masks is our means of multiplying the reduction effect.
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