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Cleaning and disinfecting poultry houses.

Proper cleaning and disinfection of poultry houses is part of a good management program for small backyard flocks and large commercial flocks alike. It's an important tool to control or reduce infectious diseases and to provide a clean environment for the improved welfare of the birds and the workers. It

is very tempting to ease up on cleaning and disinfection when no obvious disease outbreaks have recently occurred on the premises or when the profit margin is either nonexistent or very narrow.

Although drugs and vaccines can adequately control some diseases, other diseases, such as infectious bursal disease, Marek's disease and now Salmonella enteritis, simply cannot be adequately controlled by these measures. Improper cleaning and disinfection or none at all can result in the buildup of large numbers of disease-producing organisms which may result in chronic low-grade infections with losses in productivity or an occasional major disease outbreak and mortality.

An effective program for cleaning and disinfection of poultry houses should include depopulation and down time, dry cleaning, wet cleaning, and disinfection.

Depopulation and down time: All birds and other living creatures such as cats, rodents, and wild birds, should be removed from the building because they can serve as reservoirs for many organisms that infect poultry. Apply an insecticide that will knock down insects.

The next step is dry cleaning. This involves removing all dead birds, eggs, feed and other debris such as dust and feathers. The goal of dry cleaning is to remove as much organic material as possible from all surfaces in the pens. The equipment should also be removed for cleaning and disinfection.

Next is wet cleaning. Wet "soak down" all dirty areas. A high pressure washer facilitates this procedure. However, a brush and "elbow grease" can do wonders in small units. A good job of wet cleaning should result in the removal of all organic matter from all surfaces in the pen and from the equipment. The cleaner the surface when a disinfectant is applied, the more effective the disinfectant will be in killing the pathogenic organisms that may be present.

A disinfectant is a chemical that has the ability to kill most pathogenic organisms. The disinfectant should be applied to all surfaces and equipment as a spray or as a fog or both. Many disinfectants are available. The coal tars, phenols, and idophors are effective disinfectants under most conditions. Buy a good product and use as directed.

Apply an insecticide to the floors, walls and around the base of posts. Select an insecticide approved for the control of beetles and other floor insects.

Resting the building for two to four weeks before bringing in new birds will cause a die-off of a high percentage of any surviving organisms.

Finally, practice good biosecurity by bringing in disease-free birds that are delivered in sanitized containers, disposing of sick or dead birds promptly, maintaining good vermin control, and quarantining stocks before they are introduced into your flock.

In the long run, a proper cleaning and disinfection program doesn't cost -- it pays. -- Kansas Poultry Association
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 1999
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