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Biosecurity is a proven method that can help to promote the safety and health of your flock. It is the cheapest and most effective means of disease control available! No single disease prevention program will be effective without taking proper biosecurity measures.
Biosecurity can be defined as procedures used to prevent the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms in poultry flocks. Biosecurity in poultry farms involves a set of measures that prevent the appearance of infectious diseases. It encompasses everything from managing equipment, feed, any animals that might come into contact with the birds and people coming onto your farm (both visitors and staff), as well as the location chosen for the farm. Lack of biosecurity could cause problems, a few are; slower growth, lower egg production rates, reduced product quality, and lower customer satisfaction which would ultimately result in reduced profitability of the poultry venture.
In general, we can say that biosecurity constitutes of three major components:
- Traffic Control
Isolation refers to the confinement of animals within a controlled environment. A poultry house will keep your birds in, and it also keeps unwanted visitors out. Isolation also applies to the practice of separating your sick birds from healthy birds to prevent the further spread of disease. Don’t forget to separate your birds by age groups. In many poultry operations, all-in/all-out management is applied, which allows simultaneous depopulation of facilities between flocks. It allows time for periodic clean-up and disinfection, which is often neglected.
Traffic control does not only involve the supply of birds and goods but also about the visits of people to your farm and the traffic patterns within the farm.
Sanitation addresses the cleaning and disinfection of materials, equipment and people entering the farm, and the proper way of working on the farm.
A few of the benefits of biosecurity include;
- Helps keep out diseases
- Reduces the risks
- Limits the spread of disease
- Improves overall health of the flock
- Reduces mortality losses
- Improves profitability
In conclusion, the most important part of any biosecurity plan is having the right attitude and farmers should work very closely with their consulting vet to create a good, tailor-made biosecurity plan for the farm.