11 High Risk Points To Watch When Raising Chickens: Risks & Precautions

This article will help you Identify the threats to our poultry and how disease agents might enter a poultry farm and Identify biosecurity risks present in a poultry farm.

Read more about BioSecurity in Introduction to Biosecurity: Chickens Coop & Farmer Health Security.

Discloser: All the information is found for FOA Report about BioSecurity. The reference is mentionned at the end of the article.

11 High Risks Points for Chicken Raising / Farming

1# Introduction of new birds

Don’t add new birds to a flock, but if you do so, keep in mind the risks

The risk of Introduction of new birds

Introduction of diseased birds: Don’t add new birds to a flock, but if you do so, keep in mind the risks

  • Introduction of diseased birds.
  • Introduction of healthy birds which incubate or have birds which incubate incubate or have
    recovered from a disease but might be recovered from a disease but might be carriers/shedders
    of virus or bacteria

Precautions for Introduction of new birds

  • Isolate and quarantine all new in-coming stock for minimum period of 2 weeks in isolation shed/cage that should be far away as possible from the that should be far away as possible from the resident birds
  • Observe these birds for any sign of sickness

2# People

The risk of People to Poultry

  • Highly mobile
  • Cariers of disease agents presented in: feathers, roppings and exudates

Precautions for People

  • Minimize your visits to other farms. * Never visit other farms during disease outbreak!
  • Limit the entry of visitors to your farm. Permit only essential visits
  • Keep set of boots set of coverall and boots for visitors
  • Disinfect footwear between sheds in a footbath

3# Equipment

Risk Chicken Raising

Wash & disinfect equipment before and after use

Be especially careful with: borrowed and contractors equipment & egg trays that return from market


4# Vehicles

Limit the entry of vehicles to your farm Limit the entry of vehicles vehicles to your farm
(only in essential cases)

Wash and disinfect vehicle’s wheels and bottom


5# Wild birds

The Wild birds can be carriers of:

  • Viruses: such as Avian Influenza or Newcastle Disease
  • Bacteria: such as Salmonella Salmonella & – Mycoplasma

They might infect your chicken by Might infect your chicken by direct contact or contamination of feed or water with droppings and exudates

Read also The Most Common Chicken Diseases

Precautions from Wild Birds

  • Wild birds proof house Wild birds proof house – screen or net
  • Clean feed spills immediately around feed storage room and chicken house
  • Keep feed storage room clean and d l t ll ti d door close at all time

6# Rodents

Risks of Rodents for Chicken Raising

Risks of Rodents for Chicken Raising

  • The Rodents are carriers of disease agents contaminating feed and litter with
    • Salmonella Salmonella
    • Fowl Cholera Fowl Cholera
  • They may also cause damage to equipment
  • Electrical wire Electrical wire
  • Plastic water pipes Plastic water pipes

Precuations for Rodents

  • Remove piles of trash around the farm (which serve as a serve as abreeding area for rodents)
  • Remove vegetation near by the house
  • Clean all feed spills
  • Place and rotate baits and traps around the poultry house regularly

7# Pets and other animals

Dogs cats and pet birds are carriers Dogs, cats and pet birds are carriers carriers of infectious agents such as:

  • Salmonella in faces
  • Fowl Cholera (in saliva)
  • Psittacosis
  • Newcastle

You should Fence the poultry area.


8# Insects

carriers carriers of disease agents for example: carriers of disease disease agents for example: example:

  • Mosquitoes: Fowl pox
  • Darkling beetle: Newcastle disease, Bursal disease, Marek Disease, HPAI, Salmonella…
  • Flies: Salmonella

Precautions from Insects

  • Mow grass around houses regularly Prevent water build up around sheds
  • Spray insecticide between batches
  • Prevent water build up around sheds

9# Water

Contaminated water can be a breeding ground for:

  • Avian Influenza Avian Influenza
  • Newcastle disease
  • Coliforms
  • Salmonella
  • Other disease agents

Water Precautions for Chicken Raising

  • Use only good quality clean water (tap or deep wells)
  • Surface water of dams ponds and rivers must be Surface Surface water of dams, ponds and rivers must be treated by: Filtration or sedimentation + Chlorination
  • Add iodine solution weekly to the water tank and Add iodine solution solution weekly to the water tank and drinking system ( drinking system (0.05% active) to prevent algae % active) to prevent algae and other contaminants buildup in the pipes
  • Keep drinking system free from leakage

10# Feed

Risk of Feed for Poultry farming

Risk of Feed for Poultry farming

Bacterial contamination of raw materials (Salmonella)

Wet feed permits development of fungi and molds for example (Aspergillus, Mycotoxins, …)

Precautions for Feed

  • Buy only good quality feed that went through heat treatment
  • Feed storage
    • must kept closed at all times to preven o prevent contamination by rodents and wild bird
    • roof must be kept leakage leakage free
  • Feed pans must be cleaned often
  • Foggers an oggers and drinkers mus ers must not drip into feed pans

11# Dead bird disposal

Dead birds present a risk to the rest of the flock, due to increase of disease agents load at the farm.

Make sure you:

  • Remove dead birds as soon as possible
  • Dispose dead birds in a safe

Source: https://www.fao.org/docrep/014/al875e/al875e00.pdf