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.

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

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

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

  • 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

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.
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