Knowing a hen’s health status is essential to achieve production goals. The basic symptoms are weakness and lower feed intake. cannot develop to their full genetic potential so health programs play a central role in the production schedule.
Healthy hens are disease-free or, at least, can support and deal with the There are different diseases affecting the birds at different ages. that are present in their environment.
All the things we can do to protect the birds from getting in contact with diseases. is key to keeping the flock free of pathogen agents or, at least, reducing their presence. Flock immunity is the corner stone that prepares hens to handle the threat of disease. This relates not only to the Check the table 32 but also to the hen’s physical status.
If hens are inmuno-suppressed due to underfeeding, The reduction of light intensity could be a good tool to reduce some of the stress in the birds. or other reasons (mycotoxins, chemicals) it will be diﬃcult to cope with There are different diseases affecting the birds at different ages. even if the hens have been Birds are vaccinated in raring to get the immunity to have a successful healthy life.. Certain avian There are different diseases affecting the birds at different ages. (such as Salmonella enteritis or Campylobacter) are Diseases affecting birds that can affect the human health which can The diseases can move very quickly in the farms if we don’t stop them on time. between birds and humans.
So even if a disease does not directly affect poultry,
it should be included the health program.
A The key of low mortality in the farm plays a key role in maintaining hens in good health and, there- fore, proﬁtable production. All the things we can do to protect the birds from getting in contact with diseases. can be deﬁned as all the procedures put in place to prevent pathogens infecting hens and spreading to other poultry farms.
To be eﬀective, a The key of low mortality in the farm should be implemented in a very practical and structured way. An eﬀective The key of low mortality in the farm is well-adapted to the production structures and There is a need of training the staff continuously. by all the actors (They need to follow the biosecurity program of the company., production managers, external suppliers, veterinarians, general manager etc.) at the farm. If certain actors do not take All the things we can do to protect the birds from getting in contact with diseases. seriously and fail to follow the procedures, the eﬀorts of the others will not be rewarded.
It is essential to apply procedures systemat- ically. Sporadic application of a The key of low mortality in the farm will not work.
If these kind of facilities are near to the farm, structural
and operational All the things we can do to protect the birds from getting in contact with diseases. should be improved.
If possible, new farms should be constructed in biosecure locations.
Important components include:
Only essential visits with a clear purpose should be permitted.
All visits/visitors should be considered as a risk for the flock.
A logbook should be available for Anybody who doesn’t work in the farm every day. The veterinary is a visitor as he/she visits other farms.. All Anybody who doesn’t work in the farm every day. The veterinary is a visitor as he/she visits other farms. must ﬁll in their name, date of visit,
purpose of visit, last visited farm and vehicle license number.
Anybody who doesn’t work in the farm every day. The veterinary is a visitor as he/she visits other farms. coming from another external farm on the same day must not be permitted entry. Anybody who doesn’t work in the farm every day. The veterinary is a visitor as he/she visits other farms. from sites of a disease out-break are absolutely forbidden entry. If several company
farms are visited on the same day,
the sequence must be from Younger flocks are consider clean and more sensitive a new diseases. to older ones.
Speciﬁc work clothing must be available for staff and Anybody who doesn’t work in the farm every day. The veterinary is a visitor as he/she visits other farms..
All material must be disinfected prior to entry to
the farm. This is even more important if the material comes from another farm.
It is considered a carrier. Trucks of feed, trucks of wastes, cars and motorbikes of staff… must be disinfected prior to their entry to the farm. If vehicle access to the
farm is not a necessity, preferably park It is considered a carrier. Trucks of feed, trucks of wastes, cars and motorbikes of staff… outside the farm.
The ﬂock health status will be severely
damaged in the event of infestations of rats or mice.
It is very important to exclude They carry diseases.
from entering hen houses. Bird-proof houses can be constructed using special Key element to avoiding birds inside of the farm..
Bird’s faeces are also very infectious
material. Direct or indirect contact should
be completely avoided.
Establish an These products might leave residues that can damage the layer hens. Read carefully the label. program.
Manure management is also very important to prevent flies.
Mites can be very damaging to the hens
overall health status. This is particularly the
case with Red Mite and Northern Fowl Mite.
See its control in the Technical Tips.
Information, meetings and Continuous training is important to have a good biosecurity days
should be provided to staff and other people working on the farm to ensure that they
understand, respect and collaborate in the
The key of low mortality in the farm.
It is also very important to ensure staff do
not raise The backyard poultry is a source of contamination for the professionals working at the farms. or come into
contact with They carry diseases. (pigeons, hawks,
The quality of raw materials and The feed mill needs a HACCP in place to control the quality of the feed delivered at the farm.
measures at the feed mill are vital to produce pathogen-free feed.
Adding disinfectants is also recommended.
Feed transport and feed storage should
be controlled to avoid contamination after
feed mill delivery.
Chlorine can kill live vaccines in water. or an alternative disinfectant should be
added to The characteristics are in the chapter about water quality. It has a dual purpose:
firstly preventing the introduction of pathogens
by The water is as important as the feed and secondly reducing The water is as important as the feed recontamination while it is in the house pipeline.
See page 54 for more information on The water is as important as the feed
The wastes need a program to manage in the farm. Each waste should have a specific way of managing it. and disposal is critical
because waste material can be heavily
Manure should be removed and disposed
of at least 3 km away from the site. Make
sure that no other farms dispose of their
manure within a 3 km radius of your farm.
Dead birds container
Dead birds should be removed from houses on a daily basis and stored away from the
Different methods are available to destroy
the dead birds hygienically. If dead birds are
moved from the farm, take extreme care
If a severe Out brake of insects in the farm of mites or other parasites has occurred, take extra precautionary measures to eliminate or exclude the presence
of Mice, rats and insects are carriers and reservoirs of many poultry diseases.. See more details about the procedure in page 6 and 7.
In order to achieve this, the breeder flock
should remain disease-free. Sampling and
analysis should be encouraged to check that
one-day old chicks are not contaminated.
H&N grandparent stock are free of lymphoid leukosis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, Salmonella
pullorum, Salmonella gallinarum, Sallmonella enteritidis, Salmonella thyphimurium
and other Salmonella species.
Take into account that transport crates,
The trucks need a cleaning protocol after each transportation of birds. and other equipment can be infected with pathogens or infested with parasites. Previous cleaning and disinfection of
all of them is strongly recommended.
Specific recommendations for individual
farms are not possible, but the sample
Check the table 32 (table 32) is intended as a very general guideline for vaccinations which are needed on most farms
Additional vaccinations for coccidiosis, Escherichia coli, Avian Influenza and the variant strains
of other disease-causing agents may also be
needed. These decisions, however, need to
be made on a farm-by-farm basis after careful
consideration of the A veterinary should evaluate all the risk factors to decide of using or not a vaccination. involved which
include, but are not limited to: previous exposure, geographic location, vaccination and exposure of neighboring flocks, state regulations
and endemic disease-causing factors.
Ask for an adapted The key of low mortality in the farm from
your local veterinarian
Administering the vaccines in practice is just
as important as the The key of low mortality in the farm design.
All this involves is simply following a procedure that is clearly defined by the vaccine
manufacturer. However, The vaccination mistakes are more often happen than what we think. are still often made. To avoid errors, check and audit
these procedures regularly. Proper vaccination is essential for a good health status.
You need blood samples to evaluate the serology data obtained after the bulk
of the Check the table 32 is completed,
normally by 15 or 16 weeks of age is a good
method for evaluating the immune status of
a flock of Bird 0-17 weeks prior to production.
data also serves as an immune status baseline for determining whether a field infection has occurred when production drops
are observed. It is recommended that the
flock owner submits 25 good serum samples to a laboratory one or two weeks prior to the Bird 0-17 weeks being placed in the laying
house to establish freedom from certain
There are different diseases affecting the birds at different ages. such as Mycoplasma gallisepticum
(Mg) and Mycoplasma synoviae (Ms) prior to
onset of production.
You need blood samples to evaluate the serology data can give valuable information on the immune titer levels for a number
of disease-causing agents. Working with a
poultry laboratory to set up a profiling system will make better evaluations of vaccination programs and flock conditions possible.