Hygiene and sanitation play an extremely important role in poultry disease control, and mitigation at the production premises of breeder farms and broiler farms. One of the most common principles adopted is the ‘all-in/all-out’ method. A thorough clean out of the facility is key to maintaining biosecurity for disease control and a healthy breeder flock. Cleaning sheds and equipment between flocks is critical to reduce the presence of viruses and bacteria which the previous flock would have been exposed to, that may have caused disease in more mature birds, which chicks or young birds will not be able to tolerate.
A specialised cleaning and disinfection program is an essential part of poultry biosecurity. It should be carried out after each flock to reduce the build-up of pathogenic organisms, and for the disinfectants to be most effective. Poultry cleaning uses a systematic approach and several steps, if each step is not thoroughly completed, it makes the following steps much harder to complete, reducing the effectiveness of the clean entirely.
Shed cleaning is often the arduous phase of biosecurity which amounts to a total of 30 steps altogether. Complete shed cleaning involves a combination of dry cleaning, wet cleaning, washing and disinfection, and should be completed by experienced professionals.
Dry cleaning involves removing all removable equipment and fittings both inside and outside the building, placing them in a designated cleaning area. Once all the litter and organic material have been collected and removed the external and internal of the shed will be wet cleaned.
Wet cleaning involves cleaning the external of the shed then followed by the internal of the shed, a pre-rinse is not required, and the detergent is best applied from the bottom up, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly covered. Once the appropriate contact time has been completed a high-pressure wash is required to thoroughly remove all chemicals and dirt. It is critical to include the washing of the general equipment including slats, nest pads, slat bars, draft trays, light traps, bell drinkers, feeder troughs, hoppers, divisional fences, silos and silo pads.
This is then followed by the terminal disinfection, initial shed setup is required, and then insect control is applied, then followed with the floors and internal complex then the external of the complex and surrounding areas. An important note to remember during the disinfection process is that not one single disinfectant is best for all purposes. The selection and application method of disinfectants have been proven to be effective in independent tests again relevant organisms in that specific region. Disinfection can be applied as either as a wet spray, thermal fog, or ambient fog and is required to have a minimum 12 hours contact time. The most important final step is to conduct swab tests.
Under practical farming conditions site sterilisation is possible when you have access to specialised personnel and equipment, ensuring every possible measure is used to reduce the risk of infection. Integrating a well-planned cleaning and disinfection program with strong biosecurity makes it more likely to obtain successful breeder production results. Thorough cleaning and disinfection between flocks is the first step towards meeting animal welfare regulations, achieving the breed’s genetic potential and optimizing revenue according to the farm potential.