Diseases and infections have always been a major concern to the poultry industry. Fortunately, microbial contamination can be prevented and controlled using proper management practices and modern health products.
Microorganisms are everywhere! Some are relatively harmless, while others can cause disease. Some pose a lethal threat to one species of animal while remaining harmless to another species. Some organisms are easily destroyed, while others are very difficult to eliminate. The moral is, “Treat all microorganisms as if they are a severe threat to the chick’s livelihood.”
Three terms are commonly used to describe microbial control:
* Sterilization – Destroying all infective and reproductive forms of all microorganisms (bacteria, fungi,
virus, and the like).
* Disinfection – Destroying all vegetative forms of microorganisms. Spores are not destroyed.
* Sanitation – Pathogenic organisms are present but are not a threat to the birds’ health.
The most important step in egg sanitation is the production of nest-clean eggs. This requires a carefully planned management system. The following practices have proved useful in producing clean hatching eggs and in keeping the eggs clean until they are set in incubators.
• Maintain birds on wire, plastic, or wooden slatted floors whenever possible. However, some commercial
strains of chickens and turkeys do not produce well in this environment and must have litter floors in
part or all of the house.
• To keep floor eggs to a minimum, provide one nest for every four hens. Be sure nests are in place
before egg production starts.
• Keep nests filled with clean nesting material such as wood shavings, rice hulls or nest pads.
• Collect eggs frequently (at least four times a day).
• Exclude hens from nests at night. This reduces development of broody hens and keeps nests cleaner.
• Maintain dry litter at all times.
• Collect eggs on clean, sanitized, plastic flats or in clean egg baskets.
• Separate cracked, stained, and heavy dirty eggs as you collect them, and don’t set them.
• Sanitize clean eggs as soon as possible after collection. This kills microbes on the outside of the shell.
It does not kill all of the microbes that have penetrated the shell.
• Always wash hands thoroughly with a disinfectant soap before handling eggs.
• Cool eggs overnight in flats before placing them in cases. If eggs are to be stored, place them in a
clean room held at 55ºF to 68ºF and 75 percent relative humidity (see Table 1).
• Never allow eggs to sweat (form surface moisture from condensation); they may sweat when moved
from cold storage into a warmer room. You can prevent this by putting eggs in trays in a temperature-
controlled room (see Table 2).
More than 30 billion broiler chicks are produced worldwide on an annual basis. Fifteen billion of these are produced in the Americas. Due to the poultry industry’s tendency towards more intensive production practices and increased automation, the tender loving care once afforded to chickens in grow-out has been replaced with a mass production mentality. As a result, newly hatched chicks are often subjected to numerous stressors in the first 24 hours after hatching. These adverse effects during the critical early hours following hatch can result in an increased percentage of early mortality. These early stressors also influence final performance, resulting in declines in final body weights, increases in feed conversions and cost per pound of meat produced. Farm personal must understand that they have become the “adoptive parents” of these chicks. Without attention to details, successful and profitable grow-out is not realized.
Water is probably the most important nutrient for poultry because a lack of adequate supply will adversely affect the bird’s performance more quickly than a shortage of any other nutrient. This is why it is so important to keep an adequate supply of clean, fresh, cool water before the birds at all times. An automatic waterer, placed in the coolest area of the house or pen is probably best for most small-flock operations. If manually filled waterers are used, consideration should be given to the number and filling frequency required to ensure an adequate supply.
Water plays a very important role in digestion and metabolism of poultry. It comprises from 55 to 75% of the bird’s body and about 65% of the egg. There is a strong correlation between feed and water intake. Research has shown that water intake is approximately two times the intake of feed on a weight basis. Water softens feed in the crop to prepare it for grinding in the gizzard. Many chemical reactions necessary in the processes of digestion and nutrient absorption are aided by or require water. As a major component in blood (90%) it serves as a carrier, moving digested material from the digestive tract to all parts of the body, and taking waste products to the points of elimination. As with humans and other animals, water cools the bird’s body through evaporation. Since birds do not have sweat glands, a major portion of their evaporative heat loss occurs in the air sacs and lungs due to rapid respiration.
If medications or other additives are given through the water, care should be taken to accurately measure both compound and water quantities and mix them well before administering. Also, carefully follow label directions as to the length of time the medication should be given. At the end of that period, waterers should be emptied and rinsed.
Author: Brenda Schneider, Martin Zuidhof, Frank Robinson & Rob Renema – Government of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development website
Publication date: 07/25/2008
Managing broiler breeders is a new challenge with every flock as breeder companies produce new and improved “models” that have better growth efficiency and productivity than the year before. At the same time producers have been getting better at raising highly uniform flocks.
All this progress means that the way we have allocated feed in the past might not be the most effective way to feed new and improved strains. Getting the right amount of feed to your broiler breeder pullets at the right time (during rearing, sexual maturation and lay) is the most important – and the trickiest – part of raising broiler breeders.
Flock uniformity is a key ingredient in the recipe for highly productive flocks. The reason is simple: birds in uniform flocks tend to respond to changing feed allocations in the same way, without a lot of variation between birds. Birds from a flock with poor uniformity will tend to have a wide range of responses to changes in feed allocation. More feed may benefit some of the birds while shortchanging or over-feeding others. The consequences of poor uniformity can be disastrous to a farm’s bottom line.
Modern broiler breeder strains come into lay faster following photostimulation than ever before. Proper timing of photostimulation and feed management during the sexual maturation period is critical to the long term productivity of a flock.
Building a Strong Foundation
There are a few points you should keep in mind during the initial part of the flock’s life that will result in higher productivity later on:
* Use feeding strategies to control body weight – this may involve skip a day feeding or other programs
such as 4/3 or 5/2 where you allocate feed four or five days, and skip three or two days per week,
* Flocks must stay within the breeder company’s recommended target body weight range – avoid
over and under weight birds! Remember, productive flocks need to be in the recommended target
body weight range and at the optimal frame size to be the most productive.
* The best source of information on body weight targets is your primary breeder guide. We can show
you how to allocate feed to meet those targets. Baca selengkapnya…
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