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Antibiotic-free production demands extra attention for water hygiene

Antibiotic-free production demands extra attention for water hygiene

Consumers all over the world start to worry about the use of antibiotics in livestock production and their effect on human health. Antibiotic free chicken start to become a standard of supermarkets and restaurants. To produce chickens without antibiotics, producers have to pay more attention to maintaining flock health and bio-security. Water hygiene is an important part of it and I-Flush supports this.

The fear for antibiotic resistance in human health stimulate more and more governments to put a ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in livestock production. Such a ban requires immediate action to prepare producers on how to grow chickens without the use of antibiotics. The most important issue here is maintaining optimal bio-security in and around poultry houses. Once receiving healthy chicks it is the duty of the producer to keep them healthy by preventing contact to disease causing pathogens. He has to consider all the different ways pathogens can be brought into the chicken house. Water, feed, rodents, wild birds, insects, personnel, farm-equipment and the young chickens themselves are all potential factors. Without AGPs there is no final line of defence so pathogens have to be stopped before they get into the bird by improving bio-security all around, including the inner parts of the watering system.

Securing water quality

Generally birds consume 1.6-2 times more water than feed per day. If that water is contaminated, the flock will suffer from gut health problems and poor performance. The recommended maximum level of bacteria in drinking water is 100cfu/litre. With the introduction of nipple waterers, to replace trays and troughs in which bacteria could proliferate, the industry made big progress in providing ‘clean’ drinking water. But still, modern watering systems can only be safely used when the water is free from disease causing organisms and the lines are kept clean. The main danger here is that in the plastic pipework harmful biofilms can build up. These biofilms act as nucleus for infectious organisms which can be spread by the water.

To maximise bio-security poultry farmers should use effective water sanitisers to keep their water lines free from...

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Posted in: Poultry

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