Why you should prevent the build-up of biofilm

Why you should prevent the build-up of biofilm

Hygiene is an important part of achieving optimal production results. Many poultry farmers have strict protocols to prevent their poultry from getting certain diseases. These protocols mainly apply to the feed supply and visitors in the form of protective clothing. However, drinking water can also pose a risk if it is not properly maintained. Something that is unfortunately often overlooked by poultry farmers.


Water is one of the most common and purest compounds worldwide. But water sources are dynamic and constantly changing. Floods, drought or agriculture and industry all affect these sources and therefore the composition of the water.

We notice that the importance of clean and fresh drinking water is often underestimated. There are several factors that influence the health of the birds, but drinking water really is the most important of all. Optimum drinking water quality is essential for your poultry to perform optimally.

A study conducted by the Animal Health Service (GD) clearly shows where things go wrong and what the consequences may be:

  • 34% of all drinking water from the nipples is of moderate / poor quality
  • On average, poultry farmers spent 100 times more on food than on water
  • An average contamination with fungi and yeasts costs a farm with approx. 30,000 laying hens approximately EUR 12,000 per year
  • An average bacterial contamination costs a farm with approx. 29,000 broilers around 2,100 euros per round


A closed drinking system

Many poultry farmers have switched to closed drinking systems to reduce the risk of contamination from dust, feed, feathers and litter. The problem is that they are no longer aware of the quality of the water. Previously, the open water systems were regularly cleaned, so you were constantly reminded how dirty the drinking water could become. But with a closed drinking system this is no longer visible. However, that does not mean that the water is not contaminated with bacteria, fungi and minerals, which flourish in a slowly flowing and nutrient-rich water supply.

Whether the water quality is good or bad depends on the harmful substances in the water. These substances determine the taste, hardness and PH value of the water and thus also whether the water quality is good enough for the animals.


The formation of biofilm

Another major problem that can form in a closed drinking system is biofilm. Lime, iron and manganese, among other things, cause a hard structure on the inside of the drinking line. This hard structure ensures that (especially) drug residues can easily adhere. The sugars in these drug residues are in turn a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. This creates a slimy layer on the inside of the drinking line called biofilm. The biofilm then protects the harmful micro-organisms against antibacterial agents.

The water flows slowly in closed drinking systems, which means that biofilm can develop very quickly. Too warm...

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Posted in: Poultry Animal health

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