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Treatment Of Drinking Water: An Opportunity For Better Results

by 5m Editor
31 July 2006, at 12:00a.m.

By the CID LINES n.v. technical team - The importance of good drinking water is often underestimated. Under normal climatic conditions, chickens drink about twice as much as they eat. (In hot climates the ratio is 3 - 4.)

Treatment Of Drinking Water: An Opportunity For Better Results - By the CID LINES n.v. technical team - The importance of good drinking water is often underestimated. Under normal climatic conditions, chickens drink about twice as much as they eat. (In hot climates the ratio is 3 - 4.) CID Lines

The importance of good drinking water is often underestimated. Under normal climatic conditions, chickens drink about twice as much as they eat. Good water helps the digestion process, the transport of the nutrients in the body, the regulation of the body temperature and the elimination of waste. In this way, water has a big impact on both the health status and the production results of the birds.

The water itself can be a source of contamination when its microbiological condition is not optimal (too many germs). Moreover, its chemical characteristics (e.g. too hard, too much iron, too much calcium, etc.) can impede a good digestion or a good absorption of additives like medicines, vaccines, vitamins, etc.

The administration of these additives via the drinking water will create a polysaccharide layer in the system, known as the "bio-film", in which micro-organisms will develop and ultimately contaminate the chicks. You will not see it as it builds up inside the waterlines, but be sure it is there. Moreover, mineral deposits (esp. calcium), known as "lime" or "scale", will also build up inside your drinker lines and provide a shelter for micro-organisms. Both can block your drinkers and will adversely affect the distribution of these additives.

Dirty water supply lines, full of scale, hide all kind of micro-organisms in the bio-film. The high temperatures and the low water flow when starting day-old-chicks will create an ideal environment for an exploding development of unwanted algae and bacteria in the watering system.

Therefor, the first thing to do when cleaning a poultry house is to clean the inside of the water lines, removing the bio-film and the scale. Chlorine will not remove the bio-film, neither the scale. A stabilised combination of hydrogen-peroxide and organic acids (like CID 2000) will dissolve the debris in a couple of hours and literally blow away the dirt. It is very important to flush the lines abundantly to eliminate all residues. Only then, you will start with clean and sanitised lines. This is an absolute preliminary condition to further optimise the water quality, with the goal to improve your production result.

A further water treatment during the lifetime of the chickens can avoid a new build-up of bio-film and scale. It will allow your drinking system to continue to function optimally and the additives to work efficiently and it can decontaminate the drinking water at the same time. The stabilised combination of hydrogen-peroxide and organic acids does not only complexes the lime and prevents the settlement, it also slightly acidifies the water and destroys the micro-organisms that do not like the acid environment or the free oxygen. Chlorine will also decontaminate the water but it does not bind the minerals and it makes the water more alkaline. Furthermore, the effect of chlorinating is mostly non-existent at the end of a poultry house with dirty water lines, as it has lost most of its activity. The water-flow in the pipe is extremely low at the end of the line (after the last drinker, nipple or cup, it becomes zero). There, the water will warm up the most, the bio-film deposit will be the biggest, and the contamination and infection risk will be the highest!

Therefore, it is important to use a stabilised product. This means that the action of this product should last long enough to reach the very last nipple (cup or bell drinker) at the end of the house. Ideally, this stabilisation should not be achieved by use of heavy metals, as those products are not biodegradable. The stabilised combination of hydrogen-peroxide and organic acids as in CID 2000 is completely biodegradable and does not leave any residue so that it can be used until the last day.

Because it slightly acidifies the water, it creates an unfavourable environment for the growth of most algae and bacteria, which is extremely important in hot climates. Experience has proven that the sanitised and acidified drinking water does not only reduce the level of pathogens in the water but it also improves the digestion of the feed and the production results. This improved digestion is obtained through a slower passage of the feed in the intestinal tract, a better absorption of the necessary nutrients and less diarrhoea. Wet droppings and diarrhoea cause a lot of problems: bad FCR's, high ammonia levels in the house, need more ventilation and heating, less resistant birds, foot-path problems, etc. In layers and breeders, it reduces eggshell-strength and produces dirty eggs.

The proper cleaning of the drinking system at the start and the correct use of a good water sanitiser-acidifier can eliminate most these wet-dropping problems. It reduces mortality levels and the use of medication as well. It produces healthier birds, a better metabolism in the bird, better quality carcasses, stronger eggshells, better feed conversions and last but not least better results in general and more profits.

June 2006