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Healthy Flock Essential to Successful Final Product

18 October 2012, at 1:31pm

US - “Providing adequate, good quality water supply to growing flocks is critical to good performance. Water makes up 70 per cent of a chicken’s body weight and 85 per cent of chicks, therefore it is essential to maintain the bird’s water weight,” remarked Gary Hogue, Regional Technical Manager for Aviagen, during USPOULTRY’s Poultry Production and Health Seminar in Nashville, Tennessee (TN).

Mr Hogue discussed essential factors that can come between a healthy flock and output, such as water drinker line height, number of birds per drinker, and clogged water filters. He stated: “Chicks go through large amounts of growth, and chickens consume approximately twice as much water as feed. Therefore breeders have to control the water intake and supply, since it does influence performance.”

Dr Sarge Bilgili, professor at Auburn University, provided information on strategic Salmonella control interventions to help reduce Salmonella outbreak on the farm. Bilgili discussed several factors that can increase a Salmonella outbreak on the farm including infected breed stock and cross contamination. He stressed the importance of protecting chicks and decreasing risk, while emphasising actions that processors should take, such as facility cleaning, vector control, and antibiotic immunisation.

Dr Bilgili commented, “The key here is to focus earlier on young chicks. They are very susceptible to colonisation, and unfortunately all it takes is a single Salmonella cell - one single cell.”

Dr Jeff Buhr, Research Physiologist at USDA - ARS, provided additional aspects of Salmonella control interventions and the positive outcome effects of litter sampling utilising several methods, including Intermittently Stepped on Drag Swabs (ISODS). His presentation also reviewed scientific results of eggshell and hen Salmonella testing.

Other topics included: FSIS Inspection Update; Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration Status; Gut Flora Management; Enteric Viruses of Poultry; Coccidiosis Vaccine Strategies; Current LT Vaccine Performance and New Prospects for Alternatives; Necrotic Enteritis Resurgence . . . Causes and Responses; Sufficient Electrical Capacity in Poultry Houses; LED Lighting: A Year Later; and Managing for Weight: Stocking Densities.