Animals are continually exposed to microorganisms, many of which can cause diseases. Some of these microorganisms can survive in the environment, flock after flock, because they are protected by organic materials/manure or biofilms that are in the environment. In order to prevent diseases, we have to break the chain.
Cleaning and disinfection are two very important steps of a complete biosecurity program and are important tools used in breaking the chain of infection. A good sanitation plan should always be included in any health program. Isolation of the birds and sterilizing the environment would be the ultimate objectives but are not realistic. Therefore, attainable goals should be established so an effective level of sanitation can be maintained.
The main objectives of a cleaning and disinfection program include:
The following are recommended practices relating to cleaning & disinfection that enhance biosecurity on non-supply managed poultry operations. It is recognized that, given the nature of the sector, all of these may not be possible as stated. Farmers are encouraged to try to meet the basic standards adapting these techniques and principles to their own operations. It is also recognized that it is difficult to have an all-in-all-out management system in some non-supply managed poultry operations. In this case the farmers should try to segment the facility as much as possible and still attempt to address as many of the following elements as possible:
The first step is to remove all birds and any litter. Removal of all organic matter is essential. Litter, feces and refuse contain high levels of contamination. High levels of soil reduce the efficacy of the cleaning and disinfecting processes. Remove any residual feed from the feeder system and the silos.
The second step is cleaning. Thorough washing with a detergent is essential to reduce time and water required for the cleaning process, to help remove the biofilm, and to help maximize the efficacy of disinfectants.
The third step is disinfection. It is really important to recognize that many disinfectants do not work effectively if steps 1 &2 do not eliminate a significant amount of the organic material present – disinfection without cleaning first is not effective. On the other hand, even though cleaning eliminates > 90% of the contaminants, what’s left will be more than enough to be harmful to your flock if disinfection does not occur. Live organisms and porous surfaces lead to higher contamination and more viruses. Using a proven disinfectant against bacteria, fungi and especially viruses is therefore essential.
Bird And Litter Removal
Ultimately, the biosecurity of your farm is your responsibility. If you have contracted others to provide litter removal, cleaning and/or disinfection for you, it is essential that you monitor service sector procedures on your farm.
The goal of cleaning is to physically remove all visible debris, dirt, soil, feces, and other organic matter. You need to use a lot of elbow grease! Sweep/blow down dust, cobwebs, and feathers from walls, nest, cages, beams, rafters, fans, and other accessible areas inside and outside the barn. Do not forget the service rooms.
Scrape off any built-up debris and pay attention to hard to reach areas. Wash all surfaces with water and detergent. The detergent or cleaning agent aids in decreasing surface tension (makes water “wetter”), splits up organic material, emulsifies oils and fats, floats dirt particles, dissolves salts, and carries dirt off the surface that you are cleaning.
The thoroughness of cleaning (use of high pressure washer), use of detergent and exposure time (low pressure application of foam/gel remains on surface longer), and use of hot vs. cold water all contribute to the efficacy of the cleaning job.
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