Biosecurity on commercial poultry farms
Recent bird flu outbreaks remind why biosecurity is such an important consideration for poultry farmers.
Red Tractor standards emphasise biosecurity for poultry
Red Tractor, currently promoting Red Tractor Week 2017 to raise public awareness of Red Tractor Assured food, recently released a summary of expected standards for poultry farms.
Previously published, the standards have now been updated and strengthened for 2017. In this updated version biosecurity is listed as one of six key areas for poultry farms to focus on.
According to the standards each assured poultry farm must have a definitive biosecurity plan. It’s also recommended that sites implement a boundary to control entry and exit of vehicles and people. To comply with Red Tractor standards, vehicles should be disinfected on their way into the farm and again on their way out.
Storing feed in a silo is good practice
Implementing biosecurity measures is good practice for any farmer, but particularly poultry. Loose or bagged feed, for example, can attract vermin and wild birds, which could aid in the spreading of bird flu. A County Range silo will hygienically store feed off the ground and away from scavengers, keeping it fresh and uncontaminated until ready for use.
An added bonus is that preserving feed for longer will save you money in the long run by preventing wasted feed. Buying feed in bulk, too, means feed purchases will ultimately cost less, offsetting the cost of the silo over time.
The S3 model is a particular favourite for poultry installations due to the 67 degree cone angle, which allows mealy bird feed to flow unrestricted. Whichever silo model you choose, keeping your feed off the ground is an excellent first step toward better biosecurity practices.
There’s also the option for integration of a Hinged Discharge Chute which can be used to draw off feed for feeding chicks in the early days. This way, feed can be stored in one silo even while birds are smaller, as the chute facilitates easy discharge into a chick feeder.
Reduce dust around the farm
Another biosecurity concern for commercial poultry ventures is wild birds. These birds are particularly attracted by dusty sites, because—of course—feed dust serves as a natural draw. Eliminate dust, and wild birds have little reason to visit your farm.
How to do it? Well, County Range silos feature an Autovent which seals during filling to keep the roof free of dust. To keep the base clean, a Cyclone Dust Collector attached to the exhaust collects feed dust in an internal chamber. As a double benefit, this dust can then be re-used—reducing waste and keeping your site free of disease-carrying birds.
The Cyclone has no moving parts, so it’s easy clean, and it also has a pressure relief valve, so in the event the Cyclone becomes blocked during filling the valve will vent.
Looking to improve biosecurity?
Staying Biosecure is important for consumer confidence, whether farmers are operating under Red Tractor Assurance or otherwise.
If you’re curious how we can help you improve your biosecurity, one of our team would be happy to assist.