One of the most important processes in your toolkit for controlling disease in your flock is your biosecurity and cleaning routines.
What is good biosecurity?
- Biosecurity is a series of measures you take to protect your flock from disease, good biosecurity is being aware of these risks and to take measures to reduce them, some examples are;
- Ensure to quarantine new additions to your loft for 14 days minimum. This allows for any disease to show its head before you introduce it into the rest of your loft.
- Routine cleaning and disinfection of loft
- Cleaning water drinkers daily
- Scraping faeces off and washing down perches
- Washing hands/changing clothes between groups of birds
- Rodent proofing feed storage containers – rodents are a major source of disease transmission.
- Limiting access to your lofts: ensure that visitors have not had contact with other lofts at least 48 hours prior to visiting. This will reduce the likelihood of outside spread into your birds.
Best cleaning and disinfection protocols
It is best practice to clean and disinfect the loft, fixtures and fittings at least weekly.
- Wash/remove excess dirt with soap, sponge, scraper, jet wash.
- Allow to dry to avoid disinfectant dilution ideally.
- Apply disinfectant as instructed by the directions on the packaging. For example, if 50g to 5L, measure it out in a bucket. Dilutions are necessary to ensure the product is still active against the diseases that may be on the surfaces.
- Ensure any disinfectants used in the presence of birds are bird safe at the dilution given.
Some recommended disinfection product brands include:
- Harkers Vykil
- Biolink - Bi-oo-cyst is included in this range which has specific action against coccidial oocysts.