May 2020 Newsletter

Covid-19 Update

All our vets are available for post mortems and emergency visits, with routine health plans being done remotely via phone or conference call facilities. Our dispensaries are open for orders of vaccines and supplements and our labs continue to operate 7 days a week. We have implemented a very strict biosecurity plan through out the business and we would like to say thank you to all of our clients for adhering to the new protocols in these unprecedented times.

Prepare for heat stress

The daily maximum UK temperature for April has been approximately 30C above average, with records set in Cornwall, Dyfed and Gwynedd. As we approach the summer months, it is important that we keep birds hydrated as heat stress has a negative effect on body weights and egg production. In addition, consider planning your ventilation and transportation programmes for the summer. We recommend having an electrolyte solution available for use as required i.e. prior to depletion or on hot days through the spring and summer. We currently have offers on a number of products including Electrovits, Electroforte and Hydrovits (see the attached list). These offers are only available whilst stocks last.

Team member of the month: Holly Kneeshaw

Holly joined the team at Sheriff Hutton as a poultry receptionist and administrator to work alongside Kirstie and Meaka. Her previous job at Morrisons gave her an insight into the food industry and she is looking forward to gaining more experience in poultry at PHS. Outside of work ,Holly enjoys spending time with her friends, going to weekly pub quizzes, cinema trips and tries to fit as many concerts in as she can.

PHS Game Roadshow 2020 now free online

Due to COVID-19 many of our game meetings had to be cancelled. However, we still want to ensure everyone has access to the updates, news, and information that would have been available. This year, we have two presentations: An update containing news about recent political changes, the BGA, Mycoplasma and a presentation about preventing diseases often seen in chicks & poults. To gain access to these presentations, please ring us at any of our branches and we will give you the access details.

Water – to test or not to test By Natalia Furman, poultry veterinary surgeon, PHS Sheriff Hutton

Did you know that up to 70% of a chicken’s body is water? Water is an essential nutrient for good perfor- mance, clean water is essential for good health. When chicks are placed, the temperatures in the shed at day-old are high (above 30°C ) and due to the low water flow rates; this increases the risk of bacterial build up and biofilm formation in the drinker lines. The chicks have an immature immune system, making them more susceptible to bacterial infections, through poor quality drinking water. We can ensure the best start for the birds, by giving them access to clean water. Clean water can be achieved by using water sanitisers, targeting turnaround cleaning and regular water hygiene testing.

There are a number of water hygiene tests available– from quick on farm tests via ORP (Oxidation Reduc- tion Potential) machines or microbiological testing at the laboratory. The laboratory can report a TVC (Total Viable Count), which is an indication of the number of bacteria in a water sample. There’s also spe- cific bacteria that can be tested for, such as Staphylocccus, E.coli, Enterococcus, coliforms or Pseudomo- nas. We recommend testing every house at turnaround for TVC. However, if you have a recurrent prob- lem with a specific bacteria (E.coli, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, etc) it may be beneficial to test for that bacteria, so that you can rule out the water as the source of the infection. We perform a large range of water tests at our lab at Sheriff Hutton. Please contact the lab on 01347 820366, or call your local practice to discuss your specific needs.

Broiler and Layer accredited training courses

With the current lockdown situation, now is the perfect time to do these on line courses. We have 3 courses for layer clients and 2 courses for broiler cli- ents. Every course last approximately 3 hours, but you can start or stop the course as many times as you want. At the end there is a a short questionnaire (multiple choice questions) and once done, you can print your own certificate. The Certificates are valid for 5 years and are recognised by the Lion Code and Red Tractor Schemes. The cost for the layer accredited courses are:

  • For non-clients: £30+VAT/module or £80+VAT for all three
  • For clients: £20+VAT/module or £50+VAT for all three. The cost for the broiler accredited courses are:
  • For non-clients: £30+VAT/module or £50+VAT for both
  • For clients: £20+VAT/module or £30+VAT for both

To access these courses, please call our office on 01347 820366, where you will be issued with a link and password.