May 31, 2019

Here it is again…the poultry production gear. With VFD’s, ABF, NAE, Organic, etc…requirements, pathogen reduction has become more critical than ever. The water sanitation cog has always been one of my top two most important (but they all are in moving a production system forward) cogs. It is gaining more attention due to the improvement in livability, gut health, and overall performance for those that take it seriously.

Water sanitation starts with water line cleaning between flocks, especially 24-48 hours prior to placement with a stabilized hydrogen peroxide (CID Clean) or peracetic acid/ stabilized hydrogen peroxide (CID 2000) depending on whether scale is present or not. Running these products at the recommended label rate is critical for removing biofilm. The goal is to start clean and stay clean.

Completely flush this product out by following it with activated chlorine dioxide. I used to mention chlorine as an alternative. Not anymore. That technology is old and not nearly as effective as activated chlorine dioxide. Properly activated chlorine dioxide (see your local BVS representative for what activated chlorine dioxide means and how it is created effectively and efficiently) can remove biofilm constantly and kill pathogens in the water. To prove this to yourself, swab your lines prior to using activated chlorine dioxide and about 2-4 weeks after using activated chlorine dioxide. The results should speak for themselves depending on how much biofilm and organic matter is present.

We have had many testimonials from turkey, broilers, layers and breeders on the improvement in performance and cost of production by using and measuring activated chlorine dioxide. The movement is on and other “chlorine dioxide” systems are jumping on the band wagon. BE CAREFUL! Ask the right questions about the form of chlorine dioxide their systems create. Some of these products are better than using chlorine, some are not – just more expensive. If you are doing nothing for flock sanitation and use one of these products, you might see improvement, but not what you could see by using properly activated chlorine dioxide.

Now, I will reference my title of this article. Are you on board with water sanitation? That means, are you taking it seriously? Water is the most important nutrient for any animal. We use our water to deliver a lot of different products to our animals. Are we taking care of keeping the delivery system free of biofilm and pathogens? Are your service technicians and growers engaged in the process? Or, are you expecting your supplier to do this most important process of managing and monitoring for you? We spend a lot of time, money, and effort on building houses or upgrading houses with ventilation technology to keep birds comfortable. We spend a lot of time and money on vaccination programs, nutritional programs for the feed, and other daily management guidelines to ensure the success of good performance. But, when it comes to water sanitation – we want cheap, plug and play, no maintenance, put it in and forget about it systems.

Do you regularly change the oil in your pick-up truck?

If the answer is no, you are willing to risk this picture on right! That’s exactly what we are doing if you neglect the management of your water sanitation to your flock of birds. The potential for it to blow up, or certainly not be nearly as efficient as it could be, not to mention animal welfare issues.

Would you drink water out of the stream on the left? Or the stream on the right?

Which stream is your flock drinking from?

Even if you are committed to sound water sanitation. Remember, it is not a cure all. It is part of the gear to move the flock forward. Activated chlorine dioxide, if administered properly, we remove the pathogen load from the water. But, it needs your help, especially if your water high is in total dissolved solids, calcium, manganese and/or iron. There are filtration systems available to remove these problems from your water. They will negatively impact your activated chlorine dioxide effectiveness.

When I get to talk to some production managers and growers, I hear – we are going to ABF or NAE, or at least trying to get some flocks to qualify for either. But, management hasn’t changed anything except remove the crutches we have been used to for years - in the hatchery (antibiotic injection), in the feed (ionophores for example), and in the water (scripted antibiotics). Water sanitation must become part of your arsenal. We are moving from curative production to preventive production, as illustrated below. WHERE ARE YOU?

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By John Menges

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