After working at BVS for a year now and getting to witness first hand the ups and downs of ABF and Organic poultry production, I have become increasingly familiar with the array of nutraceutical products on the market and how to use them. Many of the products available for use in poultry claim either specific and broad protection or prevention against some of the most common poultry diseases. Often the products work better together, rather than on their own, but figuring out that magic combination usually comes after a lot of trial and error.
No matter how much time you spend in your turkey house, ensuring every little thing is in working order, your turkeys might still get sick. When they get sick, my hope is to teach you a checklist that you can go through on your own before calling your veterinarian to try and figure out what might be going on. This might help you identify the problem on your own, or at the very least will help you present your situation to your veterinarian.
To tighten or not to tighten…this is some question poultry producers may ask as their production facilities get some age on them. For new houses, this better be a no brainer; if a new house isn’t tight, you need to have a frank discussion with the construction engineer. But for older houses, we need to ask ourselves what the payback is relative to the geographic climate conditions (although weather has been unpredictable – on November 29, I was talking to a customer near Charlotte, NC and his thermometer was in the 20° range. At the same time my temp near Gettysburg, PA was in the mid 30’s), how long the house will be in operation, and what the cost benefit is. In this article, we will look at the benefit part, only from a house tightness perspective, not an insulation value perspective.
In March 2018 I presented at the Midwest Poultry Show turkey production session. The title of my presentation was “Paying Attention to Detail– Raising Turkeys Without Antibiotics?”. I have spent a lot of time discussing the need to pay attention to detail. Why? Because in today’s animal production, we are moving toward no antibiotic use. We can no longer rely on the crutches of the past, as I listed them in that presentation (see slide below).
Kinkyback or Enterococcal spondylitis is a condition that has been occurring more frequently in broilers as growth rates have increased and is a very difficult problem to correct. I personally worked in a complex that struggled with the problem for five years and it was a very demoralizing issue for everyone involved.
Over the past century, the broiler industry has grown from individual families owning 10-15 birds a piece, to the industry we know today. Over that time, people realized that the more birds you could raise successfully under one roof, the more economic poultry production could be. Families and farmers started raising hundreds to thousands of birds in a flock, they started selecting hardy birds that experienced less disease, they realized that some breeds of birds were better at laying eggs while others produced more breast meat. They began processing meat birds at a central facility with USDA oversight to ensure the safety of the product they were producing.
An Evaluation of Differences in Cloacal Microbiome in Broilers Administered BioSupreme® or GutPro® via the Drinking Water
The purpose of this study was to assess BioSupreme and GutPro products for their ability to enhance broiler performance and modulate the broiler gut and respiratory microbiota. Biosupreme® is a saponin-containing product, and GutPro® is a probiotic containing both Lactobacillus and Bacillus spp.
Once again, this morning I awoke to two very large poultry producing companies proudly proclaiming, on my television while I was trying to see the weather report, that their chicken was being raised with No Antibiotics Ever and implying that this was somehow better for the chickens and healthier for me. After I settled down from my usual screaming at the television rant, I ask myself what is wrong with this picture. It suddenly occurred to me that the problem is that the only department that should receive an annual bonus after its annual review is the marketing department because it is the only one really excelling at its job. Live production and veterinary services should be chastised for not doing their jobs and fighting for what’s right.
In the Midwest Poultry Show, March 2017 edition of Poultry Talk, I discussed the importance of preparing for warm weather ventilation. With a sigh of relief, we have come through what seemed like a long and cold winter and jumped right into summer weather. However, one must always be prepared for mother nature, as the mercury can drop to cool temperatures and provide us with 30°+ temperature swings in a 24-hour period. This article will discuss some basics of warm weather ventilation concepts, one being wind chill or more specifically air speed over birds.
On January 1, 2019 when I hang up my coveralls and take off my boots for the last time, I plan to sit down and write my next book. The title is going to be “It’s All Smoke and Mirrors”. We live in a world where parents can be jailed for withholding treatment from their children when they are sick and a physician recommends treatment - yet representatives of major poultry companies proudly proclaim on television, in the printed press and on the internet, that their birds receive No Antibiotics Ever.