USPOULTRY's Poultry Production and Health Seminar in Nashville, Tenn., last week stressed proper care to avoid contamination, policy updates and vaccine strategies.
Gary Hogue, Regional Technical Manager for Aviagen, discussed essential factors that can come between a healthy flock and output, such as water drinker line height, number of birds per drinker, and clogged water filters.
"Providing adequate, good quality water supply to growing flocks is critical to good performance. Water makes up 70% of a chicken's body weight and 85% of chicks, therefore it is essential to maintain the bird's water weight," Hogue said.
"Chicks go through large amounts of growth, and chickens consume approximately twice as much water as feed. Therefore breeders have to control the water intake and supply, since it does influence performance," he added.
Dr. Sarge Bilgili, professor at Auburn University, provided information on strategic Salmonella control interventions to help reduce Salmonella outbreak on the farm. Bilgili discussed several factors that can increase a Salmonella outbreak on the farm including infected breed stock and cross contamination. He stressed the importance of protecting chicks and decreasing risk, while emphasizing actions that processors should take, such as facility cleaning, vector control, and antibiotic immunization.
The key here is to focus earlier on young chicks. They are very susceptible to colonization, and unfortunately all it takes is a single Salmonella cell…one single cell," Bilgili said.
Dr. Jeff Buhr, Research Physiologist at USDA - ARS, provided additional aspects of Salmonella control interventions and the positive outcome effects of litter sampling utilizing several methods, including Intermittently Stepped on Drag Swabs. His presentation also reviewed scientific results of eggshell and hen Salmonella testing.
Other topics included an FSIS inspection update; grain inspection, packers and stockyards administration status; gut flora management; enteric viruses; coccidiosis vaccine strategies; current LT vaccine and possible alternatives; necrotic enteritis resurgence; sufficient electrical capacity in poultry houses; LED lighting; and stocking densities.
For more information, visit USPOULTRY's website at www.uspoultry.org.