Expert Counsels On Biosecurity In Poultry Farms

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The Director, Veterinary
and Livestock in the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Allswell Emejuru, has called on poultry farmers in the state to take appropriate measures to check the spread of diseases in their farms.
Emejuru who made the call in the ministry’s recent edition of the New Agric Times, a newsletter of the Ministry of Agriculture explained that most disease agents that infest farms are invisible to the naked eye hence the need to prevent them from causing harm to flock and stock.
According to him, achieving biosecurity measures in free range chicken was difficult as birds are highly vulnerable to disease causal organisms and constitute a fast means of spread of diseases.
He enumerated simple steps that could be taken to enhance biosecurity in a poultry farm to include and not limited to the breeding of chicken in an enclosure for proper care and observation.
Keeping proper record of stock, including losses, feed and water consumption, medications, weight gain, production levels and the reporting of dead and sick birds to the animal health care providers.
He added that sick birds must be isolated immediately and dead ones disinfected and buried to avoid spread of infection to healthy ones.
According to the veterinarian, all poultry equipment needed to be disinfected daily and kept clean to minimize the establishment of disease agents.
Emejuru who is also a director in the ministry further stated that poultry assistants should attend to the young healthy birds first before attending to the sick or other birds. Other measures include preventing visitors and egg merchants into the  farms and all persons who must enter the farms should not have been to any farm before entering, even as sharing of egg trays, feed bags or other equipment with other poultry farms should not be allowed.
Biosecurity in poultry farms refers to a set of activities a poultry farmer will carry out to prevent the introduction of disease agents into their farm.
It also refers to activities carried out to prevent the spread of disease agents from one poultry farm to another.