Biosecurity is a buzzword in livestock farming but it is one that backyard poultry-keepers need to be aware of. No matter how small your flock of birds may be, good biosecurity practices should be followed, not only to minimize the risk of disease transfer within your own poultry, but also transfer to other people’s birds. Below are a few common-sense biosecurity measures to build into your daily routine:
- Keep poultry feed under cover to deter the attentions of wild birds.
- Ensure water is always fresh, and clean drinkers out at least twice a week, if not more.
- Replace any water that becomes soiled with droppings.
- Quarantine any stock that has been off site (such as to a poultry show) for at least seven days.
- Quarantine new stock for at least two weeks before bringing the birds into contact with existing stock.
- Clean your clothes and boots after visiting another poultry establishment, show, or sale.
- If you have more than one pen of birds, consider using a disinfectant boot wash.
- Don’t share transportation crates or feeding equipment with other keepers.
- Always disinfect transportation crates before and after use.
- Wash your hands before and after handling poultry.
- Keep vermin such as rats and mice under control.
Biosecurity is all about disease prevention. By following these simple precautions, you will go a long way to protecting your flock from infectious diseases.