Canadian Poultry

Canadian Poultry
Burning Question

Burning Question

Anyone who works in B.C.’s poultry industry is aware that a creative, cost-effective disposal solution is required for the excess volumes of used poultry beddin

Outdated cholesterol warnings may be lifted in U.S.

Outdated cholesterol warnings may be lifted in U.S.

An advisory panel has stated that cholesterol is no longer considered a nutrient of concern for over-consumption

PoultryPro training program now available

PoultryPro training program now available

PoultryPro, an online training course offered by the Poultry Industry Council is now available

CFO launches campaign to donate fresh chicken to Ontario's hungry

CFO launches campaign to donate fresh chicken to Ontario's hungry

Chicken farmers of Ontario have launched a new program to support the Toronto food bank

Adding to the  Sustainability Discussion

Adding to the Sustainability Discussion

Farmers already know what sustainability is. They live it every day, using practices that ensure the land is there for the future.

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Honey Bee AirFLEX...
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North American Manure Expo comes to Canada...
For the first time ever, the North American Manure Expo is being hosted within a Canadian province. The annual show is being held August 20 and 21, 2013, at the University of Guelph’s Arkell Research Station, located near Guelph, Ontario. So, what's a Manure Expo and why should you attend? This video will provide all the dirt.
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Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitatio...
Expert Dr. Susan Watkins discusses Water Sanitation
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The population explosion...
With the world's population increasing exponentially and farmland staying the same, BASF took to the streets to ask consumers if this trend is sustainable.

Health

The effect of litter material, ventilation and humidity, water line management, bird health, and nutrition on foot pad dermatitis needs to be well understood by producers to minimize the risk of this disease developing within their flock of turkeys Foot Pad Dermatitis in Turkeys

  Foot pad dermatitis is a condition characterized by lesions on the foot pad of turkeys, which, when severe, lead to the erosion of the skin layers and cause pain when weight is put on the foot.  Scoring scales used at the processing plant to determine the severity of the lesions can be used as an indication of welfare of a flock, due to the pain associated with this condition, making it a management aspect which should be monitored very closely.  Additionally, the pain caused by foot pad dermatitis leads to decreased mobility which may cause a decrease in eating and drinking, as it is too painful to walk to the feed and water lines.  Many factors, including management and nutrition, may contribute to the development and severity of foot pad dermatitis and can be manipulated to reduce the incidence of foot pad dermatitis in a flock.  It is important to be aware of all factors contributing to foot pad dermatitis and manage the barn to ensure these risk factors are being minimized before any lesions appear on the foot pad of the bird. LITTER MATERIALThe moisture of the litter used for bedding in a turkey barn is the most important contributor to foot pad dermatitis in turkey flocks.  This is because increased litter moisture facilitates the softening of the foot pad, making it more susceptible to bacterial invasion.  This bacterial invasion leads to the production of a lesion on the foot pad.  In general, other factors involved in the development of foot pad dermatitis are simply related to the way in which they contribute to increased litter moisture.  This includes the litter material being used.  Understanding the ability of that material to hold water and keep it away from the foot pad of the turkey, thereby decreasing the moisture of the litter in contact with the foot pad, is important as making the decision on litter material and depth is an important aspect of barn management.  The litter material may also induce the development of a lesion based on the physical properties of the material, as an abrasive material may cause irritation to the foot pad.   VENTILATION AND HUMIDITYThe barn environment is influenced by a variety of management factors including humidity, ventilation, and temperature.  Ensuring the humidity is low enough to reduce the litter moisture helps prevent the development of foot pad dermatitis in the turkeys, while still keeping the humidity high enough to prevent the barn from become dusty.  Managing ventilation in such a way that relative humidity levels are maintained between 50 and 70 per cent is a key component of managing to reduce the incidence of foot pad dermatitis in the flock.  This is particularly difficult in the winter, as adding heat is expensive which may cause a producer to decrease ventilation rates to save on heating costs.  Lowering the ventilation in the winter allows for the buildup of moisture within the barn and promotes wet litter, making the flock more susceptible to the development of foot pad dermatitis.  A too high ventilation rate can also have negative effects as this will increase the heating cost to unnecessarily high levels during the winter months. Higher stocking density will put more pressure on litter management due to increased excreta output per square metre. Finding the balance in ventilation that allows for a sufficient quantity of fresh air and removal of moisture from the barn, while keeping heating costs as low as possible, is required to manage the barn and the flock to their potential.   WATER LINE MANAGEMENTThe management of the water lines in the barn can contribute to the development of foot pad dermatitis in a turkey flock by contributing to increased litter moisture.  Regularly checking water lines for leaks, ensuring they are set to the correct pressure, and maintaining water sanitation in the barn helps to minimize water spillage.  Additionally, ensuring the water lines are at the right height such that the turkeys are not stretching or bending down to drink decreases the amount of water being wasted during drinking and contributes to keeping the litter dry. BIRD HEALTHBird health plays a very important role in the development of foot pad dermatitis.  Disease challenges, such as coccidiosis and enteritis, are associated with malabsorption in the gut, leading to loose excreta and increased litter moisture.  Watery, foamy droppings are often the first indication of a disease challenge. Enteric diseases lead to a decrease in feed and water intake, which results in marginal intake of nutrients critical to health, including energy, amino acids, vitamins and trace minerals. Unless quickly addressed, litter conditions will deteriorate and birds will develop dirty feathering and lethargy.  The combination of these factors results in impaired immune response, increasing the turkey’s susceptibility to foot pad dermatitis. Closely monitoring flock health and mortality for the duration of the growing period is very important and should be done in consultation with your flock veterinarian. NUTRITIONComponents of the ingredients provided in the feed can contribute to foot pad dermatitis.  Ingredients containing difficult to digest carbohydrates, such as soybean meal, corn distillers grains with solubles, barley and wheat, are associated with sticky droppings due to their ability to retain water in the excreta.  These sticky droppings are concerning as they increase the contact time of the foot pad with the excreta, as well as increasing the water contained in the excreta.  This challenge can be overcome with enzyme supplementation in the diet.  Another nutritional component is the quality and balance of protein being supplied in the diet.  A diet that is poorly balanced in terms of protein leads to increased excretion of water into the litter, contributing to an increase in litter moisture.  The presence of mycotoxins in the feed can also contribute to the development of foot pad dermatitis. The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin), has been shown to disrupt the intestinal mucosa structure, leading to impaired nutrient absorption and contributing to the development of malabsorption and increased excreta moisture. The risk from mycotoxins can be mitigated by stringent screening of feedstuffs and nutritional support to minimize their negative effects. Another dietary factor is sodium intake from both feed and water as it impacts electrolyte balance. Sodium intake in excess of nutritional requirements can contribute to the development of foot pad dermatitis through increased excreta moisture. Maintaining moderate, but adequate, levels of sodium in the diet, with adjustment for the contribution from drinking water, is a necessary step in foot pad dermatitis prevention.  Proper nutrition and feed formulation can address many of the factors involved with foot pad health in turkeys. Developing a nutritional strategy to prevent the development of foot pad dermatitis in your flock should be done in consultation with your flock nutritionist. CONCLUSIONThe effect of litter material, ventilation and humidity, water line management, bird health, and nutrition on foot pad dermatitis needs to be well understood by producers to minimize the risk of this disease developing within their flock of turkeys.  Understanding how these factors work both independently, as well as the way they interact, to induce and increase severity of foot pad dermatitis in a turkey flock gives producers the opportunity to manage their barns to reduce the risk factors present to the turkeys, from day-old poults through to market age.  Barn and flock management that focuses on the reduction of foot pad dermatitis risk factors, particularly by monitoring litter moisture, will contribute significantly to producing a high performing, healthy flock of turkeys.      

Production

If you plan on hosting a tour and/or visitors from other countries, ensure that visitors follow biosecurity protocols Recommended Biosecurity Practices

  As a general biosecurity recommendation, farms should only admit visitors that are essential to the farming operation. People can spread pests and disease on footwear, hands, hair and clothing.  Viruses can live in nasal passages.  The concern is even greater with foreign visitors as they could introduce a new strain of pest or disease from their country or a known foreign animal disease (e.g. Foot and Mouth Disease is endemic in many parts of the world).   The following practices are recommended for hosts of farm visits by non-Canadian residents or visitors returning to Canada from other countries: Prior to the visit, ask the tour organizer for a list of participants, the last country visited, and their country of residence with full contact information.  Establish if, when and what types of farms have been visited by participants prior to your farm visit either in Canada or prior to coming to Canada. Conduct your own research regarding recent health advisories for countries where your visitors are coming from and countries where diseases are endemic.  Listed below are two reference sites:   International Society for Infectious Diseases (includes plant, animal and human health alerts) http://healthmap.org/promed/ World Animal Health Information Database (WAHID) http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Countryinformation/Countryreports Based on your inquiries noted above, and in consultation with your veterinarian, determine a safe downtime period before allowing the visitors onto your farm that is appropriate to risk. Ensure visitors are aware of your farm’s biosecurity protocols and ask the tour host to provide translation services when necessary. Inquire whether visitors have any signs of personal illness, (e.g. headache, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, etc.). Recommend that anyone who is not feeling well, not participate in the tour.   Ensure laneways and roadways used by visitors’ vehicles are kept free of manure and soil. Set aside a specific parking area for visitors and post signage to clearly indicate that is where vehicles should be parked.  Ensure the area is well-drained, gravelled, free of manure, and a minimum of 15 feet from the barn.  Do not park vehicles under exhaust fans or intakes. Visitors’ vehicles should be visibly clean of manure and organic matter. Keep a visitor logbook to record visitors’ names, date of visit, last country visited and country of residence.   Do not allow foods of animal origin to be brought onto the premises. Provide boots and coveralls for visitors at each barn.  If you don’t have boots for visitors, supply plastic covers.  If you don’t have visitor coveralls, insist on clean clothing that has not been worn on another farm since being laundered. Clean footbaths and a scrub brush at the entry to the barn will help reduce pathogens but are difficult to maintain and use effectively.  Disinfectant must be formulated according to manufacturers’ specifications and changed regularly.  Boots must be scrubbed free of manure or other organic material before stepping into the footbath.  Usually at least five minutes contact time is required for boots to be adequately disinfected.     Keep visitors out of animal pens and feed alleys and do not allow direct contact with animals. Provide hand washing facilities or a bottle of hand sanitizer for visitors and insist they use it upon entry and exit from facility. Provide a container or plastic bag immediately outside the facility or in the anteroom for collecting dirty clothing or disposable items used by visitors.  This will ensure visitors do not carry waste material off the farm with them. Some Helpful TipsWhen using a hand sanitizer, be sure to use enough to cover all surfaces of your hands, including between your fingers, and rub your hands until they are dry. The alcohol content of the sanitizer must be at least 60 per cent to be effective, and always check the expiration date. Low-risk visitors come from urban areas and have not had contact with livestock Moderate-risk visitors are those that have been on another farm recently but have not had direct contact with livestock High-risk visitors are those that have been on another farm recently and have had direct contact with livestock or poultry either at a farm, live animal market, fair, or other venue Sources Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Biosecurity Considerations for Ag Tourism Ventures, Agriculture Business Strategies, Agdex 888-7, October 2005. Bowman, Gary L., Shulaw, William Pl, Biosecurity Fundamentals for Extension Personnel, Ohio State University Extension Factsheet, VME-5-2001, June 2001. Bowman, Gary L., Shulaw, William Pl, On-Farm Biosecurity: Traffic Control and Sanitation, Ohio State University Extension Factsheet, VME-6-2001, June 2001. Canadian Food Inspection Agency, http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/information-for-consumers/travellers/visitor-to-canada/eng/1389644337592/1389644527136 Dalrymple, Jim, Innes, Dr. Paul, Biosecurity Fundamentals for Visitors to Livestock Facilities, OMAFRA Factsheet 04-003, February 2004. Foreign Visitor Guidelines, http://biosecruity,swinehealth.ca, September 2011.   Ontario Livestock and Poultry Council, Livestock On-Farm Biosecurity Information Guide, July 2012.  

Profiles

Dr. Ravi Kulkarni has joined the PHRN as its new coordinator New coordinator will further Poultry Health Research Network goals

February 18, 2015 - Dr. Ravi Kulkarni is the new co-ordinator for the Poultry Health Research Network (PHRN). He will use his background and experience in academia and industry to further the PHRN’s objective of establishing a cross-disciplinary network of poultry researchers and health specialists. His research expertise and interests are in poultry health, disease and vaccines. READ MORE