Cleaner Water, Healthier Birds

By Rob Larose, CEO of BioSafe Systems

With public consumers’ changing opinions on the use of antibiotics there is increased pressure for producers to find new ways to grow healthy flocks. The value of a clean, safe water supply is an often-overlooked resource in poultry production.

Chickens intake almost twice as much water as they do feed and the more they grow, the more water they drink. On average, daily water consumption can range from one to ten gallons per 1,000 birds depending on the season. Warmer months provide the perfect conditions for water infections like algae, bacteria, and fungi to become established along with the formation of biofilms which can harbor pathogens that can affect overall water quality as well as reduce the flow of water

Dissolved minerals can contribute to the growth of biofilms and increase the possibility of blockages. Even a low-grade build-up of mineral residue can limit water flow and result in less-than-adequate consumption for optimal bird growth and feed conversion.

Water tests performed by a reputable lab can be an invaluable tool for identifying the source of performance problems. On-farm tests can also be helpful for monitoring and improving water quality.  These tests will not only indicate levels of biological contaminants and dissolved minerals but will help to identify when increased treatment options should be enacted to correct problems.

Traditional chemistries used to treat water may not be up to the modern-day task. Chlorine and hydrogen peroxide historically have performed poorly on removing mineral build-ups. Methods used in various industries such as food processing and dairies may provide some answers. Products specially formulated to dissolve and liquefy minerals are best used in conjunction with high-level products with proven efficacy in eradicating biofilms as well as sanitizing and disinfecting the water supply. Peracetic acid based chemistries are quickly becoming the sought-after method for eliminating water system impurities. They can be used in all seasons, leave no residue, and are proven effective against algae, bacteria, and biofilms.

The use of these simple, yet effective systems and biofilm treatment products will keep water quality high, reduce latent infections, and ultimately increase production on all levels.

BioSafe is one of the largest manufacturers of peracetic acid (PAA) in North America providing sustainable disease control products to customers within the animal health, meat/poultry processing and egg industries.

BioSafe Systems adds to their Engineering Team

EAST HARTFORD, CT – BioSafe announces the strategic hire of Sannel Patel as a Process Engineer. Patel’s main objectives will be improving existing manufacturing mechanisms and spearheading the commercialization of a BioSafe’s new manufacturing process, OxyFusion. His work will cover all BioSafe segments with a strong focus on Post-Harvest/Food Safety and Meat & Poultry industries.

Sannel was born in India but was raised in Botswana, Africa where he developed a love for cricket. He was offered university scholarships to play in both England and India but chose to attend Iowa State University where he received a degree in Chemical Engineering. Most recently he worked with Ozone Solutions in Iowa as a chemical engineer and technical sales manager. He will be relocating to Connecticut and be working out of BioSafe’s headquarters in East Hartford.

BioSafe is excited to welcome Sannel. For more information contact BioSafe Systems toll-free at 888-273-3088 or visit www.biosafesystems.com

 

BioSafe Systems adds to Food Safety and QA/QC Teams

EAST HARTFORD, CT – BioSafe announces the strategic hires of Destinee Anderson as Quality Assurance and Quality Control Manager and Justin Nguyen as Food Safety Sales Representative. Both will be covering all BioSafe segments with a strong focus on Post-Harvest/Food Safety and Meat & Poultry industries.

Justin Nguyen will be based out of Massachusetts and work closely with BioSafe Systems’ customers and team members to provide on-site assessment and improvement to food safety quality and process enhancement programs. Justin received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering and Food Technology and earned his Masters of Science degree from Sacred Heart University. He holds several professional certifications including HACCP, SQF Systems Implementation, BRC Systems Implementation, and USDA/FDA Labeling. Justin has worked as the Director of Quality Assurance for many food and seafood processing companies and most recently as an outside Food Safety Consultant for SGS North America.

Destinee Anderson will work from BioSafe’s Connecticut headquarters within the Operations team as QA/QC Manager. Destinee has been working in the food industry for the past 15 years and has strong experience within varied food safety settings including dairy, juice, and USDA meat establishments. She holds a Master’s of Food Science from Kansas State University and most recently worked as QA Manager for a food microbiology lab.

“I have always been interested in the science behind producing food and heavily concerned with all aspects of food safety for consumers. I am excited to open a new chapter of my career with BioSafe Systems,” Destinee says.

BioSafe is excited to welcome these new members. For more information contact BioSafe Systems toll-free at 88-273-3088 or visit www.biosafesystems.com

 

Pew: Evidence-based Food Safety Interventions Will Reduce Human Illnesses from Contaminated Meat and Poultry

Published with permission by Food Safety Magazine. Originally posted on August 21, 2017.

A new study released by Pew Charitable Trusts, entitled “Food Safety from Farm to Fork”, has determined a few ways to prevent meat from becoming contaminated while on the farm. According to a statement, Pew believes that “wider use of evidence-based food safety interventions on farms and feedlots would significantly reduce the risk of people getting sick from contaminated meat and poultry”.

“An effective food safety system includes measures to prevent contamination at every step along the meat and poultry supply chain. More can and should be done on farms and feedlots,” says Sandra Eskin, Pew’s director of the safe food project.

Pew’s suggested contamination prevention methods include:

  • Meat producers incorporating “pre-harvest intentions” (ie. ensuring that water and feed are clean; administering vaccines and other preventive treatments) for poultry, cattle and swine in their health management programs.
  • Meat and poultry facilities should be armed with sufficient levels of biosecurity, along with improved pathogen eradication programs.
  • Agencies that provide funding should invest in monies geared toward best practices, field trials and vaccination research.
  • Federal bodies should begin offering incentives for facilities that implement successful intervention strategies.

Overall, the report dissects various ways that foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli could be prevented at the farm level. Pew cites that contaminated meat and poultry products are responsible for an estimated 2 million illnesses in the U.S. each year.

Using Integrated Pest Management for Broiler Houses

Published with permission by Poultry Times. Originally printed on September 9, 2017.

By Dr. Claudia Dunkley – Special to Poultry Times

TIFTON, Ga. — Poultry farm bio-security involves a comprehensive range of management procedures put in place to limit or eliminate the introduction of infection into the operation. A good biosecurity program in any broiler operation should always include an integrated pest management (IPM) program.

Simply put, an IPM is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management. The lifecycle of the pest in combination with available pest control methods is used to manage and control pest damage. This is accomplished by using the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to the birds, people and the environment. If IPM is neglected it can have a negative impact on production and flock health as pests in and around the poultry farm are reservoirs for a number of disease organisms.

An IPM program for a broiler facility must be implemented on a farm by farm basis as no set program will fit all situations on all farms. Each farm will have to design a program to suit their facility based on a thorough inspection of the facility and the problems that are identified.

The pests of most concern:

• Rodents (specifically rats and mice) and raccoons

• Insects (specifically darkling beetles and flies)

• Wild flocks (specifically migratory birds and water fowls)

• Straying backyard flocks and pets

Rodents are major reservoirs and vectors of Salmonella spp. for poultry. They rapidly increase the concentration of salmonella in the environment and can effectively transmit the infection to other houses and other farms. A good IPM for rodents should prevent access to feed, water and shelter.

Buildings should be constructed to make the facilities rodent proof. Eliminate the potential for harborage inside and outside the poultry house. All vegetation should be at least 50 feet away from the buildings as high grass and shrubs provides a place for rodents to nest and hide allowing undetected access to the house. Dead birds should be promptly and properly disposed of. Unused or spilled feed should be removed and cleaned up or securely stored. Houses and storage areas should be managed and sanitized properly. Houses should be inspected regularly for pests and new entry points.

Baits and traps should be strategically placed on the farm and around the houses and these traps and baits should be checked daily. The insect pests most frequently found on poultry farms are flies, darkling beetles, ants and cockroaches.

While ants and cockroaches are more easily controlled with insecticides, flies and darkling beetles are not as easily controlled and are the insect pests that broiler producers are most concerned about. Darkling beetles have been found to carry over five different serotypes of salmonella which they can shed in their droppings for up to 28 days. They can also harbor fungi and viruses. Avian coccidiosis is caused by protozoans which do not survive well in poultry litter. However, they survive as oocysts which are ingested by the beetles which may then be ingested by the birds.

While darkling beetles act as vectors that can transmit disease causing organisms to chickens, the most serious impact that these beetles can have on the broiler farm is the structural damage that they can cause to the houses. The migration of the beetle larvae into the insulation for pupation results in extensive damage. Application of insecticides to the structure, including the floor, after cleaning can assist in lowering the beetle survival.

Flies are not as much of a problem in broiler facilities as they are in breeder facilities. In the broiler houses some fly breeding may occur especially in areas of wet litter. Excessive numbers of flies can be an annoyance to workers and can result in negative neighbor relations as the flies migrate and disperse to nearby homes and businesses. Flies defecate and regurgitate regularly resulting in spotting on equipment, structure and also on light fixtures causing a reduction in illumination levels. For fly control, cultural, biological and chemical approaches have been used. For the broiler facility, cultural and chemical approaches are the most suitable methods.

Cultural methods would include keeping the litter as dry as possible. Proper ventilation can help to accomplish this. The birds watering system should be monitored and maintained to minimize leaks. Wet litter should be removed to reduce breeding of flies in the house. Fly bait and other fly control chemicals can be selectively applied to the interior and upper portion of the poultry house where flies rest. It is important to note that house flies will develop resistance to insecticides very quickly; therefore the rotation of insecticides with differing chemical bases is advised. It is important to note that all warm and cold blooded animal species are potential carriers of Salmonella spp. and therefore can introduce them to poultry houses.

Houses should be constructed to deny access to all animals and birds and also to prevent birds from perching on the houses. Strays from backyard flocks should not be encouraged on the farm. All spilt feed should be cleaned up at once. Pets such as dogs and cats should not be allowed access to the poultry house. Dead birds should be properly and promptly disposed of as delay may encourage scavengers. Cats have been used as a biological control for rodents but this should not be done. Cats kept from one flock to the next can serve as carriers of salmonellas and Pasteurella multicoda (causes fowl cholera). In order for a biosecurity program to be successful, it must include a successful IPM program.

In order for an IPM to succeed all individuals who are associated with the facility (including managers, flock supervisors, contract farmers, farm hands, vets etc.) must adhere to the program, it is a team effort. The program should be periodically reviewed and adjustments made where necessary.

Dr. Claudia S. Dunkley is an Extension poultry scientist/specialist with the University of Georgia’s Poultry Science Department at the university’s Tifton, Ga., campus

US Chicken Consumption Remains at All-Time High, Growth Tempers Somewhat

Published with permission by the National Chicken Council. Originally posted on July 18, 2017.

Nine in ten consumers purchase chicken regularly

Asheville, NC – U.S. consumers report their chicken consumption remains high although 2017 levels have moderated and returned to those seen a couple of years ago, according to new research presented today at the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit.

Recalling behavior during the two weeks leading up to the survey, 84% of consumers said they ate a chicken meal or snack purchased from a supermarket and 67% ate a chicken meal or snack from a food service establishment. Both supermarket and food service establishment consumption numbers decreased, 3.4% and 6.9% respectively, and are now at parity with those seen in 2015.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects Americans will eat close to 92 pounds of chicken per person this year, breaking last year’s record of 91 pounds,” said NCC Senior Vice President of Communications Tom Super.  “Although consumers’ self-reported consumption is down slightly in the survey, the data show that chicken is still top of mind for consumers.”

Although past two week consumption has decreased somewhat, consumers’ taste for chicken shows no signs of waning.  In the next 12 months, 21% of consumers anticipate eating more chicken from the supermarket and 13% anticipate eating more from a food service establishment.  Consumers with the highest consumption levels tend to skew younger and be more ethnically diverse and live in larger households.

As part of the survey, consumers were asked to rank various factors on satisfaction and in order of importance.  Regardless of purchase channel, the importance of freshness, taste and price rise to the top.  Consumers are satisfied with freshness and taste, however satisfaction with price at supermarkets is somewhat lower.

Overall, the majority of consumers purchase uncooked or precooked chicken at the supermarket to prepare or reheat at home.  While Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely to purchase uncooked chicken to cook at home, Millennials are twice as likely as their older counterparts to buy pre-cooked chicken and eat it in the store.

When prompted, 69% of consumers were extremely or very concerned about food safety, and 57% about hormone / steroid use, and 55% about antibiotic use.  Although still low, concern is growing about the time it takes to raise a chicken – 26% were extremely or very concerned this year while 19% were last year.

When it comes to reasons that consumers purchase chicken over other types of meat, its healthiness, versatility and convenience top the list.

Consumers are being exposed to media coverage relative to the care of chickens.  Nearly three-quarters said they have seen articles in the past year and most of those would characterize the tone of the coverage as neutral or negative.

Consumers consider themselves to be knowledgeable about the care of chickens yet most have incorrect perceptions.  In an exercise where they were asked to identify statements about the care and raising of chickens as true or false, the majority answered incorrectly for most statements.

The survey was commissioned by the National Chicken Council and conducted online by ORC International June 5 – 8, 2017, among 1,013 adults.  Funding was provided by Elanco and WATT Global Media.  A full copy is available by clicking here.

Tips to Control Lice and Mites on Poultry

Published with permission by Poultry Times.  Originally posted on August 21, 2017.

By Dr. Dan Cunningham

Special to Poultry Times

ATHENS, Ga. — Ectoparasites (e.g. lice & mites) are often a problem for small flock producers. These insects are extremely small (about the size of a pin head) and difficult to detect unless one knows how and where to look for these pests.

Even though they are very small and not easily noticed, they can cause problems for caretakers as well as the birds themselves. Heavily infested flocks can suffer substantial economic losses as a result of reductions in egg production, reduced weight gains, lower hatchability, increased feed costs and increased mortality.

Poultry workers may experience the uncomfortable conditions of numerous bites and skin rashes. The following is useful information for controlling these parasites in small flocks:

Northern Fowl Mite (white, gray, black or red in color)

Hosts include wild birds and rodents as well as poultry.
Infestations can occur at any time of the year.
Mites generally spend their entire life on or near the host.
Life cycle can be complete in as little as 5 days.
Chicken Mites (white, gray, black or red in color)

Hosts include wild birds (pigeons are a popular host) as well as poultry.
Hide off hosts during the day in nest boxes, cracks and crevices. Feed on hosts at night.
Life cycle can be complete in as little as seven days.
Workers may experience bites, itching or rashes.
Chicken Body Louse (yellowish color, flat body)

Spends it entire life on the chicken. No other hosts.
Chewing lice that feed on skin and feathers.
Life cycle is complete in 18 to 21 days.
Generally found around the vent area.
Management

It is not difficult to monitor birds in a small flock on a regular basis. Birds and nests should be checked at least monthly for signs of lice or mites. More frequent monitoring may be needed if the problem is severe.

Check birds at the base of the feathers and around the vent area for adult lice and mites or for evidence of eggs. Eggs may appear as dirty gray areas at the base of the feathers, particularly around the vent.
Look for evidence of lesions or skin irritation anywhere on the body of the bird.
Examine nest boxes for evidence of mites. Mites may be seen as rapidly moving specks on the nesting material or the hands. A flash light may be helpful in looking for these pests.
Be alert for unexplained rashes, itching or other skin disorders on workers.
Treatment

The most common treatment for poultry lice and mites for small flock owners is the use of a dust powder or spray solution. Permethrin and tetrachlorvinphos are insecticides commonly used for treating poultry with ectoparasites. These insecticides can be found in dust or spray applications in most farm animal supply stores and can be applied directly to the birds or to treat nests. Permethrin strips that can be hung in the pens are also available for lice and mite control. Regardless of which insecticide is used, it is important to follow label instructions.

Bird Application — To ensure proper treatment, it is important that all birds be treated. The insecticide must be applied so that it penetrates to the skin. Thorough application of the insecticide to the base of the feathers of all birds will be required. In addition, a follow up application will be necessary to kill newly hatched larvae. Eggs of ectoparsites are unaffected by these insecticides.
Application to Premises — When applying insecticides for ectoparasites, the material should be applied to areas where these pests hide. Thus, nest boxes, side and end walls, cages and other stationary equipment should be treated. As with direct application to the birds, a second application to kill parasites that may have hatched following treatment will be necessary.
Individuals should always follow label instruction on interval usage and application rates for pesticides. All pesticides are most effective when applied to clean facilities.

Controlling ectoparasites in poultry flocks will result in healthier and more economically productive birds for the pleasure and benefit of your family.

Dr. Dan Cunningham is a retired professor of poultry science with the University of Georgia’s Department of Poultry Science in Athens, Ga.

BioSafe Systems to Exhibit at IGC Chicago 2017 – Booth #1323!

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – BioSafe will be exhibiting at the 2017 Independent Garden Center Show August 15-17 in Chicago, IL.

Booth #1323 will be manned by Retail Market Segment Manager, Tammy Raymond and Brand Manager, Laura Bengston. Come by the booth to learn about eco-friendly products that offer commercial-strength results.

BioSafe is one of the largest manufacturers of peroxyacetic acid (PAA) in North America providing sustainable disease control products to the Aquatics, Home & Garden industries.

For questions about this press release please call 888-273-3088

BioSafe System’s AzaGuard Now Approved for Poultry and Livestock Applications

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – AzaGuard is a botanical based insecticide/nematicide that offers broad spectrum insecticidal control on over 300 insect species.  The new comprehensive label includes applications to control darkling, hide and carrion beetles specific to poultry houses and for use in organic poultry production.

Composed of a 3% Azadirachtin formula, this Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) is EPA and OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) approved and controls insects in the larval, pupal, and nymphal stages.

BioSafe Systems is committed to providing poultry farms with effective and sustainable products that meet strict industry standards. To learn more about how AzaGuard is an effective insecticide, please contact Michael Applewhite by email at mapplewhite@biosafesystems.com  or call him at 256-677-2802.

For questions about this press release please call 888-273-3088.

Introducing New AzaGuard Formulation from BioSafe Systems

EAST HARTFORD, CT – BioSafe Systems is excited to announce the release of a new and improved formulation of AzaGuard Insecticide/Nematicide. A common inert used in emulsified concentrates was recently put on the EPA watch list. To be proactive, BioSafe Systems underwent the process of reformulating AzaGuard and updating the label through the EPA to produce a more sustainable botanical insecticide which adheres to the company’s mission of providing highly effective but sustainable crop protection solutions. Additionally, over 30 new crops were added to the label including arugula, globe artichokes, pomegranates and cranberries to meet the increasing need for effective organic insect control solutions.

AzaGuard is a 3% Azadirachtin Botanical Insecticide utilizing the technical material that remains below 20% by weight to maintain high levels of other important limonoids. The inclusion of these important limonoids in AzaGuard enhances the efficacy of the active ingredient as an insect growth regulator, insect repellant and anti-feedant. In addition, AzaGuard is formulated in the U.S. under strict quality control conditions from technical material extracted from newly harvested neem seeds. These manufacturing efforts ensure that AzaGuard maintains the maximum potency until used by our customers.

For more information or a copy of the updated AzaGuard label, contact BioSafe Systems toll-free at 888-273-3088 or visit biosafesystems.com.