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.

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