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Basics of Water…Yields Improved Poultry Performance. With Jim Plyler, Poultry Consultant

In animal production, we often return to the basics when performance is not acceptable, or profits are not satisfactory. Water programs are that way too. When respiratory issues are out of control, we know it’s time to go back to the basics with our water program. When dealing with livestock, we often talk about the Big 3 and that is Air, Water and Feed. Water programs need managing every day just like ventilation or feed availability. W.A.T.E.R. = What Animals That Eat Require!!!

What cleans water lines and reduces Bio-film in water lines? Well it depends on who you ask but measuring and monitoring gives us the best answer. Bird performance and swabbing water systems are indicators of what’s working or not working at your operation. If results are not monitored and measured, then many variables can be involved and what is going on is then purely speculative.

Try injecting acidifiers and sanitizers (or all-natural products) within each barn as central injection points are more likely to fail with acidification and sanitizers either in some or all the barns. Be very careful when using water administered products with whey, milk additives, sugar, dextrose, sucrose or other cheap carriers. These can create Bio-film in a VERY short period and, yes, respiratory microbes and viruses waste no time getting established and causing bird health issues. Learn about the cheap carriers and additives that are used in some water administered products before you use them.

Understanding water consumption patterns and adding products during the daylight hours and removing them during bedtime hours (monitor water consumption in dark out periods) can help minimize Bio-film. In other words, pulse treating. So, treat for 12 hours and go back to your acidifier/sanitizer for 12 hours. (Understanding sanitizers vs. Natural products) This is not a perfect world but if you MUST add water administered products then try pulse treating.

When injecting acidifiers and sanitizers we need space (30 times the diameter of the water line) between the two injection points and a way to create mixing (turbulence) to help get products evenly distributed into every drink of water. This is even more important when giving vaccines and vaccine stabilizers. Look into in-line mixing systems.

Utilizing ORP and pH monitoring just potentiates the water sanitation power. If a sample is taken from the drinker and tested for bacteria than important adjustments can be made for improved bird performance. Dosage rates: chlorine 2 to 4 ppm of free chlorine, hydrogen peroxide 25 to 75 ppm and chlorine dioxide 0.5 to 1.5 ppm free chlorine dioxide – monitor, monitor, monitor. While acidifiers have many benefits, they should never be relied upon to do through water system cleaning. Current Antibiotic Free Programs have multiple option on how to deal with water line cleaning and Bio-film removal. As stated in the past, using natural products is also a very good option.

The interest in Antibiotic Free Poultry Production is a growing trend within the industry that has created a new opportunity for Micro-Aid® Liquid to provide benefit during these health challenge situations. Micro-Aid® is an all-natural, environmentally-safe technology that has been successfully used in broiler programs to maximize health and performance by creating a better environment, both internally and externally. A continual or pulse dosage of Micro-Aid® Liquid can be used to mitigate gastrointestinal tract challenges.

Guest Author, Jim Plyler of Turkey Health and Specialties is an independent consultant assisting poultry producers.

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