Top tips for a disease free rearing season

Good biosecurity improves overall flock health and productivity by helping to keep out diseases such as avian influenza.

In the event of an outbreak, it also limits the spread of disease both on and off your premises and cuts the costs of disease treatment and reduces losses, which should improve your profitability.

For game farms or shoots that rear their own birds, now is the time to ensure that you have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected all your rearing equipment. This includes sheds, transport crates, feeders, drinkers, vehicles and water pipe.

It won’t be long until the chicks arrive!

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Top Tips:

  1. Wash and clean down everything at the end of the rearing season with a foaming cleaner such as Biosafe or Biogel. Smaller items can be soaked in a large tank with a detergent such as DMCID which will remove debris and dirt from the surfaces.


  1. After cleaning everything it’s now time to disinfect. A general purpose & cost effective disinfectant such as Virocid is ideal. But when there is potential cocci issues it is extremely important to use a licensed disinfectant that kills coccidiosis such as Interkokask or KC5000.


  1. If the equipment has been stored away in a barn for a period of weeks or months, this should be re disinfected before setting up for the start of the rearing season.


  1. Don’t neglect drinking water hygiene. A large number of chicks share the same drinking source which can lead to a rapid spread of disease. Water sanitisers are essential for good biosecurity and water hygiene. CID 2000 is designed for a thorough clean, it removes biofilm and limescale from the drinkers and drinking system before use. Ensure lines are clean while birds are in, CID Clean is ideal for preventing biofilm build up in the drinking system, it is safe for the birds to drink in a diluted forum.


“By installing a Dosatron unit and using CID Clean water sanitiser, it makes it easy to supply the cleanest water possible to my birds”

Robert, Dorset Gamekeeper.


  1. Ensure vermin are under control around any laying pens or rearing sheds. Monitor vermin activity by baiting or trapping. Feed silos and containers must be regularly cleaned, maintained and properly sealed, to prevent vermin and wild birds accessing and contaminating feed.


  1. Limit and/or record any visitors to the farm reduces risk. Provide covered foot dips such as the Hysolv Footcheck. This stops the disinfectant from being diluted by rain. It also prevents sunlight and debris from accessing the foot dip and causing the disinfectant to breakdown and cause contamination.


For further information please refer to the up to date DEFRA document Biosecurity and preventing welfare impacts in poultry and captive birds.

Please leave a comment if you have any of your own top tips to share!

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