a method for disease pr
for poultry producers an
poultry farm visitors
Julian S. Moore
Charles B. Plummer, Jr.
University of Florida
Agricultural Extension Service
Program For Poultry
Security management is an inexpensive,
effective, and practical program for the pre-
vention of spread of diseases between poul-
try farms and within flocks on the farm.
Security management utilizes every feasi-
ble method for preventing the spread of
disease-producing organisms-bacteria, vir-
uses, and parasites. Without the spread of
these, most diseases cannot occur.
Drugs are a costly method of disease
control, and as a sole means of control, they
are inadequate. Drugs are valuable aids in
reducing losses and salvaging diseased birds,
BUT they will not remove the infective agent
from the premises, will not prevent condem-
nations, and will not be effective unless given
early and in high dosages. Drugs are ex-
pensive, and may be ineffective when used
for extended periods of time, since some
disease organisms become resistant to them.
Security management provides a means
of preventing mechanical spread of diseases
between and on farms. Some diseases that
are spread by mechanical means shoes,
hands, clothing, needles, etc. are: CRD,
Leukosis, Newcastle Disease, Fowl Cholera,
Fowl Typhoid, Infectious Bronchitis, and
parasitism caused by lice, ascarids, thread
worms, coccidia, and mites.
The increase in visits to poultry farms by
state employees, industry servicemen, poul-
trymen and others means that some pro-
tective measures should be taken to prevent
the spread of diseases and parasites among
flocks. Some disease organisms are capable
of surviving outside the bird for days or
even weeks, others for only a few hours.
They live longer when protected by manure
or other organic matter. Security manage-
ment becomes a practical necessity when the
poultry producer is confronted with so many
sources of possible infection. The benefits
of such a program far outweigh actual costs
in time, effort and money.
Security Management Program
Chicks and poults should be delivered
by a pullorum-clean hatchery or picked
up at the hatchery by the producer.
They should NOT be shipped by com-
The brooder house should have ven-
tilation controls and be such that it can
be kept dry, and heated when neces-
sary. A cement floor is highly desirable.
The building must be thoroughly clean-
ed and disinfected between flocks, and,
if possible, should remain empty and
clean for at least a week between broods.
Litter should be dry and of good
quality when installed, and it should be
kept as dry as possible.
The chicks must be isolated from
older birds and from visitors, especially
during the first 4 to 6 weeks.
A separate caretaker, or separate
boots and coveralls for use by the care-
taker when caring for the chicks is
recommended for this period. The at-
tendant should care for the younger
birds first. He should wash his hands
with a quaternary-ammonia compound
or other suitable disinfectant or use
disposable sanitizing cloths before
handling the chicks.
A well constructed disposal pit or in-
cinerator of adequate size should be lo-
cated near the poultry houses. Drawings
for a disposal pit may be secured from
the Extension Agricultural Engineering
Department of the University of Flori-
* Feed should not be delivered by the
supplier into the buildings or onto the
range where birds are kept. Bulk feed
delivery is an excellent method of feed-
handling, but it should be augered or
blown into bins by persons who do not
enter the houses or range areas. Feed
should be delivered to birds on the range
in a farm-owned vehicle.
Rats and mice must be controlled.
Control methods are discussed in Cir-
cular 240, "The Tail of a Rat and
Mouse". This publication is available
from the Agricultural Extension Serv-
ice, University of Florida, Gainesville,
or from your county agent's office.
* Dogs, cats, and wild birds must be
kept out of poultry houses. A fly con-
trol program should be carefully fol-
lowed. Fly control is discussed in Ex-
tension Entomology, Mimeograph Num-
ber 8 (revised). This report can be
obtained from the Poultry Science De-
partment, University of Florida, Gaines-
ville, or from your county agent's of-
* Birds on range should be kept sepa-
rate from other birds by more than a
single fence. As great a distance as
possible should be maintained.
* Houses must be carefully cleaned
and disinfected. They should be clean-
ed before they are disinfected because
disinfectants are more effective on clean
surfaces, and may be inactivated by
organic matter. The manufacturer's
directions should be carefully followed
when applying the disinfectants. Feed
should be removed from automatic
feeders before they are disinfected.
Feeders and waterers should be rinsed
with water after disinfection.
* When birds are sold, the entire group
must be removed, because the buyer's
crates and employees may have con-
taminated the premises with disease
* Ideally, crates should be disinfected
after use to transport birds to slaughter.
Crates used to hold chickens on the farm
must be disinfected after use.
* All of the broilers for a single man-
agement unit should be started at the
same time; likewise, they should be
marketed at the same time.
Precautions for Caretakers
* A separate caretaker, or separate pair
of boots and coveralls for the caretaker
should be used for handling each flock.
If the same caretaker handles all ages
of birds, he should care for the younger
* Hands must be washed clean upon
leaving any poultry house or range
where birds or any poultry facilities,
including doors and gates, have been
handled. The caretaker should wash his
hands with a quaternary-ammonia com-
pound or other suitable disinfectant or
a disposable sanitizing cloth before
* Visitors should not be allowed in the
room with birds or on the range with
birds. Observers should wear clean
boots which should be disinfected upon
entering and leaving the premises.
* Special precautions must be taken
by those who must regularly go between
flocks. Plastic boots, rubber boots or
overshoes should always be worn in
poultry houses and on the poultry
range. If disposable plastic boots are
used, a new pair should be put on for
each house visited, and the old pair
discarded. Rubber boots should be care-
fully cleaned and disinfected. If birds
are handled, coveralls or outer gar-
ments, which can be changed, should be
worn. Hands should be cleaned and
Trouser legs must be tucked into
boot tops or rolled up before entering
a poultry house or going onto the range.
If birds are handled, clothing should
be covered with clean coveralls, jacket
If a disease is suspected or diagnosed
in any poultry house or on any range
visited, protective clothing must not be
worn again until it has been cleaned.
Any equipment carried into a poultry
house or onto the range must be wash-
ed clean and disinfected after it has
Because poultry infections may be
present without being diagnosed or even
suspected, it would be reasonable to as-
sume that every poultry house or range
is "diseased" or "suspicious", and
proper precautions should be observed.
Precautions for Visitors
Except when necessary avoid enter-
ing poultry houses or going on the
When visiting different ages of birds
on a farm, visit the younger ones first.
If a disease is known to exist, try to
make a visit to that farm or area your
last, or only, visit of the day.
The same general rules for cleansing
and disinfection for caretakers apply to
This program will not prevent losses due
to feed deficiencies, poisons, or diseases
transmitted through eggs. The control of
these conditions will probably be developed
in the future.
If disease is suspected, a prompt and ac-
curate diagnosis should be obtained from a
professional source and the proper treat-
ment should be started at once.
There are five diagnostic laboratories in
Florida. Each laboratory is staffed with one
or more poultry veterinarians. Laboratories
are located at: Cottondale, Dade City, Miami
Springs, Kissimmee, and Callahan.
If properly carried out, security manage-
ment will result in a great reduction of
disease losses and eventually will eliminate
the need for some vaccinations. The poultry
industry is currently in a good position to
make this program effective throughout the
Security management will:
Reduce disease losses
Reduce your drug bills
Eliminate the need for some vaccina-
Be effective against most diseases at
Acknovledgement: The Virginia Department of Agriculture
and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute Poultry and Veterin-
ary Science Departments
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Arts of May s and June 30. 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida.
Florida State University and
United States Department or Agriculture. Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director