BioSafe Systems Announces the Availability of AXXE® Broad Spectrum Herbicide in Canada

EAST HARTFORD, CT – BioSafe Systems announces the availability of AXXE Broad Spectrum Herbicide across Canada. AXXE is a non-selective herbicide designed for the control or suppression of grass and broadleaf weeds, such as (but not limited to): crabgrass, pigweed, amaranth, carpetweed, and liverworts and for contact spray control or burndown of weeds and grasses for ornamentals, turf, landscapes, interiorscapes, greenhouses, and non-crop areas on farmsteads.

“AXXE Broad Spectrum Herbicide will allow growers across the country to achieve fast burndown of unwanted weeds and grasses while maintaining a sustainable program for their farms and facilities.” Says Ester Mastronardi – BioSafe Systems Technical Sales Representative based in Leamington, ON.

AXXE features Ammonium Salt of Fatty Acid, which works to penetrate the cell walls of plants which eliminates unwanted vegetation quickly by disrupting plant tissue through cell wall disruption, resulting in cease of plant growth and brown necrosis. This powerful herbicide is formulated to act fast (within 24 hours) and to biodegrade quickly, leaving no harmful residue behind.


For more information and where to purchase BioSafe Systems products in Canada, contact Plant Products at 519-326-9037 / or BioSafe Systems at 888-273-3088 /


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.

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.

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.

Our Team Grows By Two New Members

EAST HARTFORD, CT – BioSafe Systems announces the strategic hires of Kyle Pickles as the Technical Sales Representative for the California Central Coast and Steven Tillman as the Midwest Technical Sales Rep. Both will work in the Agriculture market segment.

Kyle Pickles is based on the Central California Coast as a Technical Sales Representative. He is a graduate of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a BS degree in Agriculture Systems Management and a minor in Plant Protection and Crop Science. Kyle started his career in the water treatment services division of the Deerpoint Group but quickly decided his passion was working directly it growers and transitioned into a position with Helena Chemical Company. Kyle is eager to provide a high level of technical support and service to the Central Coast territory covering Oxnard/Ventura up to the Salinas Valley.

Steven Tillman lives in northern Indiana and will cover the Midwest where he has extensive regional agricultural knowledge. Steven graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management and a minor in Agronomy. He then began working on retain agriculture for Ag Plus Inc. where he provided growers with customized fertilizer recommendations. Next, he transitioned to a Territory Sales Manager role at Compass Minerals International Inc. where he managed an 8-state trade territory, calling on retail agriculture establishments. Before coming to BioSafe, Steven was an Account Relationship Manager for North Central Co-Op. We are excited to have him bring his extensive expertise to our team.

BioSafe is excited to welcome these new members and is pleased to have them as part of our family. For more information, contact BioSafe Systems toll-free at 888-273-3088 or visit

Lifecycle Management of Fall Production Pests Using Biological Pesticides

By Manuel Campos, Ph.D., Entomologist, BioSafe Systems 

Seasons come and seasons go, but it always seems like the pests are here to stay. Developing a successful and sustainable year-round IPM program should be paramount for any grower whether it be in the greenhouse or in the nursery fields. Keeping in mind the entire lifecycle of the trouble insects can be more difficult in practice than it is in concept. Many growers deal with their pest problems in the now, however taking a preventative approach during the early stages of an insect’s growth will prove to be even more effective over time. Using biological products is one way to ensure greater control of pests while maintaining a sustainable and non-resistant program.

Fall production of ornamental crops such as pansies and poinsettias can be a breeding ground for whiteflies, fungus gnats, and thrips. Importing plugs from external sources presents its own risks as well when growers end up importing more than they bargained for. Bringing in large amounts of product along with large amounts of pests can have a detrimental effect on production and profits if left unchecked. Using biological pesticides that affect the different stages of an insect’s lifecycle are extremely effective, non-residual, and are soft on the plants themselves during any stage of production. Biological products can still be used with broad spectrum bactericides/fungicides but it’s all about the timing. Chemistries such as ZeroTol 2.0 can be applied throughout the growing on and finishing stages to prevent or treat common foliar diseases such as Botrytis or powdery mildew and since it simply breaks down into air and water a biological product can be used as soon as the chemical dries.

BioSafe Systems, a leader in sustainable chemistries, has developed a proprietary OMRI listed strain of Beauveria bassiana fungus used in their BioCeres WP® product, which is approved for organic production and is perfectly suited for IPM programs, in a tank mix with other pesticides or surfactants as well as specific, stand-alone use. This sustainable insecticide consists of a wettable powder formulation that is easily blended with water to form a suspension and can be applied as a direct foliar spray or fogging. BioCeres WP is enhanced with UV inhibitors and other proprietary stabilizers to form an extremely stable and predictable biological product that can be used regularly with no mutational resistance.

BioCeres WP is used for the biological control of numerous pests at all stages of their lifecycles including whiteflies, aphids, thrips, and spotted wing drosophila by adhering to the insect’s cuticle, germinating and piercing its outer shell, ultimately causing death. It can be used in a wide range of agricultural, nursery, and greenhouse crops including ornamental plants and edibles.

When an insect comes into direct contact or consumes the Beauveria bassiana, the conidia’s germination tubes begin to grow directly into the body of the insect by penetrating its outer shell (cuticle). These hyphae will not only pierce the insect causing physical changes but will release toxins as well, slowing their movement and reducing the damage that the insect can inflict on plants. This infection from BioCeres WP results in a white mold growth, called White Muscardine Disease, which leads to the eventual death of the insect. The Muscardine Disease will continue to produce spores, spreading to other insects and repeating the process without harming plants.

BioCeres WP is part of a larger BioSafe system of products and is made stronger by working together with other biological products such as AzaGuard, which acts as an insect growth regulator, stopping the molting process between the larval and pupal stages. Combining this effect with BioCeres WP, which targets all lifecycle stages, especially adults, effectively controls various insects that can harm crops of all kinds. Products like these are extremely effective as part of an integrated IPM program and aid growers in being proactive against pests rather than reactive. Ultimately saving time, money, and giving peace of mind to growers as they deal with stubborn pests anywhere in their production.

International Poultry Council Adopts Position Statement on Antimicrobial Usage

Published with permission by Poultry Times.  Originally posted on June 19, 2017.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — In a landmark decision, the International Poultry Council has adopted a position statement on the responsible and efficacious use of antimicrobials in global poultry production.

The statement sets a science-based course for the global poultry industry to follow that safeguards the efficacy of antimicrobial usage while at the same time addressing the issues of resistance, bird welfare, food safety, and concerns of consumers, the council noted.

“The IPC acknowledges antimicrobial resistance is a global concern and that the poultry industry must adopt management practices that reduce the use of those antimicrobials for which resistance could pose the greatest global risk,” said IPC President Jim Sumner. “We also should educate the public about these practices.”

Sumner said the statement encourages the global poultry sector to be proactive in its engagement with its stakeholders and “to implement practices that advance the ‘one health’ objectives that lead to healthy people, healthy animals, and a healthy planet.”

Members of the IPC began discussions on a position statement on antimicrobials at the organization’s second semester 2016 meeting in Portugal, and concluded work on the document at its most recent meeting in Cartagena, Colombia, in April.

“Stewardship in antimicrobial use is essential,” said Ricardo Santin of ABPA, the Brazilian Animal Protein Association. “As a sector, we must understand and control why and when we use antimicrobials, which antimicrobials we use, how much antimicrobials we use, and transparently communicate our actions”

Santin said that the industry must set its priorities for antimicrobial use in order to strike a balance between reducing the need for these compounds and providing the best possible care for its animals.

The IPC noted that it also recognizes the ethical obligation of farmers and their veterinarians to protect the health and welfare of the birds in their care, which may include the responsible use of antimicrobials. They emphasized that the poultry supply chain globally has a responsibility to ensure that it minimizes the industry’s potential contribution to the development of antimicrobial resistance.

 “We discussed and strongly recommend that all antimicrobials will only be used in compliance with national authorizations, and that those antimicrobials critically important for human medicine should be used for therapeutic purposes only and under a supervising veterinarian’s diagnosis and oversight,” said Prasert Anuchiracheeva, secretary general of the Thai Broiler Processing Exporters Association.

“We do not yet have all the answers as to the extent by which the use of antimicrobials in livestock production contribute to antimicrobial resistance,” said Paul Lopez, president of a.v.e.c., the European poultry association. “But we know that the IPC has a key leadership role in understanding and minimizing the poultry sector’s impact. IPC members have a responsibility to produce safe, wholesome, and nutritious food, and within that is a duty to the best health and welfare of their birds.”

Sumner said that the IPC and its members will actively engage with intergovernmental organizations, with governments, and with stakeholders to help shape public policy to address antimicrobial resistance.

“We look forward to working with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the World Health Organization, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission to ensure that we collaboratively address the need to use all antimicrobials responsibly, and only when needed,” he said.

Grower Tips: Water System Inspections Pay Off


Published with permission by Poultry Times.  Originally posted on June 14, 2017.

National Poultry Technology Center

Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. — Satisfying bird water needs is crucial for top flock performance, and it takes a great deal of water. A typical updated 40-foot by 500-foot broiler house in Alabama can consume 450,000 gallons or more of potable water a year for bird consumption and operation of a 6-inch evaporative cooling system.

 A four-house broiler farm of these houses may require 1.8 to 2 million gallons per year. Satisfying water demand can be especially challenging in summertime when both birds and evaporative cooling systems are thirsty. In addition to meeting the total demand, it is critical to meet the peak flow rate needed, which in hot weather might be as much as 50 to 60 gallons per minute for four houses.

We too often see farms that do not show obvious problems most of the time during cool and mild weather growouts — but show significant flock performance reductions in hot weather because of failing to meet the peak flow rate demand, which can be very costly to a grower.

Hot weather is fast approaching. Are your house’s water plumbing and supply systems adequate to handle summer’s peak demand? If you can’t answer “Yes,” with confidence, it is time to put a water supply system inspection at the top of your cleaning checklist.

Broiler house water system inspections should be routinely scheduled, but there are some scenarios or situations to look for that tell you to do it now:

  • Can’t get weight on birds and/or see higher than average mortality rates in hot weather.
  • Have experienced a drop in performance after adding additional houses on a farm.
  • Upgraded fans for higher wind speed and 6-inch cooling system without upgrading plumbing.
  • Experience low or no pressure at drinker lines and in control rooms when birds are drinking and evaporative cooling systems are filling at the same time.
  • Have trouble keeping evaporative cooling systems from running out of water on hot days.

Dollars saved or lost

If any of the situations or symptoms described above applies to your farm, a water supply restriction might be the root of the problem. Identifying a water supply problem can be tricky but of utmost importance in dollars and cents. You don’t want an overlooked water restriction to drop you to the bottom of the settlement sheet.

Consider two farms, each with four similar 40-foot by 500-foot broiler houses that require approximately 13 gpm (gallons per minute) per house at peak demand on a really hot, dry day, so the total farm water supply flow rate required is 52 gpm. Grower A has an adequate water supply and routinely checks for any symptoms of water shortage on the farm and corrects them. Grower B on the other hand, has consistently had trouble with performance during hot weather. He hasn’t identified the problem but notices the houses run low on pressure at times.

The truth is that Grower B’s water supply system is either partially clogged or undersized, and can deliver only 40 gpm, not 52 gpm. That’s a lot of gallons not available during crucial times of the growout when birds and cooling pads need it the most.

In this situation of hot weather water inadequacy, Grower B’s flocks may take as much as a 3 percent hit in livability and lose as much as 0.4 pounds of potential per bird average live weight. What does this look like in dollars and cents, if each farm places 88,000 birds per growout? There are many other factors to consider, but let’s keep it simple:

Grower A: livability: 97 percent; number of birds sold: 85,360; average lbs. per bird: 8.5; total lbs. sold: 725,560; $0.056/lbs. sold: $40,631.36.

Grower B: livability: 94 percent; number of birds sold: 82,720; average lbs. per bird: 8.1; total lbs. sold: 670,032; $0.056/lbs. sold: $37,521.79.

Income difference: $3,109.57.

Grower A, having an adequate water supply, received a check for approximately $40,631.36 with a good average weight and good livability. Grower B, having an inadequate water supply, sent fewer birds to the plant with poor livability and a much lower average weight and brought home $3,109.57 less for the same number of chicks placed. Grower B could easily find himself in this scenario for at least two hot weather flocks and see an estimated $6,219.14 in less income compared to Grower A, simply due to water inadequacy.

Cost of fixing a plumbing or other water supply problem on the average poultry farm varies greatly depending on the particular situation, but $6,000 would certainly go a long way toward fixing the problem.

Inspection points

The first point to consider is that the water source used — whether a water utility or pumping from a well or pond, must be capable of supplying the amount and flow rate needed.

Particular poultry farm water needs vary greatly depending on location, whether conditions, number and size of houses, and number and size of birds grown in those houses. Our example farm above, typical for the lower Broiler Belt growing large birds, needs a water source capable of supplying a minimum of 52 gpm at maximum demand.

Remember, that is just for the poultry farm, not a dwelling or other farm needs. Contact your company representative for an estimated per-house water requirement.

Following are the main items to check to assure your water system and plumbing are adequate. Examples assume the same typical four-house farm with modern 40-foot by 500-foot broiler houses, the farm requiring 52 gpm at peak demand. Note: these figures are for illustration purposes only, and may not fit your farm. Each farm must be assessed according to the location of the farm, weather conditions, type and size of birds, and amount and type of equipment installed.

Undersized water meter

Undersized water meters can significantly reduce the amount of water pressure and flow that a farm receives during hot weather. The meter might be sufficient to supply a residential home but not a poultry farm.

Our example farm requiring 52 gpm will need a 1.5-inch diameter municipal water meter to adequately supply the farm. The typical 3/4-inch water meter is rated for up to 30 gpm and a 1-inch meter up to 50 gpm, each restricting 15 psi at given water flow. These are American Water Works Association standard pressure loss ratings. Specific meter ratings should be confirmed with the water supplier and meter manufacturer.

Undersized main plumbing line(s)

Undersized main water supply lines are often found to be the root of a water problem. A certified plumber should be consulted to determine if a farm’s main line is undersized. The distance from the water source at the meter or well head to the farm’s control room determines the amount of pressure (friction) loss that will occur.

Also, major changes in elevation contribute to pressure loss. For example, a 21.7 psi pressure loss will be felt if the farm is only 50 feet above the meter or well head. Our example four-house farm would need a 2-inch diameter PVC main water line and would have 20 psi of friction loss if the farm was 1,000 feet from the point of supply on level grade.

If the farm water system was installed using only a 1.5-inch main line the friction loss would be approximately 60 psi (three times more) measured 1,000 feet away. A new 2-inch main water meter won’t fix the problem of an undersized main supply line on the farm.

Stopped up filters

The great thing about water filters is the fact that they are disposable just like the air filters in our homes. The problem is sometimes we forget to change them and even if we have a regimen we follow to change them once per flock that might not be enough during summer months when we are using more than average water.

Each farm is different and the rate of filter changes is based on quality and quantity of water used. It is imperative to have water pressure gauges installed on both sides of the filter so the grower can tell if and when the filter is restricting water pressure. This really needs to be checked when a significant number of the birds are up and drinking. If no water is flowing through the filter then there will not be a pressure drop even if the filter needs to be changed. The poorer the water quality the more time and effort a grower will have to spend keeping filters clean.

Clogged regulator

Water pressure regulators are a great way to restrict water pressure to the drinker systems inside the house but they too can be a water flow restriction.

This regulator takes the pressure down from supply pressure at 40 to 100 psi to approximately 25 to 40 psi, depending on company preference. These regulators have a wire mesh screen inside of them to keep trash from damaging the regulator but can restrict water flow as contaminants build up over time.

Regulators should be removed from the line and inspected each year at minimum. Water meters and medicators can also become clogged with trash in the system.

Kinked drinker supply hoses

Also known as drop houses, these connect the water supply plumbing to the drinker lines. The most frequent problem we see with drop houses is that they become easily kinked and partially or totally stop water flow.

Common household or “garden” hoses are not good options for supplying water to drinkers as they are often very easy to kink. Even if higher quality hoses are used, they too can become kinked. If small diameter drop hoses are used, be aware that if biofilm builds up in these hoses, they too can become a source of water restriction.

Contaminated nipple drinkers

While modern nipple drinkers usually work well to supply birds with adequate water, they can become partially clogged with biofilm and other contaminants and functionally restrict water. This is not just a hot weather problem. It can occur at any time of the year, and is most often a problem with young chicks, resulting in high 7-day mortalities.

Young chicks are often not strong enough to break the drinker pins free if they are stuck. Activating nipple drinkers prior to bird placement is a must. As nipple drinker technology has evolved, there are several different types of nipple drinkers on the market, designed for the different types and size of birds.

Make sure the nipple drinkers in your lines were designed for the birds you are growing. If you have questions about what nipple drinker is right for the flocks being grown, ask your company representative about approved drinker types and options.

Backup water source

Water plays an extremely important role in growing a good healthy flock of chickens, so making sure the farm has a good clean and abundant source of water from day one to catch is imperative.

Just as you need a backup generator, you need a fall-back water source. If your primary water source fails for any reason, your secondary source must be ready to take over and carry the farm until the primary water source can be restored.

The bottom line

It is very difficult to maintain a competitive edge growing chickens on farms that have water supply problems, especially during hot weather growouts.

Water restrictions can develop slowly over time and go unnoticed for years, but will have been robbing performance all that time. A little time spent on preventative maintenance on the farm’s water system can pay dividends by the end of the summer.

We have received many calls and reports back from growers and company representatives that have basically “turned problem farms around” simply by identifying and successfully repairing water supply problems. That is not to say that this will fix every problem, but it is certainly worth a grower’s time to pay some attention to his water supply system.

If it is decided that a plumbing upgrade is in order for your farm and you are not comfortable or experienced in plumbing work, please contact a company representative and a local, reputable plumber and come up with a plan together. There is never enough money for a redo and fixing mistakes in an emergency can be costly.

More information from the National Poultry Technology Center (NPTC) at Auburn University can be obtained at

BioSafe Systems to Exhibit at The Poultry Federation’s Live Production Symposium in August

EAST HARTFORD, Connecticut – BioSafe will be exhibiting at The Poultry Federation’s Live Production Symposium on August 1-2, 2017 in Rogers, Arkansas.

The booth will be manned by seasoned staff Technical Sales Representative, Michael Applewhite and Regional Sales Manager, Dean Allen.  As experts in their fields these two know all the ins and outs of the animal health market.

BioSafe is one of the largest manufacturers of peroxyacetic acid (PAA) in North America providing sustainable disease control products to the Agriculture, Horticulture, Post-Harvest/Food Safety, Meat and Poultry, Aquatics, Home & Garden, Turf, and Commercial/Industrial Sanitation industries.

Dean Allen, Regional Sales Manager                                          Michael Applewhite, Technical Service Representative

318-510-8046                                                                                  256-677-2802                                              


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