Biosecurity is a set of preventative measures designed to reduce the risks of infectious disease transmission to and among livestock. Biosecurity is important because the set of preventive measures put up will reduce the risks of infectious disease transmission and will help maintain the health of the birds.

In poultry production, and broiler produc­tion to be more specific, biosecurity refers to procedures used to prevent the introduction and spread of disease-causing organisms in broiler flocks.

An effective and well-implemented disease prevention programme will ensure that chickens are healthy and grow rapidly. Healthy chickens do not require medicines to cure diseases, or expensive boosters to promote growth in poorly performing birds.

As we can see, the disease is indeed a cost to the poultry business and will reduce the profit margin through delayed growth, poor quality birds and increased mortalities.

Prevention of diseases on a broiler farm can be achieved in two main ways:

  1. Preventing the farm and the chick­ens from coming into contact with disease agents, as well as getting rid of them if they are already there.
  2. Preventing the disastrous effects of the disease agents on the chick­ens by means of a well-thought-out vaccination programme.

However, for the disease prevention programme to be effective, it requires the right attitude from the person implementing it. A serious personal commitment to the importance of the broiler business has to be made. With this in mind, one should use the best resources at hand to keep the disease away from the chickens.

A good disease prevention pro­gramme can be achieved by following the rules of biosecurity. The following are some of the rules that must be included when coming up with an ef­fective biosecurity programme.

Using a footbath with disinfectant.

Rules of biosecurity

  • The house must be cleaned prop­erly and thoroughly before the chicks are placed. Clean by sweep­ing out and dusting all hard materi­als, followed by a thorough wash using detergents and clean water. Then disinfect the entire house with Virukil, Ultracide or any other effec­tive disinfectant on the market.
  • Access to the poultry house by peo­ple should be controlled. Humans and their equipment carry 95% of poultry diseases. Although diseases can spread naturally, the distance they travel is normally limited by environmental factors and their own physiology. Human activity has the potential to spread diseases much further and faster because of the speed and distances we travel. Therefore, equipment and human beings entering poultry houses should be well washed and disin­fected to reduce the load of the germs they are carrying. Only one person should be allowed to take care of chickens in each house.
  • All poultry house entrances should have footbaths with disinfectant for people. This helps to disinfect under the feet and shoes before entering the poultry house.
  • Keep wild birds, village chickens, guinea fowls, ducks and rats out of the broiler house. These can carry pathogens that may cause diseases in your flock. Use traps or rodent bait to keep rats out of the poultry house. All window openings should be covered with wire mesh.
  • Sick and dead chickens should be removed from the house as soon as they are noticed because they can easily and quickly spread the germs to healthy birds. Sick chickens should be kept separately.
  • Never let the bedding materials get wet and caked. Hard floors injure the feet of the birds and infection may follow. Wet litter is the breeding ground for disease agents.
  • Bury the manure removed from the poultry house as quickly as possible, because if left unchecked, blowing winds may carry germs from the manure to healthy birds.
  • Selling or dressing of chickens should not take place within the house, because it will make loose feathers fly around everywhere, thereby spreading germs to other chickens. Create a place where these activities should take place.
  • Do not keep any other chickens, especially of local breeds, together with broilers. These birds carry a lot of diseases which they can eas­ily transmit to the broilers.
  • Follow a timely and strict vac­cination programme. Do not wait until you see one chicken sick to vaccinate. In fact, never vaccinate sick chickens.
  • It is not advisable to keep multi-aged flocks in one house. This normally facilitates disease carryover from one batch to the next. However, if you are to keep flocks of different ages, let them be kept in different pens, and visitation of these groups should always be from the youngest to the oldest. If these rules are strictly observed, you will experience fewer problems with the chickens.

Tiger Animal Feeds provides free technical services to customers on all species of livestock. A strong technical team is available to offer help whenever the farmers require it. Take advantage of this service, and turn your enterprise into a successful business with Tiger Animal Feeds.

For more information or questions on biosecurity on your poultry farm, contact Barbara Mulonda Simbaya on +260)969-202-207 or send an e-mail to