Quality Water is Vital for Poultry Production

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					Quality Water is Vital for Poultry Production
                                                                                                                             September 8, 2008
Poultry Times Magazine                                                                                                   Volume 55, Number 19

Jeff Odle is a technical service leader with      Finally, maintaining a comfortable tempera-       U Use an acidic cleaner to remove scale and
DuPont Animal Health Solutions - North            ture is necessary to ensure proper water in-      a strong oxidative disinfectant to kill odor-
America in Wilmington, Del. His primary           take and overall bird health. Keeping a poul-     causing bacteria and biofilm in waterlines.
responsibility is to assist customers and         try house cool can be challenging during the      This should be done between each
distributors in the proper and safe use of        summer months. Cool cell pads and fans are        flock rotation. In addition, a continuous treat-
DuPont products.                                  the predominant means of lowering the tem-        ment with disinfectant in the water during
                                                  perature inside a house. The pads work by         growout, with birds present, maintains the
                                                  dripping clean water over them at one end of      cleanliness of the waterlines and controls
                                                  the house and using fans to pull air through      any incoming bacteria from the well source.
                                                  the pads and out the opposite end of the          It is important to note that birds prefer water
                                                  house. However, running fans constantly will      slightly on the acidic side, thus disinfectant
WILMINGTON, Del. — Water is essential             not help to an appreciable degree if the pads     efficacy can be greatly affected by variations
to life. Humans, plants and animals alike all     are clogged with mineral scale, dirt and algae.   in pH that may exist in poultry water.
require an adequate and clean supply of water     Dirty pads also raise energy costs which cut
daily to survive. Livestock and poultry do not    into profits.                                     U Periodically inspect cool cell pads to en-
have the option to seek out their own fresh,                                                        sure that they are installed correctly and in
clean water supply; instead, they must rely       What determines the quality of water?             good condition and inspect water nozzles
on what is provided for them. While many          The key to high-quality water is actually         for blockages. Contaminants restrict airflow
people may assume the well water feeding          what is not present.                              through the pads, preventing sufficient air
their poultry houses is adequate, water qual-                                                       movement across the wet surface. The sump,
ity and quantity is actually one of the most      U Bacteria                                        the pads and the waterline feeding the pads
overlooked best management practices in           Bacteria such as coliforms affect taste and       should be cleaned every spring and fall using
livestock production today. Water pH, hard-       odor, and just like people, animals do not        an acidic cleaner to remove hard water scale.
ness, bacteria levels, mineral content and pol-   like drinking water that smells and tastes bad.   Follow up the cleaning step with an algae-
lutants all have a major affect on water qual-    Introducing certain bacteria into the birds’      cide/disinfectant to prevent algae and bacte-
ity and resulting bird health.                    system also causes them to go into a mainte-      rial growth. These simple steps will improve
                                                  nance mode, in which their bodies fight infec-    airflow and allow the fans and cool cell pads
How does water affect bird health and             tion, rather than a growth mode in which they     to lower the temperature inside the house.
farm productivity? Water has three func-          perform at top efficiency.
tions in a poultry house:                                                                           U Make sure the water used to clean poul-
                                                  Many chronic poultry health problems can be       try houses is clean itself. You would not mop
U Consumption                                     avoided by proper drinking water manage-          your kitchen floor with dirty water, so why
U Cleaning                                        ment practices, including the removal of all      clean a poultry house with dirty water? Con-
U Cooling                                         harmful bacteria.                                 taminated water re-introduces pathogens that
                                                                                                    may potentially minimize the effectiveness of
Let’s first look at consumption. Water is the     UMinerals                                         the disinfectant and could also contaminate
largest component of blood and is essential       Water should be treated to remove high lev-       subsequent flocks. Like the inside of a water-
for many physiochemical reactions needed          els of mineral content that can produce scale,    line, other surfaces inside the house can also
for growth. Under heat stress, drinking plenty    which will build up inside the lines, harbor      develop hard water scale and biofilms, which
of clean water helps regulate internal body       bacteria and may interfere with the perfor-       form a protective coating and prevent the dis-
temperature. Overheated birds eat less and        mance of some cleaners, disinfectants and         infectant from killing the targeted pathogens.
suffer higher mortality rates, specially larger   medications. Suspended solids and other
birds. Water aids digestion and nutrient ab-      particulates can be removed using filtration,     Quality water is crucial to good animal
sorption. For every pound of feed eaten, birds    which will in turn help prevent blockages or      health. It is an essential element in metabolic
will typically drink a quart of water. Dur-       leaks in the drinkers and minimize interaction    processes and maintaining proper body tem-
ing the summer months, they could drink as        with medications and vaccines.                    perature.
much as 1 gallon of water per pound of feed.
                                                  UContaminants                                     In poultry production, water plays a key role
Second, water plays a vital role in cleaning      Nitrates commonly found in fertilizers or hu-     in cleaning, cooling and consumption, all of
and disinfection. It is impossible to effec-      man and animal waste are water soluble and        which are fundamental to a successful opera-
tively clean and disinfect any segment of a       have been shown to negatively affect growth       tion. Putting an effective biosecurity program
poultry facility without first having a clean     rates in broilers. These contaminants are         in place and ensuring the availability of high-
water source and apparatus. The effective-        probably the most common; however, pesti-         quality water will allow your flocks to grow,
ness of disinfectants can be negatively af-       cides, heavy metals and many others can also      along with your
fected if water used in prior cleaning has high   infiltrate watering systems in poultry houses.    profitability.
levels of minerals such as quats, idophors and
others. High quality water is the first line of   What should be done to ensure quality                                              Jeff Odle
defense in maintaining a clean environment        drinking water in poultry houses? Follow                      DuPont Animal Health Solutions
for poultry production.                           these three important practices:

                                Poultry Times Magazine         September 8, 2008        Volume 55, Number 19