University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Poultry News & Events

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Principle #12 - Feed and Litter Replacement

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
And Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern


*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone.  Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access.  If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.




Because feed and litter are in direct contact with your flocks, biosecurity is essential for these production necessities. Wild birds, rodents, insects, and other animals are generally attracted to feed and litter sources and can contribute to the spread of disease.  


Photo credit: Erica Sawatzke
Is feed, feed ingredients and litter stored and maintained in a manner that minimizes exposure and possible contamination? Your biosecurity plan needs to ONLY address the items which are under your direct control.  Descriptions and examples such as written instructions, log sheets, protocols, or permits should be kept to show how exposure to and contamination by disease sources is limited.  

Another item that needs to be included in your plan are feed spills within the Perimeter Buffer Area. Do you have a standard protocol for spilt feed? Feed spills should be cleaned up and disposed of in a timely manner to prevent attracting animals and insects that could be sources of disease.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Principle #11 - Water Supply

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
And Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.


Despite its various purposes, your farms source of water determines the level of disease risk associated with it. In addition to providing a drinking source for your flocks, you use water regularly for cleaning and possibly evaporative cooling. Water can play a large role in the spread of disease if not properly managed.

First of all, it is most important to include in your biosecurity plan the source of your water. Is it from a private well, municipal or surface water? For the majority of our Minnesota farms, you have a well or municipal supply, which can be treated. If such is the case, the rest of the audit for this particular principle is simple.

If you rely on surface waters for any part of your farm management, there are further actions that need to be taken and documented to prove your mitigate disease risk on a regular basis. Surface waters can contain a variety of microorganisms introduced by the environment.

As a result, you need to treat the surface water prior to its use within the poultry house. Supporting documentation to define disinfecting protocol should be provided and could include treatment plans or invoices for cleaning chemicals and equipment.Contained water sources such as wells or municipal system are preferred to control microorganism populations in water and to avoid additional treatment protocol and costs. Regardless of the source it is still important to test the water routinely to ensure its safety.

In your biosecurity plan, include your water source and whether or not a water treatment plan is currently followed. If a water treatment plan is not practiced on your farm, do you have a risk analysis set in place to mitigate associated disease risk? The Biosecurity Coordinator should provide evidence that a risk analysis of an untreated system is in place demonstrating steps to mitigate disease risk. Risk assessments do not need to be peer-reviewed or professionally written or executed, but should thoroughly consider water management practices.

By evaluating and documenting the water management plan on your farm you can identify the different risks associated with each system and review the best practice for your farm. Employing biosecure water management on your farm can improve your flock’s health and reduce disease risk.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Principle #10 - Replacement Poultry

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
And Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.

Introducing new birds to your facilities can increase the risk of disease development in your existing flock. Replacement poultry is poultry from hatch to maturity intended to become laying hens or breeders. When bringing in replacement poultry, it is important to know the history of those birds. Are these birds coming from flocks that are in compliance with NPIP provisions and program standards? If so, provide supporting documentation such as Forms VS 9-2 or VS 9-3, or NPIP hatchery production records.

When replacement birds are brought to your site take into consideration where the vehicles may have been prior to your farm. Transport vehicles if not disinfected or regularly cleaned may be contaminated. Monitoring vehicle decontamination and inspection can help you diminish disease risk from having these vehicles enter your perimeter buffer area. What biosecure practices do you carry out on your farm? You should have supporting documentation of these practices through truck washing logs, written instructions, inspection reports, or other records you may use if you manage these aspects on-site.

Photo credits:  Erica Sawatzke
In addition to transport vehicles, personnel and equipment involved with placement should also follow biosecurity protocol(s). Personnel need to be aware of the practices used on your farm to optimize biosecurity when bringing in replacement poultry. Be sure to describe your farm’s protocol for transport personnel and provide supporting documentation such as SOPs, visitor log-in sheets, or signed statements. If you use contracted help, have a conversation with the company beforehand so everyone involved is on the same page.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Principle #9 - Manure and Litter Management

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
and Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.



Manure and litter management provides frequent opportunity for producers to enact biosecure practices. Manure and spent litter create an environment which can host numerous microorganisms including pathogens. Because of this, management of manure and litter is critical to minimizing disease risk. 

Your biosecurity plan needs to explain how your manure and spent litter is removed, stored, and disposed of. All of these things needs to completed in way that limits the spread of disease. Along with manure management comes pest management to minimize attracting pests such as rodents and insects. 

Your plan could include any clean and disinfect procedures used for manure and litter removal. These practices should also include designated and controlled access points for people, equipment, and vehicles moving waste products. Protocol may also cover practices used to restore the Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA) and the Line of Separation (LOS) following removal of manure and litter. Supporting documentation you can use for your audit may include:
  • Manure management practices 
  • Manure/litter handling log sheets
  • Copies of permits
  • Contractor correspondence

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Principle #8 - Mortality Disposal

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
and Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.


Another important principle your biosecurity plan needs to address is mortality disposal. How does your farm handle mortality disposal? When writing your mortality plan, include:
  • the frequency of carcass removal 
  • storage and disposal methods 
  • Pest control around mortality and disposal areas
  • Indicate mortality disposal site on aerial map
Overall, you need to address the protocols you have in place for handling mortalities on your farm. Your protocols should describe how you minimize cross-contamination to other farm sites or between barns.

Supporting documentation that is helpful to include in this aspect of your plan can include:
  • Mortality sheets
  • Disposal records
  • Company contracts
  • Best Management Practices audits
  • SOP’s used for mortality handling
Farmers can dispose of carcasses numerous ways including burying, composting, rendering, and incinerating. Burial offers an inexpensive and biosecure method for disposal. However, all burial sites should be designed to prevent groundwater contamination. In the state of Minnesota, producers can compost poultry without a permit. Composting offers an environmentally-friendly, biosecure, and affordable approach to mortality disposal. Rendering allows carcasses to be processed into useful materials. Rendering services are available and used regularly in Minnesota. Incinerating carcasses, while more costly, is an efficient means of disposing carcasses. Incineration also eliminates pests and rodents attracted to poultry carcasses. Incinerators must be approved by the Pollution Control Agency and follow pollution control standards.
No matter which approach your mortality disposal plan follows, include a detailed description in your biosecurity plan and provide supporting documentation for disposal methods.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Principle #7 - Equipment and Vehicles

By Abby Neu
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019
and Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone. Bookmark the site
: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access. If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.



Vehicles and equipment are wonderful tools that can help be more efficient in getting tasks done on the farm. However, they are also very good at transferring pathogens from one location to another.
Contaminated vehicles and equipment have proven to be a contributor to disease occurrence in poultry facilities. Service vehicles including garbage trucks; maintenance vehicles, for example your electrician’s vehicle; and even delivery vehicles can transfer pathogens to your farm.

In addition to vehicles, equipment brought in or used on-site can also harbor pathogens. Tools used by service providers may be contaminated depending on the environments they were used in prior to your farm. Skid-loaders, wheel barrows, and other on-site equipment traveling between barns, sites, or neighbors can also play role in the spread of disease.

Restricting traffic on your site such as only allowing vehicles imperative to farm operations to cross the perimeter buffer area is a good biosecurity practice. Defining vehicle entry access and traffic patterns can further increase your biosecurity program. Disinfecting shared tools and equipment,within reason, can also address disease risk.

Your biosecurity plan needs to include SOPs for cleaning and disinfecting equipment and vehicles that cross the Perimeter Buffer Area. Written instructions, proof of any signage, and proof of training should be included in this SOP. You should also include what kind of supplies you have available for disinfecting equipment and vehicles.

Additionally, vehicle access points and traffic patterns for your farm site(s) need to be defined. These can be added to your aerial map which already define the Perimeter Buffer Area and Line(s) of Separation.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Principle #6 - Wild Birds, Rodents, and Insects

By Abby Neu 
Extension Educator, Poultry
neux0012@umn.edu | (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019

and Hannah Lochner
Extension Livestock Communications Intern

*Please note any templates or resources that can help you, can be found in a Google Drive folder, available to everyone.  Bookmark the site: https://z.umn.edu/NPIP for easy access.  If a resource is referenced in a post, it is linked directly to the Google Drive.


You will encounter wild birds, rodents, and insects on your farms. They can potentially be vectors for disease. Recognizing and addressing these vectors can help you prevent disease transmittance from affecting your flocks.  The NPIP Biosecurity audit requires that you provide documentation for the implementation and maintenance of your control plans.

What are your current control measures to prevent contact your production birds have with wild birds, their feces and feathers?

What are your current measures to control rodents, insects and other animals that may come on your premises?

In periods of heightened disease risk this principle is important to review and adjust your programs as necessary to further protect your flock.


Documenting implementation and all maintenance of your control programs is necessary and can help self-assess your current practices. These documents can also aid in identifying improvement opportunities or address related challenges that arise. Documentation may include:

  • log sheets
  • rodent control company contracts or service records
  • Best Management Practices (BMP) audits
  • maintenance records are all appropriate.
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy