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Monday, August 21, 2017

Students Design a Biosecure Entry

by Kevin Janni, Extension Engineer

Engineering students are required to complete a comprehensive open-ended design project through a capstone course. This spring, three Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering students at the University of Minnesota took on the challenge to design a biosecure entry for a turkey grower four-barn site. They were to develop and evaluate multiple designs, then select one and conduct technical, safety and economic analyses, develop design specifications that meet given or assumed constraints, and consider ethical and social issues related to the design. This is a summary of their presented design.

After evaluating multiple options and practical decisions, UMN engineering students chose to build a three-zone Danish Entry and biosecure hallway for their capstone design project.

The farmstead has four barns 60 ft wide, 512 ft long with 7 ft tall sidewalls. Each barn houses 11,000 toms. Toms are placed at about 6 or 7 weeks of age weighing 6.5 -8.8 lbs. They leave the barns at about 22 weeks of age weighing about 55 lbs each. The barn ventilating rate ranged from 15,000 to 175,000 cubic feet per minute depending on bird age and weather conditions. The team was to assume a 10% flock mortality rate. The biosecure entry was expected to have hot water for washing hands on entry and exit for up to four people at a time.

Design criteria
The team was to design a biosecure entry for changing coveralls and boots and washing hands and boots. The team decided to recommend a single biosecure three-zone Danish entry with a hallway connecting the four barns. This choice required them to design a filtered ventilating system for the biosecure entry. The entry also needed to include a system to provide hot water, and manage wastewater from hand and boot washing.

Considerations and Decisions
The team considered two-zone and three-zone Danish entry systems for each barn and one entry with a hallway connecting the four barns. They selected the hallway option with a three-zone entry. Based on cost information, the students chose a Quonset shaped building with vertical sidewalls for the new entry and hallway. The hallway had fire breaks between each barn and emergency exits. When evaluating water heaters they selected an electric tank-less product. They selected a septic tank wastewater treatment system with a bark bed drain field. The biosecure entry used a MERV 8 pre-filter and a MERV 16 HEPA filter in the ventilating system. They did not implement a double-door system that would have flushed the three-zone entry with filtered air each time the exterior door was opened to reduce the chances of bringing in airborne disease carrying particles. They used LED lighting throughout to provide 20 foot-candles in the hallway and 50 foot-candles in the three-zone entry. They selected foot operated sink and automatic soap dispensers to reduce hand contact with surfaces after putting on barn clothing.

An interesting thing about the project was the long list of incidental details that the team identified and considered before they made recommendations. It is a reminder that the devil is in the details. The biosecure entry project was a good challenge that presented the students with lots of opportunities to be creative and co
nsider numerous options.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pigeon Loft Biosecurity

The Extension Poultry Team recently released a video on its YouTube channel about pigeon loft biosecurity.  Dr. Phil Nelson, DVM
is the featured guest to discuss biosecurity for pigeon lofts.  Nelson states, "Biosecurity is a set of measures taken everyday in the management of your bird to reduce and minimize the risk of disease transmission. You may already do many of these things in your loft; however it is important to remain conscious of disease risk and use common sense to further enhance your biosecurity practices."  Nelson explains simple, inexpensive practices which are commonly practiced and how an individual might improve upon them.  

The Extension Poultry Team also has a fact sheet available regarding the same topic.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Extension offers poultry education in multiple languages

By Hannah Lochner, 
Communications Intern, UMN Extension - Livestock

Minnesota’s strong poultry industry and abundance of wildlife fuels interest in health and well-being of all birds in the state. University of Minnesota Extension recognizes this and strives to provide educational resources for commercial and backyard producers, but also youth, niche producers, and others involved or interested in the industry. These educational resources focus on improving management, developing new products, and creating new markets. Learning and applying the concepts highlighted in these resources can lead to improved bird health and ultimately contribute to the overall health of Minnesota birds.

Recently, several fact sheets have been translated from English to Hmong, Spanish and Somali. The fact sheets provide information on disease prevention and management in various flocks including chickens and pigeons and can be found on the University of Minnesota Extension - Poultry website.

"Avian Influenza: Basics for urban and backyard poultry owners" discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. It also walks through practical biosecurity steps owners can take to prevent the spread of disease which include sanitizing, recognizing indirect sources, and reducing possible direct sources.

Avian Influenza: Basics for organic and pastured poultry flock producers” discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. It also lists biosecurity measures for organic flocks, which include reducing the risk of disease carried by waterfowl and having a shelter present in the event of a nearby outbreak.

Avian Influenza: Avian influenza basics for pigeon owners”  discusses a brief overview of avian influenza including clinical signs and safety concerns. Practical biosecurity measures as described by the United States Department of Agriculture are also listed respectively.

Avian Influenza: Biosecurity for pigeon lofts” outlines and describes the foundation of biosecurity in pigeons lofts such as isolation, traffic control, and sanitation. The factsheet also describes biosecurity measures needed to be addressed for racing birds that enter and leave the loft regularly.

Avian Influenza: Pigeon and influenza viruses” discusses susceptibility of pigeons to influenza through various case studies and the infection’s ability to adapt to pigeons.

University of Minnesota Extension encourages you to share any of these fact sheets with employee, friend and neighbors!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Biosecurity Education at FarmFest!

 For the past 35 years the Minnesota Farmfest show has brought together area farmers and top agribusinesses for 3 days of networking, policy discussion, and special events. Visit Farmfest to see the best and newest products on the market and learn new ways to advance your business. With more than 470 exhibitors, you will have plenty to see and learn about, and of course good food to keep your belly full.

2017 Farmfest will take place Tuesday, August 1 - Thursday, August 3.  Show hours are 8:00 am - 5:00 PM on Tuesday, and 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM Wednesday and Thursday.

This year, you can visit with University of Minnesota Extension Educators and Professors about biosecurity in your production facilities. Tour the Biosecure Entry Education Trailer (BEET), ask questions, have a discussion and set-up a training workshop for your employees while exploring the U of M tent located on "6th Avenue", just north of the Wick Buildings Farmfest Center (stage).

Extension Educator, Abby Neu, demonstrates how bacteria and virus can be spread by people when entering and exiting animal barns.  

Visit here for ticket information and travel directions to the Gilfillan Estate new Redwood Falls,

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Poultry Barn Ventilation Workshops Available

Three poultry ventilation workshops were held in various parts of the state in 2016. These workshops were possible through funding from University of Minnesota Rapid Agricultural Response Funds from the Minnesota legislature. Forty-one producers participated in classroom and hands-on learning opportunities, taught by Larry Jacobson, Kevin Janni and Sally Noll. The hands-on lab used the 4-State Swine Ventilation Training Unit (supported by the pork industry and university extension in IA, MN NE and SD).

Participants took home a notebook of instructional materials developed specifically for Minnesota’s poultry industry. The workshop covered topics such as:

· Ventilation principles

· Animal requirements

· Management guidelines

· Troubleshooting tools and techniques

Learning gains were reported by 100% of the attendees. The participants saw great value in having the trailer as a teaching tool and appreciated the willingness of the instructors to spend time on questions.

If you would like to host a similar workshop, please contact Abby Neu, Extension Educator, (320) 235-0726 x 2019

Monday, July 17, 2017

USDA APHIS Premises Identification for Poultry Owners

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak of 2015 is the largest animal health emergency our nation has faced. Minnesota lost 9 million turkeys and chickens and accounted for 47% of confirmed cases nationwide, more than any other single state. Being prepared for a potential animal health disaster can minimize the impact, and lessen the fear of those involved in the event. One step that can be taken to prepare for a disease outbreak is obtain and/or verify your farm site(s) have a Premises Identification number (also known as PIN, or premises ID). During an outbreak, these identification numbers allow:

· tracing of diseased and at-risk animals

· tracking and identification of laboratory samples

· reporting of laboratory results

· filing requests for movement permits

· processing of indemnity claims

Having this information is indispensable to managers, owners and responding agencies during an animal health emergency.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Heat Stress in Poultry - Key Points

By Sally Noll, Extension Specialist

The forecast for the coming days look hot and humid!  Review these key points to keep your flock safe in the heat.
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