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Extension > Poultry News & Events > 2017

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.

Principle #5 - Personnel

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.


Your biosecurity plan needs to include standard operating procedures (SOPs) you have in place for personal protective equipment ( PPE) for site-dedicated and non-farm personnel.  Keeping a roster of employees will help decipher who is considered site-dedicated and who falls into the non-farm personnel category. Include the types of PPE used on your farm(s) and by whom. Personal protective equipment (PPE) may include:
          • coveralls 
          • lab coats 
          • boots
          • safety goggles
          • respirators
          • disposable gloves


Designated areas should be used for putting on (donning) and taking off (duffing) PPE to prevent personnel from transferring pathogens to and from the farm site. Learn about 2-zone Danish entry or 3-zone Danish entry in these short videos.

In addition to having a biosecurity plan for each personnel group, special consideration should be taken for personnel that have recently been in contact with other poultry or avian species. These activities may include: 
  • hunting or having other contact with wild birds
  • interacting with backyard poultry
  • pet birds
Be sure to specify procedures for these individuals to complete prior to reentering the Perimeter Buffer Area to lessen risk of disease transfer.

To manage and organize protocol completion for personnel, keep a record of each individual through procedure audits, acknowledgement forms, training records, daily log-in for employees and visitors, or signed policy documents.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Principles #3 & #4: Line of Separation and Perimeter Buffer Area

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.


An established Line of Separation and Perimeter Buffer Area plays a significant role in reducing the amount of pathogens entering and leaving poultry premises.

The Line of Separation (LOS) is defined as a functional line separating poultry housing and the poultry inside, the clean side, from exterior or outside disease exposure, the dirty side. A common LOS are the walls of the poultry barn with deviations at the entry and exit sites.

The Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA) serves a similar purpose; however, it refers to a functional boundary surrounding the farm site that separates animal barns from areas unrelated to animal production. The poultry houses, raising areas, nearby structures, and high traffic areas related to daily functions should all be included in the Perimeter Buffer Area. Your house or equipment sheds may be outside of the PBA, since they are directly unrelated to poultry production occurring on the site.

Both of these biosecurity features need to be clearly described or illustrated in your biosecurity plan. An easy way to diagram the Line of Separation and Perimeter Buffer area on your farm is to outline an aerial image of your farm site.

This video will show you step-by-step how to do this using a computer which has an internet connection and Google maps. A full demonstration using a Windows computer starts at 2:32 and a MAC version is demonstrated starting at 5:57.

WINDOWS

Step 1. Using Google Maps, enter the address of your facility and click search

Step 2. Select “Satellite” view (bottom left of screen) to see aerial image of your site.

Use the plus (+) and minus (-) bars on the bottom right-hand side of your screen to zoom in and out to include the entire site and perimeter respectively.

Step 3. For Window’s open the “Snipping Tool” from your Start Menu,

select New, then drag your cursor over the aerial view of your farm.

Step 4. *Optional* Indicate where your Line(s) of Separation are as well as your Perimeter Buffer Area. If you do not do this on your computer, this needs to be completed by hand when you have a hard-copy of the aerial image. Selecting different colors or shading can further help distinguish these areas.

Step 5. Save a copy of your snip on your computer as a photo file. This can be a JPEG, JPG, PNG or other media file.

MAC

Step 1. Using Google Maps, enter the address of your facility and click search

Step 2. Select “Satellite” view (bottom left of screen) to see aerial image of your site.

Use the plus (+) and minus (-) bars on the bottom right-hand side of your screen to zoom in and out to include the entire site and perimeter respectively.

Step 3. Create the image by pressing Command + Shift + 4 simultaneously on their keyboards which opens the “screen shot” application. Drag your cursor over the aerial view of your farm to select the image

Step 4. *Optional* Indicate where your Line(s) of Separation are as well as your Perimeter Buffer Area. If you do not do this on your computer, this needs to be completed by hand when you have a hard-copy of the aerial image. Selecting different colors or shading can further help distinguish these areas.

Step 5. Save a copy of your snip on your computer as a photo file. This can be a JPEG, JPG, PNG or other media file.

Along with including a diagram of the Line of Separation and Perimeter Buffer Area on your farm, you should also have an outline of instructions for any individuals who will be entering and exiting either one these areas. Written manuals, training videos, signage, etc. are all appropriate tools to inform visitors, employees, and utility and service providers of the procedures taken into consideration when entering and exiting each area.

For assistance determining your procedures, watch these videos on the 2-zone Danish Entry or the 3-zone Danish Entry.  

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Principle #2 - Training

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.


Training is an essential component to an effective biosecurity plan. Developing and carrying out biosecurity training helps you protect your flocks from disease exposure from employees and visitors, but also vehicles and equipment. Understanding disease risks will help increase the probability of compliance by employees and visitors

Larger farms may have a person designated to complete this training for new employees. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the Biosecurity Coordinator to ensure this is done in order to maintain compliance with NPIP Biosecurity Principles.

Individuals that frequently enter the Perimeter Buffer Area, need to receive documented training once a year, at minimum. New employees are to be trained at hire with respective training documentation. You can document training in a variety of approaches including completion sheets, training logs, training completion certificates, or other equivalent record. All training records need to be retained for a minimum of 3 years. You can learn more about requirements for retaining records in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 9- CFR §145.12(b) (pg 894) and 146.11(e) (pg 950).

Your training materials should be easily accessible and cover site-specific as well as company or complex-wide specific procedures as necessary. These materials should indicate standard operating procedures for any individuals, vehicles, or equipment entering the Perimeter Buffer Area or Line of Separation.

Consider the protocol for individuals entering the Perimeter Buffer Area and crossing the Line of Separation.
  • Do they arrive showered with clean clothes and disinfected shoes? 
  • Do they need to wear barn or site-specific clothing that do not leave the premises? 
  • What is your protocol for on-site vehicles? And non-farm vehicles?
  • What disinfectant measures do you require for vehicles entering the Perimeter Buffer Area? 
  • Where do you require employees to park outside the Perimeter Buffer Area? 
Each SOP on your farm should be readily available and efficiently communicated to your employees, service or utility providers, transporters, and visitors.

Resources:

Employee Roster - to ensure all employees have completed necessary training

Training record - Individual

Training record - topic or subject

2-zone Danish Entry video

3-zone Danish Entry video

Characteristics of Disinfectants - a color-coded chart that explains advantages and disadvantages, and how they work best

Flow analysis fact sheet - an explanation of Line of Separation (LOS) and Perimeter Buffer Area (PBA) and how to go about determining what they should be on your farm

Friday, October 6, 2017

Principle #1 - Biosecurity Responsibility

*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.



When having a biosecurity plan for your farm, declare one specific person to lead the process. On a day-to-day basis, this person is responsible for the development, implementation, maintenance and ongoing effectiveness of the biosecurity plan and program. Who is your biosecurity coordinator? For the NPIP Audit, you will be required to list this person’s name. Who is your biosecurity coordinator?

The biosecurity coordinator can be on the farm, or company level depending on the size of the operation. Regardless of where this person originates from, they should be knowledgeable in the principles of biosecurity – the basics and what may be specific for your production system. They do not need specific certification to have this title, but will need to be able to describe and interpret the company’s biosecurity program.

The next step of biosecurity responsibility to have a written biosecurity plan. Many have this plan “in their head”. For numerous reasons, this plan needs to be put in paper and its location needs to be told to others.

Currently, there is no required format for how you write you plan. Some farms may have a 20 page plan with numerous additional pages of supporting documents. Your plan may be simple and fit on 4 pages. The content of your biosecurity plan should include thorough answers to the NPIP Audit Guidelines. This would include any S.O.P’s you have in place.

Begin your plan with general information about your farm.
  1. Operator name
  2. Farm name
  3. Physical address of the farm
  4. Mailing address of the farm (if different than physical address)
  5. Phone number(s)
  6. Biosecurity coordinator’s name and (work) contact information
While preparing a written biosecurity plan, the Biosecurity Coordinator may find some gaps in training or procedures. Now is the time to develop those processes and implement them. Each calendar year the biosecurity plan will need to be reviewed and revisions, if any are necessary, should be made at that time. Record of the review and any revisions need to be documented and provided for your audit.

A period of “heightened risk” can be an intense time for all producers and their employees. It is the responsibility of the biosecurity coordinator that “period of heightened risk” is clearly defined in the biosecurity plan. It is imperative to explain in the original plan how a review of the plan will occur in times of heightened risk. Documenting any communications (emails, letters, memos, phone logs, text messages, etc.) will be the duty of the coordinator as well.

If you have any questions or need other resources, please reach out to me by phone (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019 or by e-mail  neux0012@umn.edu.  I'm happy to help you through this process.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Introduction Week 1 - How to Prepare for Your NPIP Biosecurity Audit

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


*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.

First, know I’m here to help! For each of the next 13 weeks, I will breakdown one of the Biosecurity Principles to explain, offer discussion and provide resources that can help you complete that portion of the audit. Here is this week's video!

If you want to learn more about the actual audit process in Minnesota, please view this video.  This is a recording of a session presented at the MTGA | CEAM Producer Lunch & Learn in September 2017.  The video is 56 minutes long.

Please download and familiarize yourself with the documents linked below. I will be summarizing and referring to them throughout this series. At minimum, read them once, they will be helpful as your prepare your plan and gather audit documentation.


NPIP Program Standard E – Biosecurity Principles: The best place to start!

Biosecurity Principles Audit Guidelines: This document asks questions and digs deeper into specifics.

Biosecurity Principles Audit Form: This is the standardized form being used to assess your biosecurity plan and documentation.

NPIP Biosecurity Principles Template from U.S. Poultry & Egg Association: This is a request form to have a 1-time download of this PDF template. It’s worth the few minutes to make this request. Once permission has been given to you , make sure to save the download on your computer.

Here are other essentials you need to know:
  • Drs. Dale Lauer and Shauna Voss from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MN BAH) will be conducting these audits.  Other MN BAH Field Staff may be called upon to assist in the audit process.
  • These audits will ONLY be paper audits.  You will NOT have a farm/site visit by MN BAH staff.
  • You will be notified of your audit and given 30 days to submit your biosecurity plan and supporting documentation.  You may submit paperwork electronically, in person at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar, MN, or by U.S. Mail, FedEx, Speedy or other delivery service.
  • Each state is completing the NPIP audits differently, depending on the Official State Agency in charge.  Your friends elsewhere in the country will likely have a different process than you.
If you have any questions or need other resources, please reach out to me by phone (320) 235 - 0726 x 2019 or by e-mail  neux0012@umn.edu.  I'm happy to help you through this process. 





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.

Assumptions
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,
neux0012@umn.edu (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.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017



Research Update: A Partial Slotted Flooring System for Commercial Market Turkeys-Preliminary Results

Sally Noll, Extension Poultry Specialist and Kevin Janni, Extension Engineer

Wet litter has a negative impact on turkeys (footpad dermatitis, leg problems, air quality) and can allow avian influenza virus to survive for longer time periods. Strategies to remove moisture include adding heat, tilling litter and/or adding dry bedding with an associated cost. Sharing tilling equipment between barns and hauling and distributing new bedding increases the risk of influenza introduction. Another potential strategy for improving litter condition and reducing disease challenge is to use slotted flooring (SF). Previous research at Minnesota found that using SF to replace a portion of the bedded floor area resulted in drier litter where litter was used and reduced the amount of heat needed to remove moisture from the litter. Turkeys raised on partial SF were heavier but developed more breast blisters. 


Slotted flooring was located under the feeders and waterers to collect excreta and spilled water. In retrospect, different flooring or less floor space occupied by SF might minimize breast blister incidence. A pilot study was recently conducted at the UMore Park Turkey Research Unit (Rosemount, MN) to compare five different commercial flooring materials with a conventional bedded system. The five flooring materials were: Double L Classic Red Rooster; SW Ag Plastics Dura-Slat STO; SW Ag Plastics Dura-Slat ST; and Tenderfoot rectangular or square. Each flooring was allocated to two replicate pens with 50 toms each. Flooring occupied 25% of the pen floor. The remaining area contained fresh wood shavings as did the conventionally bedded pens.

Turkeys (male, Hybrid Converter) were moved to the study facility at 5 wks of age and performance followed to 18 wks of age. No differences among treatments were detected for 18 wk body weight, feed efficiency (5 to 18 wks of age), livability, or breast blister/button scores. For the flooring treatments, the proportion of turkeys with the more severe breast scores ranged from 2.3 to 8.6% while the turkeys reared on conventional litter floor averaged 6.6 % severe blisters. Processing plant data indicated similar performance among treatments for breast trim. The preliminary results of this pilot study indicate that a partially slotted flooring system may be a suitable alternative to conventional bedded system. A second trial is planned to confirm these findings.

Acknowledgements: Funding by State of Minnesota and USDA. Technical assistance (University of Minnesota - Jeanine Brannon, Gary Backes, John Fox, Gabriella Furo, Brian Hetchler, Fred Hrbek, Elizabeth Theis and Scott Welch), Jennie-O Turkey Store (Faribault Plant) – processing data collection.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Minnesota FFA Poultry Contest



By Divek Nair, Research Assistant, Dept. of Animal Science

The University of Minnesota Gopher Poultry Science Club (assisted by their advisors, Anup Johny and Sally Noll) hosted the Minnesota FFA Poultry Career Development Event (CDE) on April 24th at the Poultry Teaching and Research Facility on the St. Paul campus of the U of M. 

FFA career development events provide a unique opportunity to high school students competitively express their skills in the production and processing of poultry and poultry products at local, state and national level contests. For instance, based on the pigment loss, handling quality, abdominal capacity, and molt in live laying hens, the students evaluate the past production efficiency of those layers. Additionally, students get the chance to score the shelled eggs for their interior quality using candling and the exterior quality considering parameters such as cleanliness, egg shape, shell texture, ridges, shell thickness and body checks. Following the USDA guidelines, then these eggs are graded.

At this particular event, the students also examined chicken and turkey carcasses with emphasis on identifying poultry parts and grading carcasses considering the presence of defects such as exposed flesh, missing parts and disjointed or broken joints. They evaluated several retail processed products including boneless breaded chicken. Students also completed a written exam and participated in various group activities.

Thanks to Jennie-O Foods and Sparboe Farms for suppling this year’s contest materials. Contest preparation introduced GPSC members who didn’t have FFA contest experience to specifics of setting up the various classes while those with experience were able to pass on their knowledge to other club members.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Good Neighbors



By Abby Neu

An unseen benefit to the devastation of the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak can be the lessons learned from it. The industry – companies, farms and researchers - have been able to identify risk factors where their impact t can be reduced through emergency plans, permitting processes, operational procedures and over-all preparedness.

In 2015, a study was conducted by the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS). The study aim was to identify potential risk factors associated with the HPAI outbreak. Numerous risk factors were named in the CAHFS report published in January 2016. The report provided risk factors throughout the study time period as well as risk factors detected early on in the outbreak and later in the outbreak. The study found the most concerning risk factor was the proximity of a turkey farm to an infected turkey farm. Throughout the duration of the study time period, a non-infected farm was found to be 46% more likely to become infected if it was located within 1.5 miles of a confirmed infection. A second major factor was the movement of bird mortality by rendering trucks which increased odds of a farm becoming infected by 10%.


Early in the outbreak, turkey farms that had tilling, discing, fertilizing or planting activity going on nearby had a 14% increase of becoming infected. This was also the time period of wild bird spring migration (April).Influenza virus has been proven to survive cold temperatures in soil through previous research. Migrating birds who were carriers of the virus could have shed the virus through their feces onto the fields that surround poultry facilities. The disruption of the soil surface during early spring fieldwork could cause soil particles to become airborne, possibly carrying the virus to poultry production facilities.

The study showed the potential for a risk factor (soil related) in HPAI transmission to exist among different types of agricultural operations. Connecting two dissimilar operations can be difficult. In late February and early March, I had the opportunity to travel the state to speak to corn growers about avian influenza. Sixty eight percent of the meeting attendees stated the reason they came was to learn more about the turkey/poultry industry. They were curious about aspects of agriculture they are unfamiliar with and especially avian influenza as it also affected them indirectly with less corn being fed to Minnesota poultry. By the conclusion of the meetings, they were open to working with nearby turkey farms to lessen this risk factor.

So, how well do you know your neighbors? Now is as good of a time as any to get to know them. If you already know them, you are one step ahead in the game. Pick a morning to bring them coffee and a couple donuts and ask a favor of them. You can start by explaining basics of AI and how it affected you and the industry in 2015. Then, kindly ask them to give you forewarning when they will be working in the fields near your barns. This will allow you the opportunity to “batten down the hatches” as they say. Weather permitting, you can raise the curtains for those few days or minimize ventilation to extent possible (without harming the flock), and ensure your personal and farm biosecurity is maximized. You will be pleasantly surprised how receptive your crop-growing neighbor will be when you take the time to get to know them, and share some information about avian influenza.

Call me (320-235-0726 x 2019 or e-mail neux0012@umn.edu) if you want to practice before you visit your neighbor. MTGA staff or I can provide facts and numbers about the outbreak to you. Working together to minimize the risk of avian influenza is beneficial for you,
your farm neighbor(s) and all of Minnesota’s agriculture industry.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

UMN Poultry Team part of education programming at 2017 MPF Convention

Midwest Poultry Federation hosts the largest regional poultry convention in the nation.  It is just around the corner,  March 14 - 16, 2017 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.  University of Minnesota faculty and Extension specialists are included in the slate of 40 speakers that will cover topics for turkey, egg layer, broiler, and organic/specialty poultry industries.  Also, stop by the Biosecure Entry Education Trailer (BEET) on the exhibits floor on the 14th and 15th. See below for a complete listing of presentations from the University of Minnesota.

This event is a destination for everyone involved in poultry, regardless of the size of their operation.  There are three exhibit halls full of vendors and education workshops run throughout the two days. Details on all MPF Convention events, the full education program, list of exhibitors and online registration can be found at www.midwestpoultry.com.  Early bird pricing is no longer available, though registration is still available!

Dr. Tim Johnson is one of the featured speakers from the University of Minnesota to present at this year's Midwest Poultry Federation Convention, March 14 - 16 at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

Tuesday, March 14 - 1:30 PM
Pre-conference: Nutrition and Health Symposium
  • Feed-Related Issue in Poultry: Diagnosis at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory; presented by Rob Porter, DVM
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - Morning session
  • Partially Slotting Flooring Systems for Market Toms - What are the Possibilities?; presented by Dr. Sally Noll and Dr. Kevin Janni
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - Learn and Go Labs
  • 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM  PoultryDiseasePlanning.com; learn more about the secure too producers can use to keep their farm information up-to-date in case of a disease outbreak
  • 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM  PoultryDiseasePlanning.com; learn more about the secure too producers can use to keep their farm information up-to-date in case of a disease outbreak
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - Afternoon sessions
  • TBD; presented by Carol Cardona, DVM, PhD
  • What is the poultry microbiome and why should I care about it?; presented by Tim Johnson, PhD

Monday, February 27, 2017

Research Update: effect of different types of slotted flooring on turkey performance



By: Gabriella Furo
Research Assistant, Department of Animal Science, University of Minnesota

Slotted flooring (SF) systems in poultry houses have a great potential to reduce energy costs and more importantly improve the bird performance. These flooring systems separate excreta from the birds which has several potential benefits. However previous studies indicated if the entire floor in the turkey house is covered by a slotted system, the breast blisters may increase. Therefore there is a need for investigating the effects of a partially slotted floor (PSF) system for rearing turkeys. The objective of this initiated project is to determine if PSF affects breast blisters/buttons, foot pad dermatitis and feather cleanliness. The PSF consists of 25% of the floor with SF and wood shavings for remaining floor area. Comparison is made to an all bedded control. Five different SF are being examined: Double L Classic Red Rooster (0.75”x2.5” rectangular); SW Ag Plastics Dura-slat (1.1”x1.1” square), SW Ag Plastics; Tenderfoot Calf Mesh (0.875”x2.18” rectangular); and, Tenderfoot 1” squares.

Data to be collected includes incidence and severity of footpad dermatitis (0-healthy, 2- deep and/or severe lesions), gait score (0- no impairment, 5- complete lameness), feather cleanliness score (0-clean, 3- very dirty), breast blisters/buttons (0- none, 3- excessively large). Performance measures include weight, feed intake, feed conversion, litter characteristics, and processing plant trim. After this first trial raising tom turkeys from 5 to 18 wks of age, additional studies will be conducted to confirm appropriate type of flooring or to explore other types of flooring.

*Funding for this project is provided from the State of Minnesota and with support by USDA-NIFA. The project team consists of Dr. Kevin Janni (kjanni@umn.edu), Dr. Sally Noll (nollx001@umn.edu), Dr. Carol Cardona, and Gabi Furo. Staff support provided by Brian Hetchler, Jeanine Brannon, Fred Hrbek, Gary Backes, and Scott Welch.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stay connected with the latest U of M poultry research



As a land-grant university, one of the missions of the University of Minnesota is to “focus on teaching of practical agriculture, science, military science and engineering.” Though the scale of the University of Minnesota is large, we are committed to keeping you, no matter where in MN you live, connected to research and innovations happening that will help you succeed in your poultry business.

Here are some of the many ways you can stay connected to the University right from your farm! 


  • Here! Visit the blog often to read up on the latest local poultry news and events. Go ahead and bookmark blog-poultry.extension.umn.edu.
  • Gobbles: This is the monthly newsletter of MTGA, you will get a quick glimpse into research projects and educational programs that will benefit you and your operation.
  • Our website: Visit www.extension.umn.edu/poultry, where the University of Minnesota Extension Poultry team brings university research to you to improve management techniques, develop new products and find new markets.
  • YouTube: Did you know we have a YouTube channel? Of course you did, because you have watched the September 2016 Area Meeting sessions available for viewing there! Other educational videos are also posted, and the library of information will continue to grow as projects are completed. You can find a link to the channel on our webpage (see above), or simply search “UMN Poultry” on the YouTube homepage.
  • Facebook: The brand new page published the end of December is a quick way to access information from the University about Poultry Health and Production. You may find random funny cartoons too. We can all use a laugh sometimes! Find it at facebook.com/UMNPoultry
  • Contact us! Abby Neu, Extension Educator is available by phone or e-mail to answer your questions, or connect you with the person who can. (320) 235 – 0726 ext 2019 or neux0012@umn.edu

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Warm winter and open water lead to important biosecurity reminders


Carol J. Cardona DVM, PhD, DACPV
February 2017

Swans have been important birds in the transmission of H5 HPAI in Europe. With our warm temperatures and lack of snow cover, the open fields and open water seems to be inviting them to move this year and they have been spotted here in poultry dense areas recently. We don’t know if they are positive for HPAI but you can assume they have something you don’t want in your poultry flocks.

A single swan can excrete billions of influenza virus particles per day just like ducks. Influenza virus survives in cold, moist conditions and is preserved by freezing. These characteristics result in heavy contamination of pond and slough water, especially when the water is cold. Hunting, trapping, hiking and fishing activities bring people into contact with virus in mud and water that can then be moved to poultry flocks on things like contaminated boots, vehicles and dogs.

Clothing

Clothing, especially boots, can carry virus in mud or water into poultry barns where it can infect the flock. Anything that is worn in a wild bird environment must be removed and not brought into the poultry barn at all.

Clothes and shoes worn for any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities need to be different than the ones used for work related activities.

Avoid cross contamination at home.


  1. When you return home from any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities, enter your home through the door you don’t use when going to work (if possible). Consider the door and entry area contaminated and when you are clean and heading for the barns, leave by a different door.
  2. Leave your footwear in an area separate from your farm boots (back door, different closet, garage, etc.)
  3. Put clothes from outdoor activities into the washer immediately. Undress from hunting, trapping, etc. in the laundry room as to avoid dragging anything with you into the “clean” areas of your home. Make sure these clothes and shoes/booths do not come in contact with the clothes, shoes/boots you will wear to work. 
  4. Clean and vacuum the laundry room to minimize the risk contaminating other parts of your home.
  5. Shower and put on clean clothes. 
After any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities, the next morning, shower and put on clean clothes and shoes. Drive to work. Park your vehicle in the designated area.

Vehicles


Vehicles that are used for any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities are contaminated both on the inside and the outside. They must never come onto a poultry farm until fully cleaned and disinfected.

Outside of the vehicle: 


Vehicles that have been used any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities must be washed off site. Running vehicles through a superwash before getting home will work. Make sure to get the undercarriage washed, which is usually only included with more expensive packages when using automated car wash.

Inside the vehicle: 


When you get home after hiking or other outdoor activities, clean and disinfect the interior of your truck.
  1. Remove floor mats and shake off all organic material.
  2. Spray floor mats with a lot of Lysol or a 10% solution of chlorine bleach. You want rubber to be dripping or carpet to be thoroughly saturated.
  3. Spray and wipe down the steering wheel and stick shift with Lysol or the bleach solution. Place a paper floor mat on the floor on the driver’s side or both sides if the other seat was used by another hunter. 
  4. Do not go back into the truck unless you are showered and wearing clean clothes. 

After any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities, the next morning, shower and put on clean clothes and shoes. Drive to work. Park your vehicle in the designated area.

Hunting dogs


Hunting dogs are in waterfowl environments where there is lots of virus when they are working or being trained. Because of that, they should be considered to be contaminated at all times. 

  1. Keep hunting dogs away from poultry barns at all times. 
  2. The area where hunting dogs are kept should be considered contaminated and you should stay away from it when you are wearing farm clothes or going to the barns. 
  3. Keep dogs (and cats) out of areas at home where you keep your boots and clothes that you use for work in the poultry barn. 

Yourself


You can carry influenza virus on your body without being infected. For that reason, it’s important to shower thoroughly before returning to work after outdoor activities.

  1. Shower and wash your hair after any hunting, fishing, trapping, training dogs, or hiking activities.
  2. Keep your fingernails short and wash hands well before coming back to work.
  3. Blow your nose and discard the tissue during your clean up process.
  4. Wait 12 hours (overnight) before you come to work. 

Suggested guidelines 

For people engaged in outdoor activities and others that come onto poultry farms


  1. Wear clean clothes and shoes that have never been in contact with clothing and boots used for hiking or hunting when you come to the farm. 
  2. Keep vehicles that have been used for hunting or driving in wildlife areas away from the farm until they have been cleaned and disinfected on the inside and on the outside.
  3. Keep hunting dogs and dogs that roam freely in wildlife areas away from poultry flocks. They should never enter poultry barns.
  4. Stay away from dogs on the way to the barns because they should be considered contaminated. 
  5. After hiking or being outdoors, shower, clean your fingernails, blow your nose and wash your hair. Wait at least 12 hours before you return to work. 




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Poultry biosecurity for urban and backyard bird owners

Poultry diseases are not exclusive to large poultry farms. Urban and backyard flocks owners can reduce the spread of diseases like avian influenza, salmonella or e. coli by implementing a simple biosecurity plan. Watch this video to learn more!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Water, Water Everywhere! How does that relate to biosecurity on poultry farms?



By Dr. Sally Noll


I had to get out for a walk (cabin fever!) despite the dreary sloppy weather on Saturday (January 21, 2017). As I was walking around a nearby lake path, it seemed pretty obvious what to avoid stepping in – large puddles, dog droppings (please dog owners - pick up!!), mud, etc. The lake was starting to open up in areas and there were growing numbers of Mallard ducks hanging out in the open water. I started to wonder if I was avoiding any other nasty things such as avian influenza (if around) on my walk. As I was heading home, I started thinking what I would do if I had to check on poultry at the research farm later in the day? I’m not scheduled to do so, but what if there is an emergency and I need to go in? We do have Danish Entry protocols in place at the research buildings so that should limit potential contamination. As I walked into my garage, I also started thinking about what to do with my non-farm clothing that might have been exposed – primarily my hiking boots and wet/dirty cuffs of my pants. Do I need to consider a Danish Entry system with a line of separation for home as well? Obviously, the boots and pants will come off to avoid tracking things into the house. How much more separation should I consider? What are your thoughts or comments?

Monday, January 9, 2017

UMN Poultry team supports $26 billion state industry



The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers have made available an updated economic impact study that highlights the positive impact the poultry industry has on jobs, wages and federal and state revenue in the United States.

The University of Minnesota poultry researchers and Extension team are proud to support Minnesota's $26 billion poultry industry.  Cutting edge research in avian influenza, DNA sequencing, alternatives to antibiotics, biosecurity, poultry health and nutrition are only a few of the topics that researchers at the University of Minnesota are currently investigating and providing educational programming.

Minnesota companies that produce and process poultry and eggs are an integral part of the state's economy.  Poultry producers along with the companies that provide supplies and materials to the industry provide well-paying jobs in the state and pay significant amounts in taxes to the state and local ($845.02 million) and federal ($1.74 billion) governments."

The full report can be found here.



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