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Showing posts from 2017

Principle #13 - Reporting of Elevated Morbidity and Mortality

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


*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.




Understanding that elevated morbidity and mortality plays a major role in analyzing and addressing your flock’s health status may help reduce the magnitude of a possible disease outbreak. Expected and elevated mortality specific to your farm needs to be defined in your biosecurity plan. Supporting documentation for analyzing and monitoring mortality rates should be kept on record. Documentation could include evidence of investigations, tracking graphs, case reports, or mortality logs.

When the mortality rate meets the defined site-specific elevation, it should be reported to the peo…

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.  

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 …

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 ca…

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 …

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/NPIPfor 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 ins…

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 areasIndicate 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 includ…

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/NPIPfor 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…

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?

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/NPIPfor 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 bootssafety gogglesrespiratorsdisposable gloves

Designated areas should be used for putting on (donning) and taking off (duffing) PPE to prevent personnel…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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.

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 w…

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.

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 In…

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).


Visit here for ticket inf…

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 spen…

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.

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.
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 bl…

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 USD…

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-…

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!


Tuesday,…

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…

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 …