Canadian Poultry Magazine

Get the Most Out of Disinfecting

Kristy Nudds   

Features Bird Management Production

Clean well with a compatible cleaner

To limit the risk of animal disease and its transfer it’s crucial that poultry barns be properly disinfected between flocks.

32To limit the risk of animal disease and its transfer it’s crucial that poultry barns be properly disinfected between flocks. But using a disinfectant doesn’t necessarily mean that the barn is as free from potential pathogens as it could be. To get the best benefit, the barn must first be cleaned properly so that the disinfectant can do its job. It’s also important to use products that are designed to clean the type of environment found in a poultry barn and eliminate poultry diseases.

But with all of the different cleaning and disinfecting products available, figuring out which combination of products will provide the best protection on an individual operation requires more than just guesswork. A key problem with having so many products available is that the line between cleaning and disinfecting can be blurred. 


Melinda Friesen of Clearbrook Grain and Milling, an Abbottsford, B.C., supplier of feed and farm products, says that producers need to be aware that cleaning does not mean disinfecting – these are two separate processes with different product requirements. Also, in order for a good disinfectant to give results, it must be compatible or “balanced” with the cleaner being used.

That’s why last spring Friesen invited Paul Russell of Dupont to educate field business representatives, hatchery representatives and producers on the cleaning and disinfecting process. Dupont has 200 years of safety and protection expertise, and 40 years of experience in the animal health industry. In Canada, the company’s products and services are represented by Vétoquinol. 

It not only offers products made specifically for the poultry barn environment – for dirt floors, concrete blocks, wood, and other porous surfaces – but it provides programs for producers and companies. “If something happens at one site, how to prevent it from happening again is something we train on,” says Russell.  “It’s a service we provide.”
It’s also made all of its cleaners and disinfectants compatible with respect to pH (acidity). Any detergent residue left over from cleaning doesn’t interfere with the efficacy of the disinfectants. Russell says that if they’re not compatible, then the disinfectant is weakened, and, you “won’t get the punch out of your disinfectant that you need to get.”

Compatible products are colour-coded for easier matching. Blue for alkaline, red for acid, and green for neutral.

Foaming products have a teardrop symbol, and non-foaming, a circle. “We make it easy for product and producer to work together by making the product identifiable,” says Russell. He notes that it’s also helpful for users whose first language is not English. He says the penetrants in the company’s detergents help pull the dirt and grime away from the surface – called free-rinsing. This makes cleaning quicker, easier and cuts down on water use and labour.

Jake Esau, a poultry producer in Abbotsford, B.C., attended Russell’s presentation looking for information on specific products. After avian influenza hit his area in 2004, he says “I wasn’t going to take any chances anymore,” and installed a spray booth for trucks that come into his yard.  Although many trucks have sprayers on their tires, he wanted to make sure that disinfection was being done right. Problem was, the product he was using (a Dupont product) was leaving a film on the vehicles and he didn’t want a product that would have his truck and everyone else’s rusting out in two years.
After speaking with Russell, Esau now uses a different Dupont product that is more cost friendly, just as effective and won’t be as damaging to the trucks. 
Dupont has also taken a leadership role by making its product line “greener” without sacrificing power. Russell says the company deals only with animal health products: they don’t re-label products created for other markets for animals. 
Phosphates are gone and all products are biodegradable and placed in re-cyclable polyethylene containers. Russell says he frequently hears from producers that if the products are greener, they usually don’t work as well.  He says that with their technology (surfactants and chelating agents) and their microbiology, their “green” products are actually more powerful.  n

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