Canadian Poultry Magazine

PIC Update: Cost/Benefit of Biosecurity

By PIC   

Features Barn Management Production Biosecurity

Tips on how to prevent the introduction and spread of disease on your farm

Shown here is contamination from outside sources. This can be prevented by ensuring that PPE is placed over boots and outer clothing before going to the area where birds are kept.

Once contaminated, poultry facilities are difficult and expensive to clean, sanitize and disinfect. Visible signs of disease are only the tip of the iceberg, beneath which there may be less obvious subclinical disease, which can be devastating economically, over a long period of time. Bird-to-bird transmission of diseases may result from direct contact with an infected bird or from indirect contact with fomites such as feathers, feed, unclean footwear and clothing and fecal material from birds or bird mortalities.

For demonstration purposes, we have “infected” one bird* (see photo 1) with Glogerm – an orange dust that luminesces under UV light. The pictures demonstrate that in less than half an hour, half of the birds in the pen become “infected” through direct contact with the first bird or through indirect contact with “infected” dust (photo 2) that has been shed onto the bedding and through loose feathers (photo 3).

Quarantine your flock and Manage Deadstock


Quarantining Birds

  1. Record histories of any diseases and vaccinations for all new birds
  2. Keep show birds or new birds away from the rest of the flock for at least two to four weeks and monitor them for signs of illness.
  3. Always care for the birds in quarantine last; equipment in the quarantine area should never leave the area; clean the quarantine area last in the daily routine.
  4. Do not allow people who keep poultry, or who have recently been in contact with other birds near your birds.  

Managing Deadstock

  1. Have a designated area and sealable bin for deadstock that is well away from live poultry.
  2. Remove mortalities daily. Store or dispose of them by freezing, composting or rendering.
  3. After mortalities have been cleared from the facility, clean and disinfect the collection bins thoroughly with disinfectant (photos 4 and 5).

If you have questions about options for deadstock disposal or the new regulations, please contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

Personal Protection
To prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses between barns and to protect workers and their communities, rigorous attention to biosecurity and occupational health measures, such as wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is important during everyday barn management activities.

Objects such as contaminated boots, coveralls, and transport vehicles, can be risk factors for pathogen transmission. It is therefore not only important to “suit up” prior to going into your barn, but also to pay attention to how coveralls and such items are removed, disinfected and/ or disposed of.

PPE kits comprise coveralls, rubber/plastic cover-over boots, gloves, hair caps and masks and can ordered in Ontario free of cost.**

Recommendations For PPE

  1. Ensure that your barn is equipped with PPE. Types of coveralls available include washable coveralls that can be easily cleaned and disinfected, and disposable coveralls.
  2. Provide a designated area such as an anteroom or clearly marked area where PPE is kept and can be put on and taken off (“donned” or “doffed”).

Ensure that PPE is placed over boots and outer clothing before going to the area where the birds are kept to ensure there is not any contamination from outside
sources. Discard or wash all PPE after leaving the birds and before leaving the property.

Pay attention when “donning and doffing” coveralls – the aim is to minimize the risk of transfer of any organic materials from your coveralls to your street clothes
Have designated bins to dispose of “dirty” PPE. If coveralls are washable, have specific washing machines and appropriate disinfectant.


*Glogerm is a completely safe, non-toxic product, and birds were not harmed during this experiment.
** Funding for PPE kits provided by OMAFRA. To order visit:

PIC’s Picks

by Tim Nelson

In the last issue of Canadian Poultry magazine, we said that the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) would be looking at some cool, clever stuff for using the new technologies (such as those for Smartphones).

We’re pleased to be able to give you a taste of this using the Poultry Loading Decision Tree Tool (see article on page 10 for details on the decision tree), which you can upload onto your cell simply by using the QR code – the funny looking square pattern – you see on page 19. You’ll find the resolution of the photographs on your tiny screen very clear. However, if you’re over 50 you’ll probably need to zoom in on the words, and it’s a pdf document so you will need to scroll through it. Later in the year we’ll be updating your ease of access by developing an easy-to-navigate Loading Decision Tree App. But for now, give this a try.

The Poultry Loading Decision Tree is a very useful educational, instructional and important decision support tool for use in the barn, and being able to view it on your Smartphone is just one of the ways in which the information is being made available to you. 

All you’ll need to upload this terrific tool is a smartphone capable of reading QR codes (most can) and here’s what you do:

  • Step 1. Go to the Apps store supported by your platform
  • Step 2. Download a QR Code Reader. RedLaser (all one word) is good for Androids and izphones and QR Code Scanner Pro is good for BlackBerry devices. They’re all free! Here’s where you can find them online:

Androids go to:
BlackBerry go to:
Mac iOS go to:;mt=8
If you’ve downloaded apps before, this will be easy. If you haven’t, simply follow the instructions on the websites (above). If you’re still struggling, give the phone to someone between ages 10 and 22 and they’ll have it loaded in less than a minute! I do this all the time with new technology.

  • Step 3. Once you have loaded the QR Code reader, enable the application and follow the instructions on how to read a QR code.
  • Step 4. Read the QR code on this page and your phone will automatically upload the Decision Tree Handbook onto your phone. It’s incredibly quick and it will look like the photograph on this page. You’ll then be able to access the Decision Tree Handbook as a PDF wherever you are and whenever you need it. Having a backlit phone screen will make it much easier to see in poultry barns than a book and once you’ve looked up whatever you want to find you simply slip it back into your pocket!

Now, I hear some of you saying – “why would I want that?” You may not – but remember this was a trial run to get you into the swing of downloading the type of useful tools we’ll be developing for you later in the year. We aim to bring you stuff you will want – stuff designed by farmers for use by farmers. Have fun playing around with this and familiarizing yourself with these technologies.
If you haven’t understood a word on this page or you’re not sure why we’re printing this, ask your teenage son, daughter, niece or nephew what it is all about. They understand this stuff and it is, without doubt, the future of information transfer.
If you still don’t get it, you can always phone your marketing board field officer for the hard copies. 
For more information on the above or if you would like to be involved in our apps development work, please contact us at 519-837-0284.

Print this page


Stories continue below