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Abubakar Tahir Ramay

M.Sc.( Hons ) Animal Nutrition


University of Agriculture
Faisalabad.
by Jennifer Hughes, Brookee Dean, Tyler Clark and Susan Watkins
University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
PAGE 4 A 100-Flock Comparison of Broiler Feed Ticket Weights and On-Farm Fee
Weights at the ABRF
by G.T. Tabler
PAGE 8 Poultry Litter Production and Associated Challenges
by by G.T. Tabler, Y. Liang, and K. W. VanDevender
PAGE 12 Broiler Water Consumption
by Susan Watkins and G.T. Tabler
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin,
sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Cooperative Extension Service
Chlorination contd on page 2
Chlorination/Acidifcation Affects
Salmonella Contamination
Introduction
Salmonella contamination continues to be problematic for the poultry industry.
Contamination can occur at any production or processing step and in live production Salmonella
control is diffcult because treatments can infuence production characteristics, and, in turn,
fnancial returns. Fortunately, many good management practices are also effective Salmonella
control methods.
Water has long been known to be a vehicle for the transmission of bacterial, viral and
protozoal diseases of poultry, including Salmonella. Indeed, researchers have verifed that
when birds consumed water containing fecal coliform levels of 10
6
, 10
5
, 10
4
, 10
3
, 10
2
and 10,
Salmonella was isolated from 100%, 99%, 66%, 33%, 21% and 11% of the birds, respectively
(Amaral, 2004). Even though the widespread adoption of closed, nipple drinker systems has
reduced a good deal of contamination once passed from bird to bird, water chlorination alone
may have little effect on cecal Salmonella levels for artifcially inoculated birds consuming
the water (Poppe et al., 1986). In addition, Salmonella may be isolated from 7 to 8% of water
samples collected from nipple drinker systems and (Heyndrickx et al., 2002).
Many investigations of the potential effects of water chlorination on Salmonella have
ignored the infuence of oxidation-reduction potential (ORP). Yet, enhancing the ORP level by
reducing the pH can signifcantly affect water disinfectants effectiveness (particularly chlorine)
(Suslow, 2004). Consequently, a trial was undertaken to determine if free chlorine of 1 ppm
free chlorine and acidifed calcium sulfate (ACS) also injected at a rate necessary to maintain
650 mV oxidation reduction potential (ORP) affected Salmonella contamination in artifcially
inoculated broilers.
The sense of taste in chickens has been studied for decades and birds perceive taste entirely
differently than humans. Flavors objectionable to most humans may or may not be accepted
Since the last
issue of Avian
Advice, several
changes have
occurred
within the
Center of
Excellence
for Poultry Science. Dr.
Frank Jones retired from the
University on May 1. He was
a faithful and steady infuence
on the Extension section of
Poultry Science for many years
and also was the editor of
AvianAdvice. When someone
of Dr. Jones caliber retires,
many gaps are left to fll. Dr.
Dustan Clark has assumed the
position of Extension section
leader on an interim basis. In
the next issue, he will explain
details of the re-assignment
of Franks responsibilities and
those of Jerry Wooley, who
retired from his position as
Extension Poultry Specialist
on June 1. So, two large holes
have been left which we are
attempting to fll in the short-
run by reassigning duties to
other specialists, primarily Drs.
Keith Bramwell, John Marcy
and Susan Watkins. I have
taken on the role of Editor for
AvianAdvice. You may notice
a few changes along the way in
format or style, but I will strive
to keep it the same high-quality,
informative and practical
publication it has been since its
frst issue in 1999.
EDITORS COLUMN
Volume 11 No. 2
2
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
Chlorination continued from page 1
by chickens (Kare et al., 1957). The domestic chicken has
defnite likes and dislikes with respect to water taste. In fact,
early studies suggest that birds are much more sensitive to
favors in water than those in feed (Kare and Pick, 1960).
Virtually every production professional realizes that feed and
water consumption are closely correlatedormore directly
if they arent drinking, they arent eating. Early studies
show that birds reject certain favors: such differences may
be easily detected because of the dramatic decrease in water
consumption. However, birds tend to adapt to other favors and
can eventually accept them as normal.
The data in Figure 1 were collected by Kare et al., (1957)
and illustrate one adaptation method employed by birds. These
researchers placed two chick watering jars in each pen. One
jar contained untreated water and the other contained favored
water. A comparison of the amount of water consumed from
the two jars measured acceptance or rejection of favors by the
birds. The data in Figure 1 are similar to those observed in
feld situation when acidifed calcium sulfate (ACS) is included
in drinking water for poultry.
Materials and Methods
To measure the effectiveness of chlorination on
Salmonella in broilers, two water regimes were designed,
one, the treatment, with chlorination and the other, a control,
without chlorination. For the chlorination treatment, an in-
line gas chlorinator was installed and set to maintain 1 part
per million (ppm) free chlorine along with a second injector
that injected a food grade acid, acidifed calcium sulfate,
(ACS) to assure that an ORP reading of 650 mV or higher
was maintained. The ORP, total and free chlorine levels were
measured and recorded during four times daily.
Thirty (30) birds were placed in each of 16 pens and
were raised under standard commercial conditions using
nipple drinkers and tube feeders. Birds were housed in a
solid-sidewall house with a minimum ventilation system and
environmental controls and water regimes were given from 0 to
42 days of age. All birds were fed a dietary program based on
the Cobb-Vantress nutritional recommendations. All birds were
fed a pelleted diet; the starter diet was also crumbled. On day
7 of the trial, 3 pens of birds in each of the two water regimes
were randomly selected and within each pen, 10 birds were
marked with wing bands and challenged with Nalidixic acid
resistant Salmonella typhimurium (NAL-SAL). On day 35, a
second set of 3 pens for each water regime were selected and
10 birds were again marked with wing bands and challenged
with NAL-SAL. The remaining 2 pens per water regime were
not challenged and served as the controls.
On day 42, 10 of the NAL-SAL challenged birds per
pen along with 5 of their non-challenged pen mates were
sacrifced by asphyxiation with carbon dioxide gas and the ceca
aseptically removed. In addition, 10 birds per pen from the
non-challenged pens for each regime were also sacrifced to
determine NAL-SAL incidence.

Results
No statistical differences were found when the weights,
feed conversions and mortality percentages of bird given
chlorinated water were compared with those receiving water
with no chlorine (data not shown). The data in Figure 2
summarize the fndings of this study. No signifcant differences
among treatments for non-challenged birds. In birds
challenged with Salmonella at 7 days, more birds that drank
chlorinated water were found contaminated as compared to
birds given water with no chlorine. However, when challenged
with Salmonella at 35 days, less contamination was found in
birds drinking chlorinated water than in birds drinking water
with no chlorine.
Discussion
Results of this study indicate that chlorinated water does
not provide protection against early exposure (challenged at 7
days) to Salmonellaspp. while chlorinated water maintained
at an ORP of 65 mV or higher does reduce the incidence of
Salmonellaspp. when birds are challenged close to market age
(challenged at 35 days). Lack of protection and actual increase
in Salmonella incidence in chlorinated birds challenged at the
early age is perplexing but might be related to acidifer used in
these trials.
To illustrate the possible connection, consider the
following observations on bird performance at the University
of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Applied Broiler Research
Farm (ABRF). ABRF has utilized gas chlorine and acidifers
for its last 13 focks. Average bird weights for these focks
have remained near the top of the settlement with the exception
of three focks which received the acidifed calcium sulfate
instead of the usual acidifer, sodium bisulfate. The average
weight for these two focks was below average. For the next
2 focks, the acidifed calcium sulfate was replaced with the
sodium bisulfate and weights again were near the top of
the settlement. These focks were grown near the time this
project was conducted so the potential that the acidifer could
impact water consumption was not discovered in time to
choose another acid product for the project. The acidifed
calcium sulfate may have depressed water consumption early
on which is refected in the lighter weights of the chlorinated
birds though not signifcant at day 21 in either trial. The
depressed weights for the birds on the chlorination regime
in this experiment could be a refection of depressed water
consumption in the young birds and this would also mean
a depressed feed consumption which may have allowed the
Salmonella challenge at 7 days of age to be more infective.
It has been proven that birds off feed do have an increase in
gut pH and this would result in more favorable conditions for
Salmonella colonization for chicks exposed to the microbe
(Hinton et al,).
The fact that the chlorination/acidifcation treatments
did signifcantly reduce the incidence of Salmonella in birds
challenged at 35 days of age does make chlorination and water
acidifcation which maintains a 650 ORP level along with
>1 ppm free chlorine worth exploring further as an on-farm
control option for Salmonella. It is interesting to note that
birds in the other project which were drinking the ACS water
were drinking 2-4 gallons more per thousand birds around
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AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
day 35 versus the birds consuming the SBS water. Since
this is data from three focks, it is safe to assume that water
consumption at day 35 during this trial was not below normal
consumption for the birds drinking the ACS/chlorinated
water and therefore even though these birds were exposed
to Salmonella, the more potent chlorine sanitizing residual
helped reduce Salmonella colonization. One of the primary
lessons learned in this project was how critical it is to monitor
chlorine and ORP values when chlorine is used for water
sanitation, as it affects water and feed consumption, effcacy of
Salmonella treatments in water and in the fnal analysis, total
bird performance and grower revenues. A second thought is
the need to choose products including acids which will not
impair water consumption any time during the birds life cycle.
This may require producers and company personnel to evaluate
more than one product such as acids in order to fnd the best ft.

References
Amaral, L. A., 2004. Drinking water as a risk factor to
poultry health. Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science 6(4):191-
199.
Barton, L. 1996. Relevance of water quality to broiler
and turkey performance. Poultry Sci. 75:854-856.
Carter. Thomas A. and Ronald Sneed, no date. Drinking
water quality for poultry. Poultry Science and Technology.
Published by The North Carolina Agricultural Extension
Service.
Damron, B.L., M.D. Ouart, R.B. Christmas and W.D.
Graham, Florida broiler farm water quality survey.
Gauger, H. C. and R. E. Greaves, 1946. Isolation of
Salmonella Typhimurium from drinking water in an infected
Environment. Poultry Science25: 476-478.
Heyndricks, M., D. Vanderkerchove, L Herman, I. Rollier,
K. Grijspeerdt and L. Dezutter. 2002. Routes for Salmonella
contamination of poultry meat: epidemiological study from
hatchery to slaughterhouse. Epidemiol. Infect. 129:253-265.
Hinton, A., R.J. Buhr, K.D. Ingram. 2000. Physical,
chemical and microbiological changes in the grop of broiler
chickens subjected to incremental feed withdrawal. J. Poult.
Sci. 79: 212-218
Poppe, C., D. A. Barnum and W. R. Mitchell. 1986. Effect
of chlorination of drinking water on experimental Salmonella
infection in poultry. Avian Diseases 30(2):362-369.
SAS Institute. 2005. SAS Users Guide. Version 8.1.
SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC
Sawyer, C.N., P.L. McCarty, L. Parkin, and G.F. Parkin.
1994. Chemistry for Environmental Engineering, fourth
edition. McGraw Hill, Inc. New York, N.Y.
Suslow, T.V., G. Peisor, X. Nie, J. Wu, M. Zunegas
and M. Cantwell, 1999. Validation of oxidation-reduction
potential in postharvest water disinfection monitor, control
and documentation systems for fresh and minimally processed
fruits and vegetables. Institute of Food Technology Annual
meeting..
Suslow, T. V. 2004. Oxidation-reduction potential (ORP)
for water disinfection monitoring, control and documentation.
University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural
Resources Publication no. 8149
White, Geo. Clifford, 1999. Handbook of chlorination and
alternative disinfectants. Wiley-Interscience Publication.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
12.41
2.63
0
29.09**
37.25**
1.79
Non-Challenged Challenged Day 7 Challenged Day 35
Control
Chlorine
**Signifcantly different P<0.001
Figure 2. Difference in Daily Water Consumption
for Birds Receiving Acidifed Calcium Sulfate
versus Sodium Bisulfate
(ACS
gallons
minus BS
gallons
)
G
a
l
/
1
0
0
0

B
i
r
d
s
Difference in Daily
Water Intake
Figure 1. Effect of Chlorinated Water on Broilers
Inoculated with Salmonella
Control
Chlorine
S
a
l
m
o
n
e
l
l
a

P
o
s
i
t
i
v
e

B
i
r
d
s

(
%
)
4
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
A 100-Flock Comparison of
Broiler Feed Ticket Weights and
On-Farm Feed Weights at the
ABRF
Introduction
Contract broiler producers do not manufacture or deliver
feed to their farms nor do they purchase it outright. Because
they do not directly pay for their feed, questions may arise
concerning how much feed was delivered and if that feed was
accurately weighed, this despite contracts have provisions
for growers to be present when feed and birds are weighed.
Accurate feed weights are critical because under most broiler
growing contracts, a major portion of producer pay is based on
how much feed birds consume and how well birds convert that
feed to meat. The Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF) re-
cently harvested the 100th fock of broilers grown at the farm.
The ABRF is capable of weighing the feed birds consume on
a daily basis and thus was able to compare feed-ticket weights
with on-farm feed weights for 100 focks of birds.
Comparisons
The on-farm feed weighing system and procedures for
daily feed weighing were described in detail previously by
Tabler (2001). The system allows the ABRF the capability to
weigh feed consumed at each of 4 broiler houses on a daily
basis. After harvest, feed intake for the 4 houses are com-
bined and compared with feed ticket weights received during
the fock and feed weight charged to the farm on the settle-
ment sheet. A 100-fock comparison of on-farm feed weights
and feed-ticket weights for broilers grown at the ABRF from
November, 1990 through October, 2008 is presented in Table
1 (focks 1-50) and Table 2 (focks 51-100). Data indicate that
on-farm weights and feed-ticket delivery weights never exactly
matched but were for the most part, similar. For 81 of 100
focks, weight differences favored the producer.
For the frst 50 focks, the difference between on-farm
feed weights and feed-ticket weights favored the producer
in 47 focks by an average 1.02%. . The remaining 3 focks
favored the integrator by an average of 0.59%. The overall
combined difference between the 2 systems on the frst 50
focks was 0.99% in favor of the producer.
In the second 50 focks, (51 through 100) the difference
between on-farm feed weights and feed-ticket weights favored
the producer in 34 focks by an average of 0.81%. The remain-
ing 16 focks favored the integrator by an average of 0.48%.
The overall combined difference between the 2 systems on the
second 50 focks was 0.70% in favor of the producer, slightly
lower than the frst 50 focks. Ten of the 16 focks that favored
the integrator have occurred since 2006, after the ABRF was
renovated. Several older load cells at bins that weigh feed
on-farm had to be replaced during that time. Many of these
were original load cells installed in 1990. This change in load
cells may partially explain the increased number of focks that
recently favor the integrator. Overall, differences between on-
farm feed weights and feed-delivery ticket weights averaged
0.85% for 100 focks of broilers that consumed over 75 million
pounds of feed.

Everyones Best Interest
Every producer will eventually face the issue of feed
being delivered a day too early and the bins not holding it
all. By law, any feed that is returned by or picked up from a
poultry producer must be weighed if feed weight is a factor in
determining payment; the integrator must document and ac-
count for any returned or picked-up feed.
But sometimes mistakes occur. Growers are urged to
keep track of feed tickets and know when something is out
of the ordinary (for example, feed is delivered too frequently
or not frequently enough). It is in the best interest of both
producer and integrator to resolve any issues as they arise.
Waiting until the fock sells to try to resolve a questionable
feed ticket from weeks ago may result in confict. Service techs
should be contacted at the frst sign of a potential problem. If
feed was received but no ticket can be found, ask the service
techs to provide a copy.
Feed costs are nearly two-thirds of all broiler production
costs. These costs are important to growers because feed con-
version largely determines how well each grower settles at the
APPLIED BROILER RE-
SEARCH UNIT (SAVOY) -
These four full-sized broiler
houses are equipped with
computerized environmen-
tal control and data collec-
tions systems capable of
commercial-type production
research.
G.T. Tabler
,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
5
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
end of the fock. Integrators have millions of dollars invested
in feed mills and feed processing equipment, feed trucks, labor
costs, and feed ingredients. This is, in part, why service techs
are always asking growers to manage feeder height correctly
and to avoid feed waste when chicks are small and begin
scratching feed out of the feed trays.

Safeguards
The USDA Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act) of
1921 is designed to promote fair competition and ensure fair
trade practices in the livestock and poultry industries. This Act
also protects contract poultry producers. P&S Act requires all
scales used by integrators to weigh feed for purposes of pay-
ment and settlement be installed, maintained, and operated to
insure accurate weights. The Packers and Stockyards Program
(P&SP) enforces the Packers and Stockyards Act (P&S Act).
P&SP promotes accurate weighing in the live poultry industry
in the following ways (USDA, 2008):
1. All scales used for weighing feed for purchase, sale,
acquisition, payment, or settlement must be installed and
maintained in accordance to National Institute of Stan-
dards and Technology (NIST) Handbook 44 as incorpo-
rated by reference into the regulations.
2. All scales used to weigh feed for purchase, sale, acquisi-
tion, payment, or settlement under the Packers and Stock-
yards Act (P&S Act) must be tested for accuracy by a
competent agency at least each 6 months, and the reports
of these tests forwarded to P&SP.
3. Any scale found to be inaccurate according to accepted
tolerances, must not be used until it is repaired, retested
and found accurate again.
4. Whenever the weight of feed is a factor in determining
payment or settlement to a poultry grower when live
poultry is produced under a growing arrangement, live
poultry dealers must base payment or settlement on the
actual weight of feed shown on the scale ticket. If the
actual weight used is not obtained on the date and at the
place of transfer of possession this information must be
disclosed with the date and location of the weighing on
the accountings, bills, or statements issued. If there are
any adjustments to the actual weight, this information
and the reason must be disclosed on the accountings,
bills, or statements issued
5. Integrators must employ qualifed scale operators. In-
tegrators must require scale operators to comply with fed-
eral regulations for weighing feed for payment purposes.
6. Every live poultry dealer must keep all accounts, records,
and memorandum necessary to fully and correctly dis-
close all transactions involved in the business transaction,
including the true ownership. The scale ticket is a legal
document. Every record that is issued where weight is a
factor of settlement depends.
Scales used to weigh feed must be attached to a printer which
should print weight values on a feed ticket. Producers should
never receive scale tickets written by hand. In addition to
safeguards at the feed mill, the P&S Act also requires that each
scale ticket for feed, where weight of feed is a factor in deter-
mining settlement to a producer, must show (USDA, 2008):
1. Name of the company performing the weighing service;
2. Name and address of the producer receiving the feed;
3. Name, initials, or number of the feed weigher, or if
required by State law, signature of the feed weigher;
4. Location of the scale;
5. Gross, tare, and net weight of each lot assigned to an
individual producer;
6. Date and time gross and tare weights were determined, if
applicable;
7. Whether the driver was on or off the truck at the time of
weighing and
8. License number of the truck or other identifcation
numbers on the truck and trailer, if weighed together, or
trailer if only the trailer is weighed.
Even though integrators are required by law to maintain
accurate records, it is important for growers to retain feed
tickets and maintain accurate records. Alert the integrator
at the frst indication there may be a potential concern. The
longer growers wait to report a problem, the harder it will be to
resolve that problem. In most cases, problems can be quickly
resolved when both producer and integrator have accurate
records and act in a timely manner. In the unlikely event that
a producer cannot satisfactorily resolve a feed issue, the P&S
Act authorizes the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards
Administration (GIPSA) to investigate complaints of possible
violations. Producers may report possible violations of the
P&S Act to GIPSA toll free at 1-800-998-3447.
References
Anonymous. 2001. How much did your feed really
weigh? Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. Available at: www.
faginc.org/topic/pubs/poultry/poultry4b_feedweigh.pdf. Ac-
cessed: April 2, 2009.
Tabler, G. T. 2001. A 10-year comparison of on-farm feed
weights and feed truck weights. Avian Advice 3(3):1-3.
USDA. 2008. Responsibility for accurate scales and live
poultry weights. Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Ad-
ministration, USDA. January 2008. Available at:www.gipsa.
usda.gov. Accessed: April 6, 2009.
Comparison continued on pg. 6
6
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
COMPARISON continued from p. 5
TABLE 1. On-Farm Bin Scale Weights Versus Feed Ticket Weights (Flocks 1-50)
1
Flock No. Flock dates On-farm Feed
Wts (lbs)
Scale Ticket
Wts (lbs)
Difference
(lbs)
Difference
(%)
1 11/19/90-1/14/91 853330 846900 6430 0.754
2 2/1/91-3/29/91 819520 814480 5040 0.615
3 4/15/91-6/9/91 814290 806240 8050 0.989
4 6/20/91-8/18/91 840360 886960 lightening damage
5 8/29/91-10/23/91 865658 859360 6298 0.728
6 11/12/91-1/7/92 911938 903720 8218 0.9
7 1/23/92-3/16/92 802864 793960 8904 1.109
8 4/2/92-5/21/92 688720 683580 5140 0.746
9 6/8/92-7/30/92 757580 751230 6350 0.838
10 8/7/92-10/1/92 885928 881620 4308 0.486
11 10/15/92-12/10/92 967180 962810 4370 0.452
12 12/21/92-2/17/93 970436 962900 7536 0.777
13 3/2/93-4/29/93 973240 965190 8050 0.827
14 5/11/93-7/6/93 875352 868970 6382 0.729
15 7/9/93-9/2/93 857972 853220 4752 0.554
16 9/17/93-11/11/93 984974 978570 6404 0.65
17 11/29/93-1/25/94 1072612 1062440 10172 0.948
18 2/10/94-4/6/94 948546 935060 13486 1.422
19 4/19/94-5/31/94 660784 655240 5544 0.839
20 6/9/94-8/3/94 748054 748560 506 0.068
21 8/5/94-9/14/94 588722 586160 2562 0.345
22 9/20/94-11/3/94 666354 664020 2334 0.35
23 11/15/94-12/28/94 671776 665860 5916 0.88
24 1/10/95-2/23/95 692770 686280 6490 0.937
25 3/7/95-4/19/95 578528 582980 4452 0.764
26 5/5/95-6/15/95 649266 644900 4366 0.672
27 6/29/95-8/9/95 618756 610200 8556 1.383
28 8/18/95-9/28/95 647574 641960 5614 0.867
29 10/13/95-11/22/95 613104 605720 7384 1.204
30 12/7/95-1/22/96 665134 671360 6226 0.927
31 1/26/96-3/7/96 557626 552940 4686 0.841
32 3/15/96-4/26/96 601490 595900 5590 0.829
33 5/9/96-6/20/96 598276 593240 5036 0.842
34 7/4/96-8/16/96 618418 606780 11638 1.882
35 10/31/96-12/10/96 685446 689340 3896 0.565
36 12/30/96-2/6/97 591834 581120 10714 1.81
37 2/24/97-4/7/97 663096 654200 8896 1.342
38 4/24/97-6/6/97 661088 652410 8678 1.313
39 6/26/97-8/18/97 858594 850380 8214 0.957
40 9/1/97-10/22-97 776572 770300 6272 0.808
41 11/7/97-12/30/97 839070 830120 8950 1.067
42 1/27/98-3/20/98 848298 843280 5018 0.592
43 4/6/98-5/27/98 777952 767860 10092 1.297
44 6/12/98-8/6/98 816662 813440 3222 0.395
45 8/18/98-10/12/98 866424 863020 3404 0.393
46 10/30/98-12/15/98 746540 695350 51190 6.86
47 1/8/99-3/1/99 818744 810900 7844 0.96
48 3/22/99-5/14/99 831298 820820 10478 1.26
49 5/31/99-7/27/99 933730 928680 5050 0.54
50 8/5/99-9/29/99 911550 901080 10470 1.15
TOTALS
AVERAGE
38694030
773881
38401610
768032
---
7534
---
0.99
1
Bold numbers indicate focks when scale ticket weights were greater than on-farm feed weights.
7
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
TABLE 2. On-Farm Bin Scale Weights Versus Feed Ticket Weights (Flocks 51-100)
1
Flock
No.
Flock dates On-farm Feed
Wts (lbs)
Scale Ticket
Wts (lbs)
Difference
(lbs)
Difference
(%)
51 10/12/99-12/3/99 851880 856600 4720 0.55
52 12/20/99-2/8/00 784042 778900 5142 0.66
53 3/13/00-5/4/00 854550 845030 9522 1.11
54 5/15/00-7/11/00 930726 930940 214 0.02
55 7/21/00-9/12/00 853534 842980 10554 1.24
56 9/22/00-11/13/00 844766 841120 3646 0.43
57 11/28/00-1/19/01 784058 781980 2078 0.27
58 1/30/01-3/23/01 927512 916700 10812 1.18
59 3/29/01-5/10/01 660764 653700 7064 1.08
60 5/18/01-6/30/01 671108 659980 11128 1.69
61 7/5/01-8/17/01 727610 728360 750 0.10
62 8/30/01-10/10/01 681540 651560 29980 4.60
63 10/30/01-12/7/01 611030 608200 2830 0.47
64 12/21/01-2/6/02 903546 898850 4696 0.52
65 2/15/02-4/1/02 868838 866780 2058 0.24
66 4/11/02-5/28/02 930624 935990 5366 0.57
67 6/4/02-7/19/02 843580 831660 11920 1.43
68 8/5/02-9/18/02 770174 767240 2934 0.38
69 11/4/02-12/17/02 697376 697780 404 0.06
70 1/3/03-2/14/03 650214 649670 544 0.08
71 2/27/03-4/10/03 610242 608270 1972 0.32
72 4/29/03-6/10/03 612478 606510 5968 0.98
73 6/19/03-7/31/03 603640 603070 570 0.09
74 8/18/03-9/29/03 591556 589250 2306 0.39
75 10/7/03-11/18/03 685668 677240 8428 1.24
76 12/30/03-2/10/04 749558 752090 2532 0.34
77 2/23/04-4/2/04 610150 606040 4110 0.68
78 4/15/04-5/26/04 563054 561720 1334 0.24
79 6/3/04-7/17/04 645268 637870 7398 1.16
80 8/22/04-10/11/04 740508 733550 6958 0.95
81 10/17/04-11/29/04 713678 699580 14098 2.02
82 1/3/05-2/14/05 809018 809790 772 0.10
83 2/28/05-4/11/05 772700 766430 6270 0.82
84 4/25/05-6/3/05 647250 642160 5090 0.79
85 6/13/05-7/22/05 617892 614490 3402 0.55
86 8/8/05-9/16/05 588314 587940 374 0.06
87 4/11/06-5/19/06 619420 619640 220 0.04
88 6/5/06-7/13/06 703208 704860 1652 0.23
89 8/1/06-9/21/06 1001448 1005120 3672 0.37
90 10/6/06-11/24/06 1002777 992780 9997 1.01
91 12/21/06-2/7/07 902726 912880 10154 1.11
92 2/26/07-4/20/07 947448 947020 428 0.05
93 5/15/07-7/10/07 1035918 1037400 1482 0.14
94 7/27/07-9/24/07 1085270 1088770 3500 0.32
95 10/8/07-12/3/07 1114396 1123690 9294 0.83
96 12/14/07-2/6/08 1003356 998160 5196 0.52
97 2/21/08-4/11/08 947624 945970 1654 0.17
98 4/25/08-6/13/08 906596 915510 8914 0.97
99 6/26/08-8/14/08 929254 942698 13444 1.43
100 8/22/08-10/10/08 950312 955475 5163 0.54
TOTALS
AVERAGE
39558199
791164
39429993
788600
---
5454
---
0.70
8
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
Poultry Litter Production and
Associated Challenges
Introduction
Agricultural production and processing is big business
in Arkansas. A recently released study by the University of
Arkansas Division of Agriculture indicates that in 2007, agri-
culture accounted for one in six jobs in the state and $9.16 B
in labor income, more than 15% of the state total. Poultry and
egg production and processing is the leading industry, with
direct impacts of 1 in every 4 agricultural jobs and $1 in every
$4 in agricultural wages and income. Production of poultry is
more heavily concentrated now than in years past in terms of
intensity of production, that is, more birds being grown and
processed in the same geographic areas as in the past. The
result of this increased production activity is larger quantities
of poultry litter production. Because of benefts it provides
(crop nutrients, increased organic matter), the majority of this
poultry litter is, in some form, land applied. Although innova-
tive utilization methods continue to appear, land application
remains the current standard.
In 2003, the Arkansas General Assembly passed three
companion acts addressing nutrient planner and applicant cer-
tifcation (Act 1059), registration of poultry operations (Act
1060) and application of nutrient and utilization of poultry
litter in nutrient surplus areas (Act 1061). Detailed explana-
tions of these acts are contained in the University of Arkan-
sas Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet FSA29 New
Arkansas Laws Regulate the Use and Management of Poultry
Litter and Other Nutrients published in September, 2003.
A signifcant portion of Act 1061 addresses development
and implementation of nutrient management and poultry litter
management plans for poultry feeding operations (grow-out
farms). Poultry litter management planners shall have ob-
tained certifcation from Arkansas Soil and Water Conserva-
tion Commission (now Arkansas Natural Resources Commis-
sion, ANRC) in planning. The poultry litter management plan
shall contain: a periodic poultry litter nutrient content analysis
component; poultry litter utilization component providing for
the proper utilization of the litter produced, including provi-
sions ensuring that land application within a nutrient surplus
area is in accordance with a nutrient management plan or at a
rate not to exceed the protective rate; land application outside
a nutrient surplus area is in a method and at a rate acceptable
to ANRC; and litter not land applied is converted to a non-
nutrient use or other use acceptable to ANRC; and a records
component that requires the poultry feeding operation owner
to maintain suffcient records at the feeding operation to de-
termine poultry litter utilization and compliance with the other
portions of the poultry litter management plan.
So, it is necessary that producer operations abide by
rules and follow best management practices. Extension per-
sonnel can assist agricultural producers in adopting practices
and behaviors to help meet their needs, one of which is to de-
termine the amount of poultry litter their operation will likely
generate in any given year.

ABRF Litter Production
The Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF) at Savoy
has been utilized as a source of developing and evaluating
management practices and innovative approaches that may
improve industry results. The ABRF had grown 98 focks of
birds through June, 2008. To assist producers by sharing ex-
periences with litter produced on the ABRF, detailed records
that have been kept on litter removal during total cleanouts
and caked litter (de-cake) removal between focks since the
farm began operating were assessed. Table 1 lists yearly
caked litter removal at the ABRF. Removal ranged from a
low of 31 loads in 1992 to a high of 173 loads in 2002. Dur-
ing the period, a total of 1,459 loads of de-cake were removed
by a standard poultry house de-caker pulled behind a tractor
with each load containing approximately 2 tons of de-cake.
The 1,459 loads at 2 tons per load amounted to 2,918 tons of
de-cake or 30% of the total litter removed.
Litter removal during total cleanouts is listed in Table
2. There were 3 periods when the farm was not on an annual
cleanout schedule. During the frst period, House 1 was not
cleaned out from September, 1996 through February, 2000
and houses 2, 3, and 4 were not cleaned from October, 1997
through February, 2000 due to ongoing research. During the
second period, the houses were not cleaned from October,
2001 through April, 2003 to cycle back to a spring cleanout
schedule. Finally, the houses were not cleaned out in 2007
due to a bedding material shortage. There were 2 cleanouts
in 2005; one in April and another in September when the farm
underwent renovations. Cleanout totals ranged from a low
of 264 tons in September, 2005 to a high of 875 tons in June,
2008. During the period, a total of 6,864 tons of litter were
removed at cleanout or 70% of the total. A combined total
G.T. Tabler
1,
Y. Liang
2
, and K.W. VanDevender
3
1
Department of Poultry Science,
2
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and
3
Coop-
erative Extension Service, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas
9
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
of 9,782 tons of litter and de-cake had been removed from
the ABRF through June, 2008. This resulted in the following
yearly and per-fock litter production information:
9,782 tons/18 yrs = 543 tons per yr/4 houses = 135.87 tons/
house/yr
or
9,782 tons/98 focks = 99.82 tons/fock for the farm = 24.96
tons/house/fock
The 4 houses at the ABRF are 40 x 400 (16,000 sq. ft. foor
space). Pounds of litter generated per square foot of foor
space can be calculated as follows:
135.87 tons of litter per house per year x 2000 lbs per ton =
271,740 lbs litter per house per yr/16,000 sq ft = 16.98 lbs lit-
ter per sq ft of foor space per yr
Pounds of litter produced on a per bird basis can also be
estimated. If the total lbs of litter produced (Tables 1 and 2)
are divided by either head placed or head sold (Table 3), the
pounds of litter per bird can be calculated. The 9,782 total
tons of litter removed from the farm converts to 19,564,000
lbs. During the 18 yr period, there were a total of 8,165,941
birds placed on the farm and 7,759,295 birds harvested.
Based on these fgures:
19,564,000 lbs /8,165,941 birds placed = 2.396 lbs litter per
bird placed
or
19,564,000 lbs /7,759,295 birds harvested = 2.521 lbs litter
per bird harvested
Litter production fgures can vary greatly from farm to farm
based on house size, bird harvest weight, management prac-
tices, number of focks per year, etc.
Reference
Goodwin, Jr., H.L., Frank T. Jones, Susan E. Watkins and
Janie S. Hipp. New Arkansas Laws Regulate the Use and
Management of Poultry Litter and Other Nutrients. Univer-
sity of Arkansas, Cooperative Extension Service. Publication
Number FSA29. September, 2003.
Year Decaker
loads
Litter
(tons)
1
Litter
(lbs)
1992 31 62 124,000
1993 69 138 276,000
1994 120 240 480,000
1995 108 216 432,000
1996 127 254 508,000
1997 68 136 272,000
1998 85 170 340,000
1999 58 116 232,000
2000 85 170 340,000
2001 101 202 404,000
2002 173 346 692,000
2003 104 208 416,000
2004 123 246 492,000
2005 79 158 316,000
2006 50 100 200,000
2007 43 86 172,000
2008 35 70 140,000
TOT
TOTALS 1,459 2,918 5,836,000
TABLE 1. Yearly caked litter removal between focks at the ABRF
1
Tonnage based on 2 tons per decaker load as determined by portable scales.
Litter Production continued on pg. 10
10
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
TABLE 2. Litter removal at the ABRF during total cleanouts
LITTER PRODUCTION continued from p. 9
Year
1
Cleanout Month Spreader loads Litter (tons)
2
Litter (lbs)
1992 March 157 864 1,727,000
1993 May 115 633 1,265,000
1994 April 80 440 880,000
1995 April 74 407 814,000
1996 Sept 74 407 814,000
1997 Oct 52 286 572,000
2000 Feb 130 715 1,430,000
2001 Oct 106 583 1,166,000
2003 April 100 550 1,100,000
2004 April 75 413 825,000
2005 April 78 429 858,000
2005 Sept 48 264 528,000
2008 June 159 875 1,749,000
TOTALS 1,248 6,864 13,728,000
1
Total cleanouts were not always performed on an annual basis.
2
Tonnage based on 5.5 tons per spreader truck load as determined by portable scales.
TABLE 3. Yearly number of broilers placed and harvested at the ABRF
Year Broilers placed
1
Broilers harvested
1991 376,000 351,532
1992 451,200 419,194
1993 378,400 357,076
1994 602,900 567,416
1995 549,500 535,795
1996 537,875 519,811
1997 514,912 496,376
1998 375,234 366,159
1999 375,214 358,688
2000 378,838 355,158
2001 618,266 593,581
2002 575,919 529,514
2003 495,305 470,235
2004 525,752 495,590
2005 468,980 444,238
2006 343,080 328,058
2007 361,162 345,116
2008
2
237,404 225,758
TOTALS 8,165,941 7,759,295
1
Placements varied
based on harvest age
and number of focks per
year.
2
Placements include
birds placed and
harvested between Jan
and June 2008.
11
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
Broiler Water Consumption
Measuring water consumption of broilers can be an
important tool for monitoring
fock performance. Birds
consume approximately 1.6
to 2 times as much water as
feed (on a pound per pound
basis); both feed and water
consumption steadily increase
as a fock ages. Growers often
ask Exactly how much should
my birds be drinking each day
and should I be concerned if
water consumption does not
increase every day? The daily
water usage/consumption for
the last twelve focks at the
Applied Broiler Research
Farm (ABRF) (4 commercial
broiler houses) was analyzed. Daily
mortality was removed from the
next days bird count so that water
consumption refected the actual
bird number and not the placement
number. Although the ABRF focks
arent always at the top of their
settlement, average weights and
feed conversions /fock are typically
good so the following water usage is
realistic estimates.
As shown in Table 1, and
Figure 1, overall daily water
consumption steadily increases
between one to almost four gallons
per 1000 birds, but there were days
when usage dropped or remained
similar to the previous days usage.
Consumption was also analyzed by
season; it was observed that water
consumption was similar for all
seasons until about day 18, when
the hotter weather seasons began
to show much higher water usage
patterns. By day 21, consumption in
the warmer seasons outpaced cooler
season usage by as much as 6 to
10 gallons/1000 birds on a daily basis. Water usage dropped
around the time the birds began eating the withdrawal feed for
most focks.
This observation has led us to evaluate some water
treatment options which might help the birds adjust to the last
feed. Since the ABRF settlements are good, the data presented
here should encourage growers to not hit the panic button if
focks experience slight declines or a fat line in water usage for
a day. However, there should be an increasing consumption
trend. If water usage remains unchanged for more than a day or
two, growers should try to identify the cause. A good check list
to follow is:
1. Drinker line height, too high or too low
2. Air locks in the water system
3. Water line pressure not correct for age of bird
4. Clogged water flters or drinkers
Susan Watkins and G.T. Tabler,
University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture
Broiler Water continued on pg. 12
Chart. Daily Water Usage-Minimum,
Maximum and Average Gallons per 1000 Birds
Max.
Avg.
Min.
12
AVIAN Advice Vol. 11, No. 2
Table. Daily Water Usage for 12 Flocks at the Applied Broiler Research Farm
Age
(Days)
Minimum
Usage
Maximum
Usage
Average
Usage
Age
(Days)
Minimum
Usage
Maximum
Usage
Average
Usage
Age
(Days)
Minimum
Usage
Maximum
Usage
Average
Usage
1 0 0 0 19 34.75 51.78 43.07 37 55.57 87.49 74.35
2 3.8 7.89 5.35 20 37.22 54.59 44.08 38 56.54 92.33 77.16
3 5.59 11.27 7.7 21 38.7 56.07 46.19 39 61.99 91.8 78.59
4 9.39 14.17 10.98 22 35.57 54.71 47.23 40 67.15 95.99 78.92
5 10.7 16.55 12.84 23 39.07 59.43 49.63 41 65.14 99.26 80.83
6 11.9 16.95 10.04 24 37.96 62.89 53.28 42 66.24 96.43 82.32
7 13.34 19.35 15.96 25 43.26 65.58 54.58 43 58.97 92.61 81.01
8 14.46 21.65 17.69 26 42.29 64.76 54.34 44 65.63 90.7 80.19
9 12.55 23.17 19.51 27 46.33 69.41 57.56 45 69.37 91.83 81.18
10 19.39 29.15 22.54 28 49.05 71.73 59.96 46 66.19 97.36 83.39
11 19.38 30.08 25.71 29 53.33 75.82 63.08 47 69.05 91.2 81.75
12 23.01 31.4 27.83 30 52.94 76.83 63.08 48 71.72 97 82.26
13 26.04 36.33 30.19 31 47.83 79.26 65.66 49 67.22 97.7 85.9
14 28.39 37.94 32.78 32 56.15 78.76 68.29 50 72.72 93.16 85.41
15 29.92 40.64 34.78 33 59.55 84.47 70.1 51 77.05 99.95 85.29
16 29.71 40.64 35.71 34 55.33 88.12 70.22 52 74.86 98.08 86.69
17 30.66 46.14 38.94 35 59.12 85.49 72.59 53 76.68 98.19 87.82
18 32.51 49.07 41.36 36 56.15 87.38 73.21 54 76.45 98.83 87.5
Gallons/1000 Birds
Broiler Water continued from pg. 11
UA Poultry Science Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, Telephone: 479-841-6498, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Dr. H.L. Goodwin, Professor and Poultry Economist, Telephone: 501-575-7118, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: haroldg@uark.edu
Write Extension Speciaists, at: Center of Excellence for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701
5. Dramatic change in light intensity
6. Frequent changes in day length
7. Feed changes or feed outages
8. Water treatments /additives
9. Birds are sick
10. Too many birds per drinker (due to migration or bird
placement numbers in the house)
Water consumption continues to be one of the simplest
and most effective tools a poultry grower can use to monitor
fock progress. Growers who lack good fock water
consumption guidelines can utilize the information from the
ABRF as a guideline but are encouraged to develop their own
usage patterns. Identifying inconsistencies in water usage
patterns can be a useful tool in establishing root causes of
performance issues.
by Tyler Clark, Brookee Dean and Susan Watkins
University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
ras 4
How Much Moisture
Do Brooders Add
To Poultry Houses?
by Y. Liang and
G.T. Tabler
ras
How Does Taste
Infuence Water
Consumption in
Broilers?
by F.T. Jones and
S.E. Watkins
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
i/cs
Cooperative Extension Service
EVALUATION contd on page 2
Spring 2009 Volume 11 no. 1
Evaluation of Different Hydrogen
Peroxide Products for Maintaining
Adequate Sanitizing Residual in
Water
Introduction
Aclean,safewatersupplyisessentialinpoultryproduction.Yetevenproducerswho
takeeveryprecautiontoensurethattheirwatersupplyissafemayexperienceproblemswith
high bacteria counts and bioflms in their water lines. Thus, it is important to understand the
capabilitiesofwatersanitationproducts,particularlythoseproductscapableofreducingor
destroying bioflms (Hancock et al., 2007).
Hydrogen peroxide has been used as an antimicrobial agent since the early 1800s. It was
used as a disinfectant in milk as early as 1904 and is presently approved by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for packaging and surface sterilization in the food industry (Schurman,
2001). Hydrogen peroxide has shown to be effective against bioflms (Carpentier and Cefr,
1993).
Hydrogen peroxide (H
2
O
2
) is a weak acid that works as an oxidizer similar to chlorine.
The key by-products formed when hydrogen peroxide is used are water and oxygen which
makesitagoodchoicefortreatingwaterwithhighlevelsoforganicmattersuchaspondsor
rivers. The hydrogen peroxide found in drugstores or pharmacies is only a 3% concentration,
while the products commonly used for water disinfection range from 16 to 34% with 50% H
2
O
2
products available for use in removing bioflms from water systems between focks. Hydrogen
peroxide can also be used to oxidize iron, manganese and sulfur which can then be removed with
fltration.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines recommend 25-50 ppm of residual
H
2
O
2
in drinking water. However, water disinfection products use different stabilizing systems,
whichbringsustothequestionsweareattemptingtoaddresshere:
How much of the different H
2
O
2
concentrates is required to make a 25-50 ppm residual in
water?and;
How long do different sources of H
2
O
2
remaineffectiveoncetheyareblendedintoastock
solutionandaddedtowater?
Materials and Methods
The following four products were tested: hydrogen peroxide (35%), HydroLine Cleaner

(34% stabilized), Proxy-Clean

(50% stabilized), and Oxy Blast Plus

(34% stabilized). It
is important to note that the HydroLine Cleaner

, Proxy-Clean

and Oxy Blast

allcontain
1.
2.
AVIAN
2
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
EVALUATION continued from page 1
additional proprietary ingredients used for stabilization and enhancing effectiveness. Oxy Blast

also has NSF International


approvalasadrinkingwateradditive.
Each product was mixed with tap water to make four separate stock solutions of: 1 ounce/gallon (oz/gal), 2 oz/gal, 4
oz/gal, and 6 oz/gal for each product. The tap water was tested for residual chlorine before mixing and measured 0 ppm. Next
1 milliliter (ml) of each stock solution was added to 128ml of tap water to create a 1:128 solution. This simulated the ounce of
each stock solution that would be added to a gallon of water (128 ounces) by a medicator injecting at a 1:128 rate. After creating
each of the fnal solutions, the parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen peroxide was tested using Oxy Blast

Peroxide Test Strips


which measures H
2
O
2
residual from 0 to 100 ppm. Each solution was covered and then tested again on days 1, 2, 3 ,4 and 5 post
preparation.
Results
The data in Table 1 indicate that under the conditions of this trial none of the products tested provided 25-50ppm at the 1 oz/
gal stock solution level. At 2 oz/gal stock solution, hydrogen peroxide and Proxy-Clean

produced 25ppm H
2
O
2
solution,while
a 4 oz/gal stock solution of HydroLine

was required to produce the same concentration. A 2 oz/gal stock solution of Oxy Blast

produced 50ppm concentration of H


2
O
2
.
Assumingtheproductstestedcontainedthelistedpercentagesofhydrogenperoxideandnoactivitywaslostinthedilution
process, initial H
2
O
2
activity for the 2 oz/gal stock solution concentration should have been 42.7, 41.5, 61.0 and 41.5 ppm for
hydrogen peroxide, Hydroline

, Proxy-Clean

and Oxy Blast

, respectively . However, the data in Table 1 suggest that in


41.5, 75.9 and 59% of the H
2
O
2
activity was lost in the initial dilution of hydrogen peroxide, HydroLine

and Proxy-Clean

,
respectively. These data suggest that, while effective, the activity of hydrogen peroxide can be quickly lost. Therefore, it is
imperativethatlabeldirectionsbefollowedwhenusingsuchproducts
By day one or 24 hours post mix of solutions, the hydrogen peroxide at 2 oz/gal had decreased a residual H
2
O
2
activityof
10ppm and held this concentration till day 5 when it was decreased to 5 ppm. The hydrogen peroxide at 4 oz/gal dropped to 50
ppm by day 2 and then to 25 ppm by day 3 and dropping further by day 5 to 10 ppm. HydroLine

at 4 oz/gal gave a 25 ppm


residual reading till Day 3 when it dropped to 10 ppm and then fnished day 5 with a 5 ppm reading. The Proxy-Clean 2 oz/gal
gave a 25 ppm reading till day 2 and then on day 3 it had dropped to 10 ppm for the rest of the measurement time period. The
Oxy Blast 2 oz/gal mixture dropped to 25 ppm by day 1 and this held till day 3 when the residual dropped to 10 ppm. These
Table 1. Residual H
2
O
2
Activity from Different Products over a 5 Day Period

AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1


Figure 1. Residual H
2
0
2
Activity of Stabilized And Unstabilized Hydrogen Peroxide Products
1
results suggest that hydrogen peroxide, Proxy-Clean

and Oxy Blast

at a 2 oz/gal stock solution concentration should be


adequate for providing a 25-50 ppm residual for at least 24 hours.
The data shown in Figure 1 compare the average residual H
2
O
2
activity for stabilized and unstabilized hydrogen peroxide
productsoverallconcentrationstestedinthistrial.Whilebothproducttypesbeganandwereaboutthesameconcentrationon
days 3, 4 and 5 of the test, stabilized products maintained higher concentrations than unstabilized products on days 1 and 2.
These data suggest that stabilized hydrogen peroxide products offer some additional residual H
2
O
2
activitywhencomparedto
unstabilized products but, the additional residual activity is transient, lasting no more than one or perhaps two days.
Summary
Mixing hydrogen peroxide products to obtain a solution with a 25-50 ppm residual H
2
O
2
inthedrinkingwaterrequireda
stock solution of at least 2 oz/gal with most products. However, since hydrogen peroxide products can rapidly lose potency, it
is recommended that fresh stock solutions be made every 2-3 days. Although stabilized hydrogen peroxide products offer some
additional residual H
2
O
2
activity over unstabilized products, this activity lasts no more than two days. Finally, it is important to
notethatnotalltheproductsarelabeledasdrinkingwateradditivessopleasetakethisintoconsiderationwhenchoosingwater
sanitizer products and follow label direction.
References
Carpentier, B. and O. Cefr, 1993. Bioflms and their consequences, with particular reference to hygiene in the food industry.
J. Applied Bacteriol. 75:499-511.
Hancock, A., J. Hughes and S. Watkins, 2007. In search of the ideal water line cleaner. Avian Advice 9(1):1-4.
Schurman, J. J. 2001. Antibacterial activity of hydrogen peroxide against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp
in fruit juices, both alone and in combination with organic acids. Thesis submitted to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University in partial fulfllment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science.
1
The data represent the average concentrations obtained when 1, 2, 4 and 6 oz/gal solutions were diluted 1 to 128.
4
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
Y. Liang
1
and G.T. Tabler
2
1
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and
2
Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
How Much Moisture Do
Brooders Add to Poultry
Houses?
Introduction
The vast majority of poultry growers use unvented heating units, i.e. brooders or space
furnaces,toheattheirpoultryhouses,usingpropaneornaturalgasasfuelsources.Recordhigh
propane/natural gas prices over the last two years have led a number of producers to explore the
possibilityofusingbiomassfurnacestoprovideheatintheirpoultryhouses.Anumberofalter-
native heating systems exist with a price range of less than $10,000 to over $60,000 (Czarick,
et al., 2008). Generally alternative heating systems are considered proftable if they are able to
replace approximately 85% of the propane use, but conventional brooder/space heating systems
must still supply heat during peak demand (Wimberly, 2008).
While the main beneft of biomass furnaces lies in its potential fuel saving, an overall
improvementinairqualityinthehouseasaresultofintroducingdryheatisanadditional
beneft reported by furnace vendors and some growers. This claim is based on the fact that
unventedheatingunitssuchasbroodersorspaceheatersreleasewatervaporastheygenerate
heat,whileventedsystemsleavethecombustionbyproductsoutsideandintroduceheatintothe
houses by heat exchangers. Unvented propane heaters are estimated to add 0.000078 pounds of
water vapor for each BTU heat generated (ASHRAE, 1985). Natural gas releases slightly more
water vapor than propane per unit of heat generated. If dry heat releases less water vapor
into the poultry house, this is likely to lower in-house ammonia and ventilation requirements
because of drier litter conditions. However, water vapor from unvented conventional heaters
isonlyaportionofthemoistureloadaddedtothehouse,andthisportionvariesbothwithina
fock and among focks in a year. It may represent a high proportion of the moisture load during
thebroodingstageincoldweatherwhenfeedandwaterconsumptionarelow,butmuchlessof
theloadasbirdsgetolder.Wedecidedtostudytherelativecontributionofmoisturetohousing
environment and potential signifcance of the dry heat beneft based on available scientifc
datasothatgrowersareequippedtomakewiseinvestmentdecisionswithrespecttotherelative
importanceofdryheat.
Materials and Methods
This analysis was conducted based on weekly propane usage, feed consumption and water
intake data collected from 18 winter focks (focks placed in November, December and January)
raised at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF). When we did this study we assumed that,
whenrelativelylowlevelsofheatingwererequiredduringmildweather,becauseofconve-
nience and system effciency, propane heating systems would be favored over biomass furnaces.
Moistureloadsinpoultryhousesconsistofmoisturegeneratedbybirdsandwatervapor
generatedbypropaneheaters.Moisturegenerationbybirdsincludedwaterintakefromdrinkers,
water in the feed (assume feed moisture content of 13%) and metabolic water generated through
thedigestionoffeed.Yetsomeofthewaterinpoultryhousesisretainedinthebodiesofthe
birds. Therefore, the amount of water retained by the birds (water retention) was calculated.
:
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
Several assumptions were made to conduct the analysis:
Each 40 by 400 house was assumed to have 20,000 birds
atplacement,eventhoughtheactualbirdnumberofeach
fock varied by target market weight and season;
Water was assumed to make up 80% of live weight of
birds. This assumption was used to calculate the proportion
water in the house that was retained by the birds (water
retention);
One BTU of propane generates 0.000078 (7.80 x 10
-5
) lbs
ofwatervapor;
One gallon of propane generates 92,000 BTU.
Further analysis was made on daily propane use during the frst
two weeks of the most recent fve winter focks raised in 2006,
2007 and 2008, and compared to daily moisture loads added by
birds.
Results and Discussion
On average, birds drank between 1.5 to 2.1 pounds of
waterforeverypoundoffeedconsumed.Waterconsumption
from drinkers was found to represent a majority of water added
to the house. An average of 19% of the water in the house
was retained by the birds. This means that 81% (range of 75 to
85%) of the water that entered houses was released back into
the house environment, by respiration and excretion (Figure 1).
If unvented propane heaters account for a large portion
ofthemoistureaddedtopoultryhouses,itseemslogicalto
assumethatmoistureadditionproblemswouldbeworstinthe
wintermonths.Yet,analysisofpropaneconsumptiondata
from winter focks revealed that unvented burning of propane
generated an average of 23% of total moisture loads in the frst
week of brooding, 11% of the moisture in the second week, and
5% or less in the remaining weeks (Table 1, Figure 2). Still, a
major portion of the fuel combusted over the life of the fock is
expended maintaining house temperatures of 85 to 90F during
these early weeks. In addition, the overall growth rate and
settlementstatusmaywellbedeterminedduringtheseearly
weeks (Tabler, 2000; Tabler, 2003). Therefore, daily propane
usage data from the fve most recent winter focks was analyzed
to get a better picture of moisture loads within the frst two
1.
2.
3.
4.
weeksofchickplacement.
Figure 3 shows that moisture generated by propane burn-
ing represented 84 and 41% of the total load on days 1 and 2,
respectively. The percentage of moisture from burning propane
decreased as birds grew, and stabilized at around 11% during
the second week of age. The dry heat from vented furnaces
is clearly benefcial during the early days after bird placement
when propane consumption is very high. Calculations show
that on average the moisture load could be reduced by 20%
during the frst week. While this reduction in moisture load
wouldtranslatetodrierlitterconditions,andmayallowthe
growertoreduceventilationrates,itisimportanttoremember
thattotalmoistureloadsincreasedramaticallyasbirdsgrow,
andmoisturegeneratedbybirdsremainsthemainreasonfor
ventilation. While the benefts of dry heat from biomass fur-
nacesbecomesmallerasbirdsgrow,itisalsoimportanttorec-
ognize that energy effciency is also related to litter preparation
between focks. Growers that skip or short cut may save time,
but those who take the extra time to do the job right will likely
fnd dividends in the settlement check (Tabler et al., 2008).
Summary
Several potential environmental and economic benefts
havebeenreportedforbiomassfurnacesystems.Whilethese
benefts are often valid, it is important to see the whole picture.
Vented furnaces produce dry heat that is reported to reduce
in-house ammonia levels, decrease ventilation rates, improve
litterqualityandproduceahealthierenvironmentwithinthe
house (Wimberly, 2008). Moisture load calculations based on
propane usage data collected at the Applied Broiler Research
Farm indicate that when using vented biomass furnace, about
23% less moisture can be added to the indoor environment
during the frst week of brooding, when birds are very sensi-
tivetohouseconditionsandmaintainingelevatedtemperatures
requires the combustion of large amounts of propane. How-
ever,asbirdsgrowbigger,moremoistureisaddedbyfeeding
and drinking, which represent more than 90% of in-house water
inputsfromsecondweekon.
MOISTURE continued on pg. 6
Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Water generation
from unvented
burning (gal/wk) 322 405 299 172 103 82 79
Water from birds
(gal/wk) 1078 3206 5772 8443 10926 12964 14319
Proportion from
propane (%) 23 11 5 2 1 1 1
Table 1. Weekly Moisture Loads Generated by Birds and Unvented Propane Heaters
c
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
MOISTURE continued from p. 5
References
ASHRAE. 1985. ASHRAE Handbook, 1985 Fundamentals. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Condition-
ing Engineers. Atlanta, GA.
Czarick, M. B. Fairchild, and D. Dartnell 2008. Alternative heating system an overview. University of Georgia Corpora-
tive Extension Service, Poultry Housing Tips. December 2008.
Tabler, T. 2000. Brooding chicks in colder weather. Avian Advice 2(1):3-4.
Tabler, T. 2003. Early feed intake and bird performance. Avian Advice 5(1):13-15.
Tabler, T., S. E. Watkins and F. T. Jones. 2008. Litter preparation between focks: management is the key. Avian Advice
10(4):4-7.
Wimberly, J. 2008. A review of biomass furnaces for heating poultry houses in the Northwest Arkansas region. Winrock
International, Little Rock, AR.
Figure 1. Weekly Water Released and Retained (refected as weight gain) per 1000 Birds as a Result of Feed
and Water Intake.
Z
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
Figure 2. Weekly Moisture Addition from Water Released by Birds and Generated by Propane Heaters
(analyzed for 18 winter focks, per house basis)
Figure 3. Daily Moisture Addition from Water Released by Birds and Generated by Propane Heaters during
the First Two Weeks after Chick Placement (analyzed on 5 winter focks per house basis)

AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1


How Does Taste Infuence Water
Consumption in Broilers?
Background
Early studies suggest that birds are much more sensitive to favors in water than in feed
(Kare and Pick, 1960). This sensitivity to favors in water may be due to the fact that birds
consume almost twice as much water as feed. However, the issue of taste is much more
complexthanitmayseembecausehumansperceivetastedifferentlythanmanyotheranimal
species.
To illustrate this point one researcher compared the responses of different animals to a
sucrose (sugar) solution, and its equivalent in saccharine. Most humans said that both solutions
are sweet and pleasant tasting and laboratory rats had a similar reaction. Calves drank much
more of the sucrose than humans did, but drank little of the saccharine. Chickens and dogs
drank the sugar but found the saccharine very offensive. Cats did not respond to either of the
solutions. The point of this illustration is we, as humans, cannot use our own sense of taste to
predict how animals will respond (Kare, 1970).
Chickens, in fact, prefer water that is cold and slightly acid in taste rather than sweet
(Kare, 1970). Although chicks have only a fraction of the number of taste buds found in other
animals (Figure 1), birds have a well defned sense of taste and will reject certain favors (Kare
et al., 1957). In addition, the taste buds in chickens are in different locations as compared to
other animals. In humans, and many other animal species, most taste buds are on the tongue;
butinthechicken,tastebudsaredistributedprimarilyonthebackpartoftheroofofthemouth,
with only 2 to 4% being located on the tongue (Ganchrow and Ganchrow, 1985). In fact, the
tastebudsinchickensaresofarbackinthemouththatbythetimethebirdcantastesomething,
it is almost too late to change its mind about swallowing it (Kare, 1970). Yet, the sense of taste
is more than just how feed or water feels in the mouth of the bird. The sense of taste is all the
sensationabirdexperiencesafterconsumption.
In general, the sense of taste guides an animal as to what it should eat. For example,
chickens given a thiamin defcient diet and offered two solutions, one with and one without
thiamin,willchoosetodrinkasolutioncontainingthiamin.Whilehumansperceivexyloseas
about 70% as sweet as sucrose (sugar), chickens will drink little xylose, which has been found
to cause cataracts in some bird species (Kare, 1970). These and similar choices suggest that
taste is often the basis on which the bird seeks to meet its nutritional needs (Roura et al., 2008).
However, the problem is still more complicated.
Water to humans is wet and tasteless, but to birds, water has a distinct taste. Therefore,
water in itself is a strong stimulus for the bird and favors tested in water solutions are actually
perceived by the bird as mixtures of favors (Beidler, 1961; Kare, 1970; Gentle, 1985).
Although favor perceptions in many animals also involve the perception of odors, in birds
odorsintheirimmediateenvironmenthavelittleapparentaffect.Yet,temperatureofwater
canbecriticalforbirds.Whenpresentedwithtwochoicesofwater,oneatroomtemperature
F.T. Jones and S.E. Watkins
University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture
>
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
andtheotheradegreeortwoabovetheirbodytemperature,
birdswillsufferfromacutethirstratherthandrinkthewarmer
water.Ontheotherhand,birdswillreadilyconsumewater
at temperatures close to freezing. This may be due to the fact
thatbirdsarewellinsulatedwithfeathers,whichprotectthem
fromthecold,butallowlittleornomeanstodissipateexcess
bodyheat.

Practical applications
The data in Figure 2 were collected by Kare et al.,
(1957), who tested acceptance of water containing various
favors by placing two chick watering jars in each pen. One
jar contained untreated water and the other contained favored
water. The researchers compared the amount of water
consumed from the two jars to measure the acceptance or
rejection of favors by the birds. Some favors (strawberry,
alfalfa, nutmeg, honey, molasses, mushroom, and wild cherry)
were rejected outright, while birds would drink certain favors
(butter pecan, butterscotch, raisin, coconut, grenadine, oil of
patchouli, and colocynth pulp) sparingly at frst, but gradually
accept the favor as illustrated by Figure 2. Other than the
novelty of knowing how favored water infuences the taste of
chickens,isthereapracticalapplicationforthisinformation?
Absolutely. The taste of water due to either natural or added
materials can dramatically infuence consumption, particularly
inyoungbirds.
We witnessed frsthand the effects of differences in water
consumption in young birds at the U of A Applied Broiler
Research Farm when we tried a different water acidifer
(Figure 3). The three focks grown on product B were lighter
at settlement than previous focks grown on product A. Yet,
overall water consumption data for these focks showed
no difference. However, data for the frst week showed
lower water consumption for focks grown on product B as
compared to product A and it took almost 21 days before the
birdsreturnedtoconsumptionseenonproductA.Wewere
fortunatethatwewereraisingaheavierbirdandtheadditional
time given to the birds to become acclimated to product B
allowedustomakeupsomeperformancebythetimethey
went to market. However, growers raising smaller weight
birdswouldnothavetheluxuryofmakingupforpoorearly
waterandfeedconsumption.
How can growers identify water consumption challenges?
If birds dont eat they dont gain weight. Since feed and
water consumption are closely correlated (1 pound of feed
consumed for approximately 1.67 pounds of water consumed)
itiscriticaltopayattentiontowaterconsumptionandhead
off problems before they start. As illustrated in Figures 2
and 3, when birds gradually accept water with certain favors
Figure 1. Number of Taste Buds in Various Animal Species
1
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

N
u
m
b
e
r

o
f

T
a
s
t
e

B
u
d
s
1
Adapted from Roura et al, 2008
TASTE continued on page 10
/O
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
TASTE continued from page 9
particularly early in the life of the fock, detection may be
much more diffcult, but the losses can be just as real (Tabler,
2003). In view of this situation, the following suggestions are
offered:
Closely monitor water consumption, particularly early
in the fock. Install meters in both the front and back of
thehouse.Readingsfromthesemetersprovidecrucial
informationtodetermineifbirdsareproperlyspread
throughthehouseaswellasdetermineifwaterlinesare
correctly adjusted. At about the same time each day,
recordwatermeterreadingsstartingfromdayoneofthe
fock. Identifying and solving water issues can more than
payforthecostofmeters.
Develop water usage patterns. Since water consumption
willlikelyvaryfromfarmtofarm,developaveragewater
consumption charts for your farm. Compare each focks
consumptionnumberstotheaverageyouhavedeveloped
and pay particular attention early in the life of the fock.
Be aware that not all water supplies and water additives
are compatible to the birds taste. Pay close attention
towaterusagewhentryingnewproductstoassurethat
thereisnodecreaseinwaterusage.Makeanoteof
productswhichthebirdsappeartolikeduetoincreased
1.
2.
3.
consumption which is not accompanied by fushing in the
birds.
Conclusion
The factors infuencing the sense of taste in birds are
complex and not completely understood. However, it is
clear that the taste of water can infuence both feed and water
consumption. By monitoring water usage and understanding
whatnormalwaterusagepatternsareforeachdayofage,
producerscanidentifychallengesandcorrectthembefore
profts are lost.
References
Beidler, L. M. 1961. The chemical senses. Ann. Rev.
Psychol. 12:363-388.
Ganchrow, D. and J. R. Ganchrow. 1985. Number and
distributionoftastebudsintheoralcavityofhatchlingchicks.
Physiol. Behav. 34(6):889-894.
Gentle, M. J. 1985. Sensory involvement in the control of
food intake in poultry. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 44:313-321.
Figure 2. Daily Water Consumption in Chickens Provided Flavored Water
1,2
P
e
r
c
e
n
t

o
f

T
o
t
a
l

W
a
t
e
r

I
n
t
a
k
e
Days on Experiment
1
Adapted from Kare et al. 1957 The Sense of Taste in the Fowl. Poultry Science 36:129-138
2
Birds were given a choice of unfavored water or water containing 4 parts per thousand butter pecan favor,
these data represent the percentage of favored water consumed.
//
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
Kare, M. R. 1970. The chemical senses of birds. Bird Control Seminars Proceedings http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1183&context=icwdmbirdcontrol Accessed 3/24/09
Kare, M. R., R. Black and E. G. Allison. 1957. The sense of taste in the fowl. Poultry Sci. 36:129-138.
Kare, M. R. and H. L. Pick. 1960. The infuence of the sense of taste on feed and fuid consumption. Poultry Sci. 39:697-
706.
Roura, E., B. Humphrey, G. Tedo and I. Ipharraguerre. 2008. Unfolding the codes of short-term feed appetence in farm and
companion animals: A comparative oronasal nutrient sensing biology review. Can. J. Animal Sci. 88:535-558.
Tabler, G. T. 2003 Early feed intake and bird performance. Avian Advice 5:13-15
Figure 3. Water Usage With Different Water Acidifer Products.
W
a
t
e
r

D
i
s
a
p
p
e
a
r
a
n
c
e

(
g
a
l
/
1
0
0
0

b
i
r
d
s
)
Days of Age
Product B
Product A
/2
AVIAN Advice Spring 2009 Vol. 11, No. 1
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-671-2189, FAX: 501-671-2185, E-mail: jwooley@uaex.edu
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by D.E. Yoho, J.R. Moyle, A.D. Swaffar, and R.K. Bramwell, University of Arkansas
Division of Agriculture, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Litter Preparation
Between Flocks:
Management is the Key
by G.T. Tabler,
S.E. Watkins and
F.T. Jones
page 7
Measuring Hatching
Egg Shell Quality
by Jon Moyle, Doug Yoho
and Keith Bramwell

page 10
Cooling Broiler
Chickens by
Direct Sprinkling
by G.T. Tabler, I.L. Berry,
Y. Liang, T. A. Costello
and H. Xin
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


HATCHING EGGS contd on page 2
Winter 2008 Volume 10 no. 4
Effect of Incubating Poor Quality
Broiler Breeder Hatching Eggs on
Overall Hatchability and
Hatch of Fertile
Introduction
Previousresearchhasshownthat
qualityhatchingeggsimprovethelikelihood
ofoptimumhatchabilityaswellasresult
ingoodchickquality(Yohoetal.,2008,
Moyleetal.,2008).Pathogenscanpenetrate,
contaminatingtheeggshell,itsmembranes
andtheembryo(Berrangetal.,1999).
Improperlyhandledeggscanalsoexplode
contaminatingthesurroundingeggsinthe
setter.Whilepropersanitationofeggs
canbebenefcialtooverallhatchability,
failuretofollowrecommendedsanitation
proceduresoftenhasnegativeconsequence
onhatchabilityandchickquality(Funketal.,
1949,ScottandSwetnan.,1993).
Withinthepoultryindustryitis
understoodthatonlycleanandgoodquality
broilerbreederhatchingeggsshouldbe
senttothehatcheryforincubation.Breeder
managersroutinelydiscussthistopicwith
contractproducerswithvariedsuccess.
However,increasedproductioncostsdictate
thateverypossiblehatchingeggbesentto
thehatcheryanditwouldseemadvantageous
tohavesomepracticalmethodfordirt
removal.Producerscommonlyusepaper
towels,ragsorsandingblockstoremove
dirtfromeggs.Ifthedirtisgonethenthe
problemshouldbesolved,right?But,do
thesecleaningmethodsaffecthatchabilityor
chickquality?Withthesequestionsinmind,
AVIAN
thisstudywasundertakentoevaluatethe
effectpoorhatchingeggselection,improper
egghandlingtechniquesandcleaning
proceduresonhatchability,hatchoffertile
andeggcontaminationrates.
Materials and Methods
Eighthundredforty(840)hatching
eggswereobtainedfromtheUniversityof
Arkansasbroilerbreederresearchfarmand
randomlyassignedtooneofseventreatment
groupswith120eggspertreatmentgroup.
Thecontrolgroupwascorrectlysetclean
hatchingeggs,whiletheremaininggroups
included:un-toucheddirtyeggs,dirtyeggs
wipedwithawetcloth,dirtyeggssanded
withanabrasivepad,checkedeggs(broken
shellsbutnobrokenmembranes),cull
eggs(misshapeneggsordoubleyokes)
andeggssetupsidedown.Eggswere
incubatedundercommoncommercial
incubationconditions,hatchedchickswere
talliedandaresiduebreak-outanalysiswas
performedonallunhatchedeggs.Eggs
wereclassifedascontaminatediftheywere
obviouslymalodorousorhadnoticeable
bacterialcontamination.Theexperimentwas
replicatedthreetimes.Datawereanalyzed
usingJMPstatisticalsoftwarecomparing
themeansfromtheobservations(SAS
Institute,2006).Differencesweredeemedto
2
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
HATCHING EGGS continued from page 1
besignifcantatP<0.05.
Results and Discussion
ThedatainFigures1and2,showasignifcantdrop
comparedtocontrolinhatchandhatchoffertileinall
treatmentgroupsexceptcheckedeggs.However,the
hatchabilityofdirtyeggsthatwerewipedorsandeddidnot
improveascomparedtoun-toucheddirtyeggs.Settingeggs
upsidedownnegativelyaffectedhatchabilityaswasexpected
(12%),butthemostsignifcantdecreasewasseeninculleggs
(~45%loss).
AsillustratedinFigure3,therewereasignifcantly
highernumberofcontaminatedeggsinthedirty,sanded
orwipedcategoriesascomparedtothecontrol(8%).Once
again,attemptingtocleantheeggsdidlittletoimprove
theirviability.Anoverallincreaseinexplodingeggsfrom
contaminationwasalsoobservedascomparedtocommercial
hatcheryresults.Explodingeggsfurthercomplicates
hatchabilityandchickqualityissuesbyinvolvingthe
surroundingeggpack.
Thisexperimentwasanattempttomimictheon-farm
effortstosalvagedirtyhatchingeggsinasituationwhere
propersanitizingequipmentmaynotbeavailable.Instead,a
wetragorabrasivepadwouldperhapsbeused.
Resultsindicatethatthereisnohatchbeneftfromwiping
orcleaningdirtyeggs.Thereforemoreemphasisshouldbe
placedonlittermanagementandnestboxmaintenanceto
reducetheincidenceofdirtyeggs.
Conclusions
1.Wipingorsandingdirtyeggsdoesnotimprovehatchability.
2.Settingculleggsorsettingeggsupsidedownwill
negativelyaffectoverallhatch.
3.Settingcheckedeggswillnegativelyaffectoverallhatch,
butnottotheextentfrstbelieved.
References
Berrang,M.E.,N.A.Cox,J.FFrank,R.J.Buhr.1999.
Bacterialpenetrationoftheeggshellandshellmembranes
ofthechickenhatchingegg.JournalofAppliedPoultry
Research8:499-504.
Funk,E.M.,andJ.F.Forward.1949.Effectofwashing
eggsonhatchability.PoultryScience28:155-157.
Moyle,J.R.,D.E.Yoho,R.S.Harper,A.D.Swaffar,R.
K.BramwellandD.J.Elfck.2008.Eggshellcolor,specifc
gravityandhatchability,ineggsfrombroilerbreeders.Poultry
Science87(Suppl.1):146.
SASInstitute,2006.SASInstituteInc,Cary,NC.
Scott,T.A.,andC.Swetnan.1993.Screeningsanitizing
agentsandmethodsofapplicationforhatchingeggsI.
Environmentalanduserfriendliness.JournalofApplied
PoultryResearch2:1-6.
YohoD.E.,J.R.Moyle,A.D.Swaffar,andR.K.
Bramwell.2008.Effectofincubatingpoorqualitybroiler
breederhatchingeggsonoverallhatchabilityandhatchof
fertile.PoultryScience87(Suppl.1):148.
Figure 1. Loss of hatchability in poorly selected and handled hatching eggs.
3
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
Figure 2. Loss of hatch of fertile in poorly selected and handled hatching eggs.
Figure 3. Contamination in poorly selected and handled hatching eggs.
4
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
G.T. Tabler, S.E. Watkins and F.T. Jones,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Litter Preparation Between
Flocks: Management is the Key
1
Ideal Litter Conditions
Properlitterconditioningisanessentialtoolofgoodmanagementforkeepingfocks
healthyandproftable.Conditioninglitterbetweenfocksaddresseswherethebirdslive,which
isthemostcrucialaspectofthepoultryhouseenvironment.Ideallitterislooseandfreefowing
(friable),nottoodryortoowet(20-30%moistureisideal),lowinammonia(lessthan20parts
permillion),uniformparticlesize(nolargeclumps)andcontainsaminimumloadofinsects.
Moistureisthekeyfactorwhichinfuenceslitterquality.Allowinglittercaketoremainina
facilitycantrapmoistureinthelitter,whichwillpromotebacterialgrowth,pathogendevelop-
mentandammoniareleaseoncethehouseisclosedandre-warmedforthenextfock(Watkins,
2001).Infact,recentinformationsuggeststhatpoorlitterconditionscostthegroweranaverage
of$960per20,000birdhouse(Ritzetal.,2005).
Litter Preparation History
PriortoWorldWarII,thepoultryindustryprimarilyinvolvedsmall,privatelyowned
focks.Neithernutritionnordiseasecontrolprincipleswerewellunderstoodsofrequentlitter
cleanoutwasseenasnecessaryandlaborwasplentiful.However,thestartofthewarmeantthat
laborandmaterialsbecamescarce,whilethewareffortincreaseddemandforpoultryproducts.
Thissituationforcedproducerstousebuilt-uplitterratherthancleanoutoneormoretimesper
fock.Interestingly,duringthistimeperiodpoultryresearchersdiscoveredthatbirdsgrownon
builtuplitterandfednutritionallydefcientfeedswerehealthierandgrewfasterthanbirdsfed
thesamefeedsonnewlitter(Kennard,1950).Thus,nutritionandmanagementexpertsbegan
advising,Theuseofbuilt-uplittermakesitunnecessarytocleanthehousemorethanoncea
year(Morrison,1948).Yetfocksizesweresmallerandgrowthratesforbroilerswereconsid-
erablyslowerthantodaysstandardssomanyissueswithlittereitherdidnotexistorcouldbe
dealtwithbyhand.However,sincecurrentbroilerstrainsgrowrapidly,focksizescontinueto
increaseandlaborcostshaveescalated,mechanicalmethodsarerequiredtodealwithlitteris-
sues.
Intheearlydaysproducerspulleddisks,harrows,weightedwirecattlepanels,oroldtires
tiedtogetherbehindtractorstobreakupcakedlitter.Gardentillerswerealsousedtoreduce
littercakeinpreparationforthenextfock.Yetthesemethodstendedtoleavelargerchunksof
hard,caked,highmoisturelitterwithroughedges.Itwasdiffcultforbabychickstomaneuver
overthesechunksandolderbirdsdevelopedfootproblems.Inaddition,theexcessmoisture
increasedammoniaconcentrationsinhousesand,inturn,increasedtheneedforventilation,
resultinginincreasedfuelusage.
Today,manyproducersownorhaveaccesstotractoroperateddecakingmachinesto
collectcakedlitterforspreadingonfeldsorpastures.Theseunitscandoanexcellentjoband
continuetoservetheindustrywell.However,theseunitsmustbeoperatedcorrectlytoachieve
thedesiredresultsandbiosecurityisalwaysaconcernwhenseveralproducersshareanytypeof
equipment.Inaddition,increasingenvironmentalconcernsandnutrientmanagementplansof
manyfarmsnowrestrictorprohibitlandapplicationoflitter;especiallyinsensitivewatersheds.
Analternativelitterpreparationmethodthatcouldsatisfactorilyprepareusedlitterwithoutcake
removalwouldhavepotentialbeneftstotheindustryinmanyareasacrossthecountry.
1
Mention of trade names does not
constitute endorsement by the
University of Arkansas Division
of Agriculture and does not imply
their approval to the exclusion of
other products or vendors that may
be suitable.
5
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
Evaluation of an Alternative Litter Treatment Method
Equipment Description
Whilestandarddecakingmachinesremovecakedlitter
forspreadingonpasturesorfelds,thePriefertLitterSaver
(PriefertRanchEquipment;Mt.Pleasant,TX)[PLS]usesa
seriesofcurvedhammersorteethtobreakapartcakedlitter.
WhenproperlydonethePLSthoroughlymixesandaeratesall
thelitteronthefoor,allowingtheoncecakedlittertoremain
thehouseandresultinginsmooth,friablelitterwithlittlecrust
orhardpanatthepadsurface.
Equipment Operation Principles
ItisimportanttomatchPLSunitsize(4,5,or7)to
tractorPTOhorsepowerratingtoachieveproperperformance.
Aslitterdepthincreasesovertime,thehorsepowerdemand
requiredtoproperlyoperatethePLSalsoincreases.Inaddi-
tion,onepassofthePLSthroughthehouseisnotenoughto
breakupallthechunksofcakedlitter.Weobservedthat3to
4passeswerenecessarytoobtainlitteroftheconsistencyand
particlesizedesired.Initially,thelittertreatedwiththePLS
willbefufferthanlitterinadecakedhouse,butafterafew
daysofbabychickswalkingonthelitter,thisdifferenceisno
longerdetectable.
Test Procedures
Flocks92,93and94wereplacedonFebruary26th,
May15thandJuly27th,2007respectivelyandwereusedto
comparetheeffectsthatprocessinglitterusingthePLSora
decakingmachinehadonfockperformance.Inspectionprior
totheprocessingoflitterrevealedthatapproximatelythe
sameamountofcakedlitterwaspresentineachhouse.Prior
tofocks92and93litterinhouses1and3weredecaked,
whilecakeinhouses2and4wereconditionedwiththePLS.
Priortoathirdfock(fock94),onlythelitterinhouse3was
processedusingthedecakingmachineandlitterintheremain-
inghouseswasprocessedwiththePLS.ThePLSwasusedto
processallthelitterineachtreatedhousethreeorfourtimes
overa3-dayperiod.Fourloadsofcakedlitter(about7tons
perhouse)wereremovedfromhouses1and3,priortothe
placementoffocks92and93,foratotalofapproximately
14tonsofcakedlitterperfock.Fiveloads(about8.75tons)
wereremovedfromhouse3priortofock94.
Test Results
Flockperformancedataobtainedfromthecomparison
ofdecakingwiththePLSareshowninTable1.Whilethe
datapresentedslightlyfavorthePLSsystemoverdecaking,
thefewobservationsmeanthatsuchconclusionscanonlybe
tentative.However,inoursituationweobservedasavings
inlitterpreparationtimeandfuelexpensewiththePLS.Yet
themajorityofthissavingswasduetohaulingandspreading
loadsofcakedlitteronappropriatefelds.IftheABRFhada
litterstackingshed,timeandfuelcostswouldlikelyhavebeen
similar.Inaddition,iftheABRFweresellinglitterasanin-
comesupplement,morelittermightbepresentinPLStreated
LITTER continued on pg. 6
houses.However,whetherornotthePLSisawiseeconomic
decisionwilldependuponthefacilitiesandsituationonthe
farminvolved.
Observations and Precautions
Itappearsthatthepracticeofreusinglitterwillremain
theindustrystandardfortheforeseeablefuture.Therefore,it
willbenecessarythateachproductionunithavesomestrategy
forprocessinglitterpriortoeachfock.Sinceeveryfarm
andeveryfarmmanagerisdifferent,itisdiffculttomake
overallrecommendations.However,regardlessofwhichlitter
processingsystemtheunituses,day-oldchicksmustnotbe
placedondamplitter.Chicksplacedondamplitterwillbe
stressedandhavereducedfeedconsumption,resultinginpoor
fockperformance(Tabler,2003).
Unitsarefacedwithapaymenoworpaymelater
choicewithrespecttolitterprocessing.Skimpingorshort
cuttinglitterprocessingwillsavehousepreparationtime,but
willprovidealessthanoptimumenvironmentforbirdgrowth
andthepaymelaterscenariomaybeseenintheformof
alessthanpleasingsettlementcheck.Thepaymenow
approachtolitterprocessingwillrequireextratimeandeffort
priortofockplacement,butwilllikelypaydividendsinthe
settlementcheck.
Theapproachtolitterprocessingisentirelydifferentwhenthe
PLSiscomparedtodecaking.Decakingcapturescakedmate-
rialfromaboutthetopsixinchesoflitterandremovesitfrom
thehouse.ThePLSpulverizes,mixesandaeratesaboutthe
top12inchesoflitterintoasoft,smooth,evensurface.How-
ever,thePLSrequiresthatlitterbeprocessedmultipletimes
toachieveacceptableresults.Inourcase,thePLSrequired
thatallthelitterbeprocessedthreeorfourtimestoachieve
satisfactoryresults.Bothlitterprocessingsystems(decaking
andthePLS)areonlyfarmmanagementtools.BoththePLS
anddecakingmachinescanproducepoultryhouseconditions
thataregoodorbad,theoperatordecideswhichenviron-
menttheday-oldchickswillfaceatplacement.
Summary
Shortdowntimesbetweenfocksandincreasedconcern
fortheenvironmenthavecreatedaneedforalternativesto
removingandlandapplyingcakedlitteraftereveryfockof
birds.Onesuchalternativewasevaluatedandnonegative
effectsonfockperformancewereobserved.However,man-
agementisthekeytosuccessfullitterpreparationbetween
focks;regardlessofthemethodused.Skippingsteps,cutting
corners,andlessthansatisfactoryconditionscouldprove
costlytothenextfock.Investingtheextratimeandeffortto
dothingsrightwilllikelypaydividends.
6
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
LITTER continued from p. 5
References
Ritz,C.W.,B.D.FairchildandM.P.Lacy.2005.LitterQualityandBroilerPerformance.GeorgiaCooperativeExtension
ServiceBulletin1267.
Kennard,D.C.1950.Floorlittermanagementasafactorinpoultrynutrition.WorldsPoult.Sci.J.6(3):177-182.
Morrison,F.B.1948.FeedsandFeedingAHandbookfortheStudentandStockman.TheMorrisonPublishingCompany,
Ithaca,NY
Tabler,G.T.2003.Earlyfeedintakeandbirdperformance.AvianAdvice5(1):13-15.
Watkins,S.E.2001.Litterconditioningforahealthyfock.AvianAdvice3(2):10-12.
Table 1. Bird Performance following litter preparation by decaking or PLS.

FLOCK 92 (February 26, 2007 - April 20, 2007
Litter Prep.
Method
House
Number
Livability
(%)
Age
(Days)
Avg. Wt.
(Lbs.)
Net Sold
(Lbs.)
Feed
Conv.
Pay/lb.
(cents)
Pay/house
($)
Gas Use
(gals.)
Decaked 1 96.90 53 6.90 118474 2.06 5.28 6248 1263
PLS
1
2 96.92 53 7.02 120430 1.99 5.63 6778 1134
Decaked 3 95.93 53 6.77 115006 1.98 5.57 6400 1114
PLS 4 96.78 53 5.74 115534 2.03 5.35 6178 1100

FLOCK 93 (May 15, 2007 - July 10, 2007)
Decaked 1 96.56 56 7.60 127242 2.12 5.25 6676 376
PLS 2 96.23 56 7.52 125469 2.05 5.57 6934 375
Decaked 3 96.27 56 7.30 121880 2.02 5.63 6858 389
PLS 4 96.58 56 7.63 125413 2.05 5.54 6953 363

FLOCK 94 (July 27, 2007 - September 24, 2007)
PLS 1 96.15 59 8.26 128770 2.11 5.27 6784 50
PLS 2 96.67 59 8.14 127497 2.07 5.43 6920 59
Decaked 3 96.20 59 8.23 128829 2.09 5.36 6910 72
PLS 4 96.47 59 8.17 129426 2.14 5.08 6571 68

Average Data
PLS --- 96.61 56.00 7.37 123961.50 2.06 5.43 6731.14 449.71
Decaked --- 96.54 55.40 7.15 122391.80 2.06 5.37 6574.00 640.00


1
PLS = Priefert Litter Saver (Preifert Ranch Equipment; Mt. Pleasant, TX)
7
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
EGG SHELL continued on page 8
Measuring Hatching Egg
Shell Quality
Introduction
Clearlyhatchabilityisimportanttobothsmallfockandcommercialpoultrybreeder
fockowners.Maintaininghatchingeggshellqualityisimportantbecauseofitsconnection
withhatchability.Themajorfactorsthatinfuenceeggshellqualityaregenetics,diet,climate,
housingandageofthehens.Whiletheaveragepoultryoperationhaslimitedcontrolovermost
ofthesefactors,thecrucialsignifcanceofhatchabilitymakesitisimportanttorecognizeand
controleggshellqualitywherepossible.
Obviously,eggswiththinshellsaremorelikelytobreak,producingleakers.While
leakersarenotusuallysetintheincubator,thinshelledeggscrackeasilyinthehenhouse,
duringcollectionandtransportation,resultinginpoorhatchesduetocontamination.Inaddition
totheincreasedlikelihoodofshellbreakage,thinshelledeggsthatdonotsufferbreakageallow
forhigherwatervaporlossduringtheentireincubationprocessresultingindehydrationand
higherembryonicmortality.Thosechicksthatdohatchfromthinshelledeggshavedecreased
livabilityduringthefrstfewdaysoflifeandpooroverallperformancebecausetheygetofftoa
slowstart.
Eggshellcolorhasalsobeenquestionedinregardstoitsaffectsonhatchability.Whilethe
scientifcliteraturecontainsconfictingdataregardingtherelationshipbetweeneggcolorand
Jon Moyle, Doug Yoho and Keith Bramwell
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
LITTER continued from p. 6
BEFORE AND AFTER - The pictures above were taking in a University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture house. The one on the left
was taken before using the Priefert Litter Saver, and the photo on the right was taken after four passes with the machine.
8
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
EGG SHELL QUALITY continued from page 7
hatchability,poultryproducershavelongheldthebeliefthat
intypicalbrownegglayingbreeds,lightcoloredeggswillnot
hatchaswellasthosethataredarkerincolor.Indeed,itis
interestingtonotethatincertainsongbirdspecies(fycatchers)
experimentalevidencesuggeststhathealthiermorewell-
fedfemaleslaymoreintenselycoloredeggs(Morenoet
al.,2006).Thus,thereissomeevidencetosubstantiatethe
assumptionthatdarkereggshatchbetterthanlightercolored
eggs.Eggshellcolormayalsobeassociatedwitheggshell
quality.Therefore,producershavebeentrainedtoeliminate
lightcoloredeggsfromconsiderationashatchingeggsdueto
theirpoorerhatchingexpectations.
Measuringshellquality:Determiningshellquality
involvesestimatingshellthickness.Althoughtherearemany
methodsforestimatingshellthickness,eggspecifcgravityis
theeasiestandmostwidelyutilized.Therearetwomethods
toobtaineggspecifcgravitymeasurements:theArchimedes
methodandthesaltsolutionmethod.
TheArchimedesmethodinvolvesweighingeggs
individuallyandthenweighingtheegginwater.Thenthe
formula[dryeggweight/(dryeggweight-weteggweight)]
isusedtoobtainthespecifcgravity.However,becauseeggs
mustbeindividuallyweighed,thismethodisseldomused.
Thesaltbathmethodutilizestubsofwatereachofwhich
containsagreaterconcentrationofsaltthantheprevioustub
(typicalconcentrationsare1.070,1.075,1.080,1.085and
1.090).Thespecifcgravityofthesolutioninwhichtheegg
foats,isthespecifcgravityoftheegg.Eggsareplaced
initiallyinthetubwiththelowestsaltsolutionconcentration.
Thespecifcgravityestimateisrecordedforthoseeggsthat
foat.Thoseeggsthatdonotfoatareremovedandplaced
intothenexthighersolutionandsoforthuntilalltheeggs
foat.Thismethodispopularbecauseitallowsforrapid
measurementoflargenumbersofeggs,withminimalaffect
ontheeggsortheirhatchability.Thebesttimetomeasure
specifcgravityisinthehatcheryaftertheeggshavehad
achanceaconstanttemperatureandtoreachthesame
temperatureasthesaltsolutions.
Measuringshellcolor:Theshellsofbroilerbreedereggs
canvaryfromwhitetoalmostchocolateincolor.Thecause
ofthisvariationineggcolorisnotknown,buteggshellcolor
measurementshavebeenmadeusingtechniquesrangingfrom
visualestimationtosophisticatedelectronicmeasurements.
However,digitalcolorimetersaregenerallybestbecausethey
tendtoremovethesubjectivityfromthesemeasurements.
Experimental Procedures
EggSelectionandHandling:Atotalof1,944eggswere
collectedfromfvedifferentbroilerbreederfocksthatwere
between33and45weeksofage.Eggswerelabeledsothat
eacheggindividuallycouldbefollowedthroughthetesting,
incubationandhatchingprocess.Forthisstudy,cracked
eggs,toecheckedeggsandanymisshapen,toosmallorlarge
eggs,ordirtyeggswereeliminated.Onlyeggsthatwouldbe
acceptablehatchingeggsbythecommercialintegratorwere
used.Eggswerehatchedatthecommercialhatcheryusing
industrystandardsandafterhatch,ahatchresiduebreakout
wasperformedtodeterminefertilityandtimeofembryonic
mortality.
Specifcgravity:Saltsolutionsweremaintainedinthe
eggstorageroomatalocalcommercialhatcheryandmeasured
aftertheyhadtimetoadjusttothetemperatureoftheroom.
Thesaltsolutionswerecheckregularlyforaccuracywitha
hydrometerandconcentrationsrangedfromalowof1.065to
ahighof1.090inincrementsof0.005.
Shellcolor:Eggshellcolorwasdeterminedforeach
eggusingacolorimeterthatgaveanumericmeasurementof
shellcolor.Thisprocedureremovedhumanerrorfromshell
colordeterminations.Purewhiteeggswouldhavereturneda
readingof100,whiledarkereggshadlowernumbers.The
eggsthatweremeasuredhadacolorrangefromupper60s
(dark)tothelower90s(lightcolored).
Experimental Results
SpecifcGravityandHatch:Hatchabilityresultsare
showninFigure1.Theseresultsindicatethateggswitha
specifcgravityof1.070hatchaswellasthosewithhigher
specifcgravitiesandthathatchisnotnegativelyaffected
untilspecifcgravityis1.065orlower.Theseresultsare
differentthanthosepublishedbyMcDanieletal.,1981and
Bennett,1992,whoreportthateggswithspecifcgravitiesless
than1.080hadpoorhatchandincreasedembryomortality.
Thisdifferenceinresultsmaybetheresultofgenetic
progressmadeduringthelast15years,orinexperimental
methodology.
ShellColorandHatch:Figure2showstherelationshipof
howshellcolorrelatestohatchability.Theseresultsshow
thatthehatchofextremelylightcoloredeggsislowerthanthe
darkereggs.Sinceshellpigmentsareappliedtotheshelljust
priortotheeggbeinglayedlighteggcolormaybeasignof
prematurelylayedeggscausedbysometypeofenvironmental
stress.
Summary
1.Ameasurementofspecifcgravitycanbeeffectively
usedtorapidlyevaluatetheshellqualityinbroilerbreeders.
2.Eggswithspecifcgravityvalueshigherthan1.070
willhatchwellwhilethoselowerwillresultinpoorhatches
andindicatepoorshellquality.
3.Lightercoloredeggs(colorscoresabove87)hatched
atalowerratethandiddarkereggs.However,thelight
coloredeggswouldbeconsideredthosewhichareextremely
lightandnotjustalightershade.
References
Bennett,C.D.1992.Theinfuenceofshellthicknesson
hatchabilityincommercialbroiler
breederfocks.JournalofAppliedPoultryResearch1:61-65.
McDaniel,G.R.,J.BrakeandM.K.Eckman.1981.
Factorsaffectingbroilerbreederperformance.5.The
interrelationshipofsomereproductivetraits.PoultryScience
60:1792-1797.
9
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
EGG SHELL QUALITY continued from page 8
Moreno,J.,E.Lobato,J.Morales,S.Merino,G.Tomas,J.Martinez-delaPuente,J.J.Sanz,R.MateoandJ.J.Soler.2006.
Experimentalevidencethateggcolorindicatesfemaleconditionatlayinginasongbird.BehavioralEcology17:651-655.
Figure 1. Hatchability of commercial eggs by egg shell color code.
Figure 2. Hatchability of commercial eggs by specifc gravity using the salt solution method.
10
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
Cooling Broiler Chickens
by Direct Sprinkling
1
Introduction
Modernbroilersgrowatanextremelyrapidrateandconvertfeedtomeatwithexcep-
tionaleffciency.However,thisrapidgrowthrateandconversioneffciencyhavebeenas-
sociatedwithanincreasedsusceptibilitytoheatstress.Whileavarietyofgenetic,nutritional,
feedingandenvironmentalstrategieshavebeenexamined,muchoftheburdenfordealingwith
theeffectsofheatfallstotheproducerand,inturn,thehousingenvironment(Linnetal.,2006).
Evaporativepads,foggerpadsandfoggernozzlesarecommonlyusedtocontrolheatandits
effectsinbroilerhouses(Weaver,2002).Exceptinextremeconditionspoultryproductionper-
sonnelhavetendedtoavoidsystemsthatdepositmoisturedirectlyonthebirds.Yet,cattleand
hogsareoftencooledinhotweatherbysprinklingwithwaterandmanypoultryproducershave
occasionallycooledchickensbysprinklingwithwaterhosesduringextremelyhotperiodsto
avoidcatastrophicmortality.Inpractice,theeffectivenessofconventional,low-pressuremisting
systemsinbroilerhousespartiallydependsonthedepositionofmuchofthereleasedwateronto
thechickensandtheirimmediatesurroundings.Padsystemsrequirelargevolumesofwaterto
coolbirdsandmanyproducersareconcernedabouttheavailabilityandcostofwatertooperate
coolcellsystems.Analternativesprinklingsystemforcoolingbroilerchickenswasinvesti-
gatedattheAppliedBroilerResearchFarm(ABRF).
History
Sprinklingwithcontrolledamountsofwateronaregularbasisdirectlyonthebirds
wastestedin1989inalaboratorystudywithpromisingresults(Berryetal.,1990).Inthat
study,sprinklingwaterwasappliedattheratedeterminedby:
(TA80)
HL= 5.0 ------------- (1)
(TS80)
where
HL=rateofwaterapplication,inlatentheatunitsofBtu/hr/lbbird,
TA=roomairtemperature,F,
and
TS=chickenwetted-surfacetemperature,assumedto92Fduringstudy.
ThecontrolalgorithmwasbasedondatafromReeceandLott(1982),whofoundthat
thesensibleheatproductionofbroilerchickensat80Fwasnearlyconstantat5.0Btu/hr/lb
birdafterfourweeksofage.Theequationassumesthattheheattransferfromthechickenbody
coreremainsataconstant5.0Btu/hr/lbbirdaslongasthewettedsurfaceiscooledto92F
bytheadditionofwaterwithincreasingairtemperature.Theuseof92FforTSwasbasedon
radiometermeasurementsofchickensurfacetemperatures,recognizingthatthesesurfaceswere
notnecessarilythesameasthewettedsurfaces.
Field Tests Procedures
Fieldtestswereconductedfrom1995through2005incommercial40by400-ftcurtain
sidedbroilerhousesattheABRF.Avarietyofmoreconventionalmistingsystemswerenor-
mallyusedwithcross-ventilationinHouses1and3duringthisperiod.
Houses2and4werearrangedastunnelventilatedhousesandcontainedidenticalfan
G.T. Tabler
2
, I.L. Berry
3
, Y.Liang
3
, T.A. Costello
3
, and H. Xin
4
2
Department of Poultry Science,
3
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture;
and
4
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University.
1
Mention of trade names does not
constitute endorsement by the
University of Arkansas Division
of Agriculture and does not imply
their approval to the exclusion of
other products or vendors that may
be suitable.
11
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
COOLING continued from page 10
confgurationpatterns.ChickensinHouse4werecooledbythemodifedtunnelventilationsys-
temwith200ftof4-inpads4-ftinheight.Thepadcoolingsystemseemedtoworkadequately,
butairvelocityinabouthalfthehousewasnotdesirablyhighfortunnelventilation.Additional
heatstressmayhaveresultedfromsomeblockageofnaturalventilationbythewallsections
withcoolingpadsduringeveninghours.WaterwasappliedinHouse2directlytothebirdsina
coarsemistsprinkledfrom63plasticspinnernozzles(Meter-ManUCS23)placedat19-ftinter-
valsalongthreelongitudinal3/4-inPVCpipesinHouse2.Thenozzlesonthecenterpipewere
staggeredfromthoseontheoutsidepipes,whichwereplaced10ftfromthesidewalls.Nozzles
wereplacedabout2in.abovethepipesonrisersthatcontainedcheckvalves.Thepipeswere
suspendedfromtheroofframingbyawinchedsystemsothatnozzleheightcouldbeadjusted.
Waterwassuppliedtothenozzlesthroughapressureregulatorsetto20psi,sothateachnozzle
emittedabout0.25gallons/minoveracircleofabout22-ftdiameter.Theamountofwaterwas
meteredbycontrollingtheon-timeofthenozzlesinevery10-mincycle.Separatesolenoid
valvesalternatedwaterpressuretothethreepipestopreventoverloadingofthehousewater
supplysystem.Duringthisperiod,themaximumairvelocitywasmaintainedthroughtheentire
400-ftlength.Litterremovalfromallhouseswasviaafarmtractorandpullbehindsingleaxle
decakingmachine(LewisBrothersMfg.Co.,Model#2;Baxley,GA)capableofhauling3,500
to4,000lbsperload.
Field Test Results
Table1showstheaveragedailymortality(deadchickensperdayperhouse)fromage
35daysuntilthedaybeforeharvesting.AveragedailymortalitywaslowestinHouse2(direct
sprinklingsystem)whileHouse4(padcooledhouse)hadthenexttohighestmortalityrate.The
relativefailureofHouse4waspartiallyblamedonthelowairvelocityinpartofthathouse.
DuringFlocks39and44,highermortalityinHouse1wasprobablyavertedbyhandspraying
withagardenhose.
Table2comparesHouses2and4withrespecttowaterusedforcoolingbirdsand
loadsofcakedlitterremovedattheendofthegrow-outperiod.Whiletheaveragenumberof
cakedlitterloadsremovedwasapproximatelyequal,House2usedjustover85%lesswaterto
coolbirdsascomparedtoHouse4.Whilefanelectricityusewassimilarinbothhouses,feed
conversion,averageweight,andintegratorpayrateshowedageneraltrendinfavorofthedirect
sprinklingsysteminHouse2ascomparedtoHouse4(Table3).Thesedatasuggestthat,direct
sprinklingofchickenswasaseffectiveatcoolingbirdsastunnelventilation.
Observations
Tunnelventilationisthoughtbymanytobethebestavailablemanagementtoolto
preventheatrelatedstressandmortalityinbroilerfocks.Suchhouseshavebeenreportedto
reducetheeffectiveambienttemperatureinthevicinityofthebirdsbymorethan35Fona
typicalsummerday.However,waterusageintunnelhousesisnearlydoublethatofconven-
tionalhousesonwarmdays(LacyandCzarick,1992).Waterusageinthedirectsprinklerhouse
wasabout85%lowerthanthatusedinthetunnelhouse,whileloadsofcakedlitterremovedat
theendofthefockwereapproximatelyequal(Table2).
Randomtemperatureobservationswiththedirectsprinklerhousesuggestthatthisap-
proachtypicallyreducedthetemperatureoftheventilationairbylessthan2F.Thisisprimar-
ilybecausemuchofthewaterwasapplieddirectlytothebirds.Thelackofassociationbetween
insideairtemperatureandthecoolingbeneftsofthedirectsprinklersystemmeantthatthesys-
tembeneftswerenotobvioustothecasualobserverunlesshewasactuallysprinkled.Inaddi-
tion,insideairtemperaturecouldnotbeusedtoprovidefeedbackforcontrollingwaterapplica-
tionrates.Instead,waterapplicationrateswerebasedonoutsideairtemperatureandpredicted
bodytemperaturesofbirdsusingthepreviouslypresentedalgorithm.Earliertestingwiththe
directsprinklershassuggestedthatthesystemeffectivelyremovesheatdirectlyfromthebirds
(Xinetal.,2001).However,theincreasinggrowthratesofbroilers,solidsidewallhousingand
improvementsinproductionmethodssuggestthatanupdatedalgorithmwillbenecessaryunder
currentproductionconditions.Thisworkiscurrentlyunderway.
COOLING continued on page 12
12
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
COOLING continued from page 11
Summary
Coolcellpadsystemsuselargevolumesofwatertocooltheairtemperatureinsidepoultry
housesduringhotweather.Producersareincreasinglyconcernedabouttheavailabilityoftheirwa-
tersupplyandthecostofwater,especiallyonlargefarmsthatmayhave5to10housesormore.An
experimentalmethodofcoolingbroilersinhotweatherutilizingalowcostsprinklingsystemthat
consumesonlyafractionofthewaterofapadsystemwasfeldtestedattheABRFwithpromising
results.Suchasystemdevelopedcommerciallycouldpossiblyofferaneffective,viable,inexpen-
sivealternativetocurrentstrategiesusedforsummercoolingofbroilerchickens.
References
Berry,I.L.,T.A.CostelloandR.C.Benz.1990.Coolingbroilerchickensbysurfacewet-
ting.ASAEpaper,St.Joseph,Mich:ASAE
Lacy,M.P.andM.Czarick.1992.Tunnel-ventilatedbroilerhouses:Broilerperformance
andoperatingcosts.J.App.PoultryRes.1:104-109.
Linn,H.,H.O.Jiao,J.BuyseandE.Decuypere.2006.Strategiesforpreventingheatstress
inpoultry.WorldsPoult.Sci.J.62:71-85.
Reece,F.N.,andB.D.Lott.1982.Theeffectofenvironmentaltemperatureonsensibleand
latentheatproductionofbroilerchickens.Poult.Sci.61(8):1590-1593.
Weaver,W.D.2002.Fundamentalsofventilation.In:Bell,D.D.andW.D.Weavereds.Commer-
cialChickenMeatandEggProduction.Fifthed..KluwerAcademicPublishers,Norwell,MA
Xin,H.,I.L.Berry,G.T.Tabler,andT.A.Costello.2001.Heatandmoistureproductionofbroiler
chickensincommercialhousing.Pp309-318in:LivestockEnvironmentVI:Proceedingsofthe6th
InternationalSymposium.RichardR.Stowell,RayBucklin,andRobertW.Bottcher(Eds.).21-23
May2001,Louisville,KY.

13
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
COOLING continued from page 12
COOLING continued on page 14
Flock
No.
Length
(Days) Dates
Average Daily Mortality
2
House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4
27 41 June 29 - Aug. 9, 1995 8.00 8.00 9.17 20.67
33 42 May 9 - June 20, 1996 12.43 8.86 9.43 10.71
34 43 July 4 - Aug. 16, 1996 9.00 5.50 6.00 7.50
39 53 June 26 - Aug. 18, 1997 16.19 12.00 11.44 22.56
43 50 April 16 - May 26, 1998 30.25 26.92 23.25 23.67
44 55 June 12 - Aug. 6, 1998 65.28 21.33 16.72 27.89
49 57 May 31 - July 27, 1999 18.05 9.20 22.45 46.30
50 55 Aug. 5 - Sept. 29, 1999 10.11 14.94 16.28 16.56
54 56 May 16 - July 11, 2000 34.74 27.05 21.42 75.95
55 53 July 21 - Sept. 12, 2000 20.00 12.82 15.82 29.35
60 42.5 May 18 - June 30, 2001 40.89 18.38 19.86 11.00
61 43 July 5 - Aug. 17, 2001 16.13 18.37 16.63 18.38
67 45 June 4, - July 19, 2002 41.60 11.40 37.20 20.10
73 42 June 19 - July 31, 2003 36.29 16.71 26.71 38.85
79 44 June 3 - July 17, 2004 35.67 24.56 42.44 31.67
80 41.36 Aug. 22 - Oct. 11, 2004 20.33 24.33 33.00 28.17
85 39 June 13 - July 22, 2005 69.25 55.25 65.75 43.25
-- -- Average 28.48 18.57 23.15 27.80
1
Mortality is calculated for age 35 days until the day before the harvest.
2
Houses 1 and 3 were conventionally ventilated with mist systems, while
House 4 was a pad-cooled, tunnel-ventilated house and the cooling system
in House 2 sprinkled water directly on the birds.

Table 1. Average Daily Mortality of Chickens during


Summer Flocks.
1
14
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
COOLING continued from page 13
Table 2. A Comparison of Summer Cooling Water Usage
and Caked Litter Removal from House 2
(Direct Sprinkler System) and House 4 (Pad Cooled).
Year Flock #
Cooling H20
(gal)
Cake removed
(loads)
1
House 2 House 4 House 2 House 4
1995 27 18289 42950 7 8
1996 33 1599 6193 0 0
34 2905 12834 0 0
1997 39 4828 62945 2 1
1998 43 1200 33425 2 3
44 13224 133349 0 2
1999 49 9653 114337 2 1
50 128 2320 5 3
2000 54 5271 35510 8 6
55 13578 33604 4 5
2001 60 142 4567 2 3
61 4996 40010 2 2
2002 67 2677 12800 5 4
2003 73 1731 18337 4 4
2004 79 1064 12222 2 3
80 0 5895 4 3
2005 85 2456 6706 0 3
Ave. -- 4926 34000 2.88 3
1
Total annual cleanout performed on Flock 33 and total cleanout of
experimental bedding on Flock 34 in 1996.
15
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
COOLING continued from page 14
Table 3. Production Figures, Flock Water Consumption and
Fan Electricity Use for Summer Flocks.
Flock
No.
Feed
Conversion
Avg. Wt.
(lbs)
Pay/lb.
(cents)
Water
Consumption/fk
(gals)
Fan
Electricity/fk
(kwh)
House No. House No. House No. House No. House No.
2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4 2 4
27 1.81 1.90 3.80 3.70 4.92 4.21 32,955 35,378 3,671 3,252
33 1.84 1.91 3.80 3.81 4.93 4.42 34,589 37,453 1,288 1.736
34 1.91 1.95 3.83 3.80 4.45 4.15 35,321 37,488 1,939 1,838
39 2.05 2.06 4.99 5.04 4.12 4.05 41,931 45,735 3,961 4,585
43 2.03 2.09 4.89 5.10 4.07 3.99 36,655 40,046 1,939 1,694
44 2.08 2.02 5.15 5.46 4.62 4.60 40,737 41,069 4,824 4,370
49 2.22 2.32 6.29 6.02 5.23 4.37 55,193 51,705 5,049 4,842
50 2.13 2.11 6.26 6.08 3.57 3.60 55,924 52,711 4,038 3,128
54 2.08 2.18 6.24 5.77 4.71 3.81 54,349 53,569 4,350 4,217
55 2.07 2.04 5.75 5.59 3.88 3.88 55,207 53,348 6,412 5,777
60 1.80 1.92 4.37 3.94 4.42 3.36 42,699 40,926 3,247 3,218
61 1.86 1.86 4.31 4.43 4.19 4.33 46,833 49,252 5,458 5,987
67 1.93 2.04 4.64 4.39 4.94 4.15 48,190 51,994 5,592 5,347
73 1.86 1.79 4.17 4.60 3.88 4.56 34,688 36,458 3,204 3,624
79 1.95 1.94 4.63 4.44 4.04 3.65 38,621 35,717 2,765 3,457
80 1.72 1.66 4.79 4.93 4.93 5.32 42,913 42,574 3,151 3,379
85 1.80 1.78 4.09 3.92 4.26 4.12 36,028 35,767 3,311 3,729
Avg. 1.95 1.97 4.82 4.77 4.42 4.15 43,108 43,599 3,776 3,775
16
AVIAN Advice Winter 2008 Vol. 10, No. 4
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G.T. Tabler
2
, S.E. Watkins
2
, and P.A. Watkins
3

2
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture and
3
AEP Southwestern Electric Power
Company
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
ras 4
Evaluation of Water
Acidifcation Products
by Brookee Dean,
Jennifer Hughes,
Tyler Clark and
Susan Watkins
ras Z
The Stress of Poultry
Farming: Know
How to Manage It
by G. Tom Tabler and
James P. Marshall

ras /O
Water: Identifying
and Correcting
Challenges
by Susan Watkins
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
i/cs

Cooperative Extension Service


ENERGY EFFICIENCY contd on page 2
Fall 2008 Volume 10 no. 3
Energy Effciency Associated
with Poultry House Lighting
1
Introduction
Solidsidewallpoultryhousinghas
createdasituationwherelightingisnowa
majorcostcenter.Lossofnaturaldaylight
meansanylightbirdsreceiveisnowprovided
artifcially with bulbs, which have an energy
cost associated with them. Currently,
incandescent, fuorescent, high pressure
sodium, cold cathode and others lighting
optionsareavailabletopoultryproducers
but choosing the correct one can be diffcult.
Since April 2006, the Applied Broiler
Research Farm (ABRF) has evaluated the
energyusageassociatedwithdifferentlight
sources.

Energy Use and Cost for Lighting


The ABRF sub-meters electricity used
forlightingthroughaseparateelectricmeter
thatallowsaccuratemeasurementoflighting
kilowatthourelectricityusage.Afterfarm
renovations were completed in April 2006, all
4 houses had 2 rows of 60-watt incandescent
lightsabovethefeedlinesandacenterrowof
brood lights that was 75-watt incandescent.
Houses1and2haveatotalof75bulbs(42
dimmable lights plus 33 brood lights) while
houses3and4haveatotalof90bulbs(50
dimmable lights plus 40 brood lights). Prior
to the start of the December 2006 fock, the
60-watt incandescent dimmable lights in
house 3 were replaced with 8-watt dimmable
coldcathodebulbswitha2700Kelvin
rating.Incandescentbroodlightswerenot
changed.Kilowatthourusageforlighting
during the December 2006 fock was 1,790
hrs, 1,740 hrs, 705 hrs, and 2,054 hrs for
AVIAN
houses 1 through 4, respectively. Energy
cost associated with this usage was $107,
$104, $42, and $123 for houses 1, 2, 3, and
4, respectively. There was no difference in
average weights, feed conversion or mortality
foreachofthehouses.
A second fock was placed and bird
weights (as measured by in-house bird
scales) in the 2700 Kelvin light house began
todeclineoncethebroodlightswereturned
off.Thebroodlightswereturnedbackon
untilbirdswere5weeksoldtohelpstimulate
growthandthisresultedinlesselectricity
savingsdifference.Itwasdeterminedthat
thecurrentstrainofbirdsweremoresensitive
tolightintensityandthe2700Kelvincold
cathode only provided 0.35 to 0.50 ft-candles
at the feed line compared to 0.5 ft-candles
in the incandescent houses. In addition,
the2700Kelvincoldcathodebulbgaveoff
an orange tint similar to a 60- or 75-watt
incandescentbulb.
To help address these concerns, we
beganworkingwithanArkansaslighting
vendor (Precision Lighting Systems, Inc.; Hot
Springs, AR). Prior to the May 2007 fock,
theincandescentdimmablelightsinhouse
4 were replaced with 8-watt cold cathode
bulbswitha4000Kelvinrating.These
bulbshaveaslightbluishtintcomparedto
the orange tint of the 2700 Kelvin bulb; and,
are able to deliver 0.50 ft.-candles of light
at the feed line. Therefore, the May 2007
fock consisted of all incandescent bulbs in
houses 1 and 2, incandescent brood lights and
1
Mention of trade names does not
constitute endorsement by the
University of Arkansas Division
of Agriculture and does not imply
their approval to the exclusion of
other products or vendors that may
be suitable.
2
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
ENERGY EFFICIENCY continued from page 1
2700 Kelvin 8-watt cold cathode dimmable lights in house 3,
and incandescent brood lights and 4000 Kelvin 8-watt cold
cathodedimmablelightsinhouse4.Thekilowatthourusage
for lights during the fock was 2,527 hrs, 2,521 hrs, 1,852 hrs
and 1,154 hrs for houses 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Cost
associated with this usage was $152, $151, $111, and $69 for
houses 1 through 4, respectively.
For the February and May 2007 focks it was necessary
toleavetheincandescentbroodlightsoninhouse3until5
weeksofageinanattempttostimulatethebirdstoeatmore
feed with an increased light intensity. However, house 4
with the 4000 Kelvin cold cathode and a 0.5 ft-candle light
intensityatthefeedlinedidnothaveproblemswithdecreased
weightgains.Theconclusionfromthisevaluationwasthat
the4000Kelvincoldcathodewouldprovideadequatelight
intensityforproperbirdgrowthandfeedconsumptionwhile
providing producers with an energy effcient lighting source.
Lighting sources for the July 2007 fock was as follows:
House32700Kelvincoldcathodelightswerechangedto
4000 Kelvin cold cathodes; Houses 3 and 4 all incandescent
brood lights were replaced with 15-watt fuorescent above
the feed lines and 30-watt fuorescent down the center row.
For this fock, kilowatt hour usage for lighting was 2,744
hrs, 2,726 hrs, 634 hrs, and 645 hrs for houses 1 through 4,
respectively. Cost associated with this usage was $190, $191,
$44, and $45 for houses 1 through 4, respectively. Prior to the
October 2007 fock, all incandescent lights in house 2 were
replaced with 23-watt dimmable fuorescent bulbs. Kilowatt
hour usage for lighting was 1,722 hrs, 478 hrs, 502 hrs, and
535 hrs, for houses 1 through 4, respectively. Energy cost was
$122, $33, $35, and $37 for houses 1 through 4, respectively.
Prior to the February 2008 fock, all incandescent lights in
house 1 were replaced with 23-watt dimmable fuorescent
bulbs. Kilowatt hour usage for lighting on this fock was 561
hrs, 590, hrs, 474 hrs, and 453 hrs for houses 1 through 4,
respectively. Energy cost for lighting was $39, $41, $33, and
$32 for houses 1 through 4, respectively.
Switching to energy effcient bulbs
hasdramaticallycutenergyusageand
costs associated with lighting at the ABRF.
Immediatelyafterfarmrenovation(April
through November 2006) when all 4 houses
were using 60- and 75-watt incandescent bulbs,
kilowatthourusageforlightsonthefarm
averaged 9,432 hrs at a cost of $660 per fock
over a 4-fock period. From February through
August 2008, with houses 1 and 2 using 23-
watt dimmable fuorescent bulbs and houses 3
and 4 using a combination of 15- and 30-watt
fuorescent brood lights and 8-watt cold cathode
grow lights, kilowatt hour usage on the farm for
lights averaged 1,996 hours at a cost of $140 for
a 3-fock period. Thus, savings after switching
to energy effcient lighting have averaged
7,436 kilowatt hrs and $520 per fock at the
ABRF. Bulb failures have been somewhat less
on the cold cathode vs. the 23-watt dimmable fuorescent;
averaging approximately 1 to 2 bulbs every other fock
for the cold cathode and 2 to 3 per fock on the dimmable
fuorescent. Kilowatt hour usage of each individual house
for incandescent and energy effcient lighting is presented in
fgures 1 and 2, respectively. Cost of incandescent and energy
effcient lighting for each house is presented in fgures 3 and 4,
respectively.
There are a number of energy effcient alternatives to
incandescentlightingnowavailablealthoughallaremore
expensiveinitiallythanincandescentbulbs.Thecoldcathode
bulbswearecurrentlyusingsellforabout$9perbulbbut
cheaperoptionsareavailablewhenbulkpurchasingthebulbs.
The 23-watt dimmable fuorescent bulbs sell for about $7
per bulb. However, life expectancy of the cold cathodes is
approximately 25,000 hrs as compared to an incandescent bulb
which has an estimated life span of approximately 2,000-5,000
hrsdependingonthequalityofthebulbsofthesebulbsis
muchgreaterthanthatofanincandescentbulbanditismuch
less expensive to burn an 8- or 23-watt bulb than it is a 60- ,
75-, or 100-watt bulb. So think long-term savings, not simply
initial up-front bulb cost.
Summary
Solidsidewallhousinghasmanyadvantagesfor
producers. However, one disadvantage is the increased
electricity for lighting. At present, lighting is an area offering
producersmuchpotentialintermsofenergyconservation.
However, it is critical to provide birds with the correct light
intensityifexpectedperformancelevelsaretobemet.This
cannowbedonewithavarietyofdifferentlightingmethods
(incandescent, fuorescent, cold cathode, sodium vapor,
etc.). Producers should give serious consideration to lighting
alternatives that conserve energy and offer long-term savings.
Figure 1. Average Kilowatt Hour Usage for Lights
During Flocks 87-90 at the ABRF.
60-watt incandescent lights in all houses

AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3


Figure 2. Average Kilowatt Hour Usage for Lights During Flocks 97-99 at the ABRF.
Figure 3. Cost of Electricity Used for Lighting During Flocks 87-90 at the ABRF.
Figure 4. Cost of Electricity Used for Lighting During Flocks 97-99 at the ABRF.
K
i
l
o
w
a
t
t
s

p
e
r

h
o
u
r
60-watt incandescent lights in all houses
C
o
s
t

o
f

E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c
i
t
y
4
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
Brookee Dean, Jennifer Hughes, Tyler Clark and Susan Watkins,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Evaluation of Water
Acidifcation Products
Introduction
Acidifcation products are often used as water line cleaners in poultry houses. However,
recent feld observations indicate that utilizing acids in water systems which are heavily con-
taminatedwithmicrobescouldbemoreharmfulthanhelpfulinwatersanitationprograms.The
following lab test was conducted to evaluate the effects of different types of acidifcation prod-
ucts on general microbial levels in dirty water. In addition, the goal was to determine if acid
productsmightvaryintheirabilitytoreducemicrobialcontentinwateratdifferentpHlevels.
Materials and Methods
In this test, four water acidifcation products (acidifed copper sulfate, citric acid (food
grade), citric acid (Russell), and sodium bisulfate) were evaluated for their ability to reduce
aerobic bacterial, yeast and mold counts in dirty water. Stock solutions of acidifed copper sul-
fateorsodiumbisulfatewerepreparedbymixing453.6gwith2galofwater.Citricacidstock
solutionsweremadebycombining453.6goffoodgradeorRussellcitricacidwith1/2galof
water. Each acidifcation product was tested at pH values of 4 and 6, resulting in a total of 9
treatments (counting controls).
Waterusedinthistestwasobtainedfromanopencattlestockwatertroughduringwarm
weatherandcontainedvisiblealgaegrowth.Thewaterwasblendedtoensureconsistencyand
then50mlsamplesofthewaterweretransferredtoeighteensmallbeakers(twobeakersper
treatment). Prior to adding the test products to each beaker, initial aerobic bacterial, yeast and
mold counts were determined using Petriflm. Products were added the appropriate beakers
to achieve pH values of 4 and 6. Beakers were then held at room temperature uncovered and
retestedat2and24hoursposttreatment.Countswereconvertedtolog
10
valuesandstatistically
analyzed.
Results and Discussion
Theinitialaerobicbacterialcountsbeforetreatmentswereveryhighandalmostidentical
for all treatments (Table 1). Consistently high counts were found in control samples at both 2
and 24 hours post treatment. Counts from citric acid (Russell), citric acid (food grade) and so-
dium bisulfate pH 6 were not signifcantly different from control at either sampling time. While
a small (<1 log), but signifcant (P<0.05) decrease was observed in counts from sodium bisulfate
pH 4 at 2 hours post treatment, no differences from control were found in this treatment at 24
hours. Only the acidifed copper sulfate treatments (both pH 4 and 6) gave a signifcant (P<0.05)
reduction of 2 logs or 99% at 2 hours and 24 hours post treatment. However, it is important to
point out that log counts of greater than 4.0 mean that there are over 100,000 cfu/ml were still
presentinthewateraftertreatmentandthatwatersystemcleaningisstronglyrecommended
when aerobic bacterial counts are 10,000 cfu/ml or higher.
Both yeast and mold counts from control samples increased slightly over the course of the
trial (Table 2 and 3). This increase in counts may refect that long-known fact that growth of the
majority of yeast and mold species is favored by acid pH values (Frazier, 1967). No signifcant
difference from control was found in yeast or mold counts from any treatment at 2 hours post-
treatment. Only the acidifed copper sulfate pH 4 treatment showed a small (<1 log) but signif-
:
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
cant (P<0.05) decrease in both yeast and mold counts at 24 hours post-treatment. While mold counts
from acidifed copper sulfate pH 6 and citric acid (food grade) pH 6 were signifcantly (P<0.05)
reduced as compared to control, these differences were less than 0.25 log.
Conclusion
Drinkingwaterqualitycontinuestobeanareaofconcernforpoultrygrowers.Recentlya
company swabbed different areas of a drinker system including stand pipes, inside nipple drinkers
and water hoses. They were shocked to fnd E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus, and
Klebsiella penumoniae. This confrms the fact that water systems can become breeding grounds for
various disease organisms. Protecting the water system by cleaning with appropriate disinfectants
andthenestablishingadailywatersanitationprogramisanexcellentinsuranceprogramagainst
water borne diseases. The results of this test further confrm that using acidifers even at a pH of 4
arenotenoughtothoroughlykillallmicrobeswhenawatersystemisheavilyloadedwithmicrobial
growth. Utilizing the wrong products to clean systems particularly on farms with a disease history
canbeawasteoftimeandmoney.
References
Frazier, W. C. 1967. Food Microbiology, 2nd Ed. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York.
Table 1. Effect of Common Acidifers on Aerobic Bacterial Counts from Dirty Water.
Product pH
Aerobic Bacterial Counts (Log
10
)
Pre-Treatment
Counts
Post-Treatment
2 Hours
Post-Treatment
24 Hours
Control (Dirty Water) 7.94 6.68 6.62c 6.47b
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 4 6.71 4.22a 4.15a
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 6 6.62 4.49a 4.42a
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 4 6.88 6.75c 6.35b
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 6 6.60 6.52c 6.38b
Citric Acid (Russell) 4 6.71 6.48c 6.27b
Citric Acid (Russell) 6 6.71 6.71c 6.57b
Sodium Bisulfate 4 6.74 5.87b 6.17b
Sodium Bisulfate 6 6.69 6.52c 6.44b
SEM .14 .18 .15
P Value .9470 .0001 .0001
a,b,c Means in a column with different letters were different (P<0.05).
WATER continued on pg. 6
c
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER continued from p. 5
Table 2. Effect of Common Acidifers on Yeast Counts from Dirty Water.
Product pH
Yeast Counts (Log
10
)
Pre-Treatment
Counts
Post-Treatment
2 Hours
Post-Treatment
24 Hours
Control (Dirty Water) 7.94 4.37 4.66 4.66b
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 4 4.34 4.17 4.03a
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 6 4.34 4.31 4.57b
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 4 4.58 4.35 4.66b
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 6 4.37 4.24 4.49b
Citric Acid (Russell) 4 4.39 4.09 4.67b
Citric Acid (Russell) 6 4.29 4.52 4.60b
Sodium Bisulfate 4 4.37 4.25 4.48b
Sodium Bisulfate 6 4.30 4.50 4.57b
SEM .33 .22 .06
P Value .9995 .0929 .0013
a,b Means in a column with different letters were different (P<0.05).
Table 3. Effect of Common Acidifers on Mold Counts from Dirty Water.
Product pH
Mold Counts (Log
10
)
Pre-Treatment
Counts
Post-Treatment
2 Hours
Post-Treatment
24 Hours
Control (Dirty Water) 7.95 3.16 3.69 3.53cd
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 4 3.12 3.13 2.73a
Acidifed Copper Sulfate 6 3.19 3.35 3.30b
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 4 3.34 3.42 3.48c
Citric Acid (Food Grade) 6 3.19 3.07 3.30b
Citric Acid (Russell) 4 3.15 3.08 3.65d
Citric Acid (Russell) 6 3.25 3.45 3.59cd
Sodium Bisulfate 4 3.37 2.85 3.48c
Sodium Bisulfate 6 3.30 3.47 3.65d
SEM .37 .22 .049
P Value .9998 .3371 .0001
a,b,c,d Means in a column with different letters were different (P<0.05).
Z
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
STRESS continued on page 8
The Stress of Poultry Farming:
Know How to Manage It
Introduction
Its a hot August afternoon; chickens sell in 2 days but one of the sump pumps on the cool
cell system just burned out. You get to the chicken house at 5:30 am and the feed lines and
hoppersarerunningemptybecausesomethinginthefeedhaslockedupthecrossauger.Does
this sound familiar and stressful? Poultry farming can be a diffcult, demanding, and stressful
occupation. In fact, agriculture is one of the most stressful of all occupations. Thats partly
because farmers and their families must cope with many forces (e.g., weather, livestock disease,
equipment breakdowns, etc.) that are beyond their control (Daniels, 2006). Thankfully, there
areseveralthingswecandotocombatstressandlivehealthyandproductivelives.

What is Stress?
Stress is a term that originated in the feld of engineering, where it means a substances
capacity to withstand strain (Weigel, 1983). However, stress is more complex when applied to
human beings. One of the simplest defnitions of stress in humans is a state of physical and
emotional arousal that is brought on by a stressor, such as an equipment breakdown or a feed
trucknotdeliveringontime.
Stressisanormalpartofeveryoneslife.Itaffectsallhumansystemssimultaneously.
Stresscanacceleratetheagingprocess.Dr.HansSelyereferstostressasthesumtotalofwear
and tear on the body. In fact, it is estimated that as many as 60 to 80 percent of doctor visits
maybestressrelated.
However, not all stress is bad. Good stress is called eustress, and it can increase our
motivation to do our best and be successful. Bad stress is called distress, and it can negatively
affect our health (Reynolds, 2008). When bad stress builds up over a period of time it is called
cumulative stress, and it can result in deteriorating performance, relationships, and health.
Know the Signs
Stressaffectspeopleinavarietyofdifferentwaysandwhatisworrisometooneperson
may not seem like a big deal to another. But there are some common signs and symptoms of
stress that everyone should be aware of. These symptoms fall into one of four categories, and
itisnotuncommontoexperiencemultiplesymptomsfrommultiplecategoriessimultaneously
(Walker & Walker, 1987):
1. Physical Headaches, Ulcers, Backaches, Eating irregularities, Sleep disturbances,
Frequent sickness, and Exhaustion
2. Emotional Sadness, Depression, Bitterness, Anger, Anxiety, Loss of spirit, Loss of
humor
3. Cognitive Memory loss, Lack of concentration, Inability to make decisions
4. Behavioral Irritability, Backbiting, Acting out, Withdrawal, Passive-aggressiveness,
Substance abuse, Violence.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it may be due to the stress in your
life and the way you are handling it. If you are stressed, it may be wise to consult your
physicianand/ortrythepowerfulstressrelievingideasmentionedlaterinthisarticle.Ifyou
ignore these signs and symptoms of stress and let your stress levels go unchecked, a variety of
G.Tom Tabler, James P. Marshall
1
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
1
Family Life Specialist,
UniversityofArkansas
DivisionofAgriculture
Cooperative Extension
Service.

AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3


STRESS continued from page 7
potential problems may develop. Prolonged stress can lower
the effciency of your immune system, making you more
susceptible to a wide range of illnesses (Walker and Walker,
1987). Also, be aware that many people under stress often
forget about everyone else; becoming so wrapped up in their
ownproblemsthattheystarttosnapatfamilyandfriends
(Huhnke, 2007). Stress affects not only an individual, but
everyoneclosetothatindividual.
Stress and Poultry Farming
Studiescomparingpeoplesstresslevelsandcoping
behavior found that stress levels of farmers were signifcantly
higher than non-farmers (Pitzer, 1987). Problem areas for
farmers under stress include depression, over-eating, excessive
caffeine intake, lack of physical exercise, and a reluctance to
seek professional help (Pitzer, 1987).
Farming is dangerous work, second only to the mining
industry (National Safety Council, 2003). In 2003, 730
people died and 150,000 were permanently disabled by
injuriessustainedonfarmsandranchesintheUnitedStates
(National Safety Council, 2003). The National Institute for
OccupationalSafetyandHealthfoundfarmownersdisplayed
a high incidence of stress-related diseases when compared to
other occupations (Smith et al., 1977).
Many poultry producers work alone for extended periods
andtheworkmustgetdoneevenifthatproducerissickor
exhausted.Thiscanincreasestresslevelsandmayaffect
concentration and safety practices. Producers should be aware
of occupational hazards and avoid dangerous situations. Feed
augers that can grab fngers and clothing, spinning fan blades,
electrical motors, and feed bin ladders are only a few of the
dangerspoultryproducersfaceonadailybasis.
Equipment breakdowns can increase stress levels as
well. When this happens, it is best to just relax, take a couple
of deep breaths and assess the situation. This can be diffcult
to do, especially when you are in a hurry to fx the problem.
However, if you think through your strategy beforehand you
canimproveyourthoughtprocessandgetmoredoneinless
time.
Stress and Gender
Stress affects both men and women, but it may be even
greaterforfarmwomen.Thatsbecausetheymayexperience
additionalstressorscomparedtotheirmalecounterparts.
Many farm women have full responsibility for household
tasks (which often go unnoticed) in addition to being a
full partner in the farm business or holding down an off-
farm job (Reynolds, 2008). Fortunately, there are several
organizations that offer support and assistance for women
inagriculture.ArkansasWomeninAgricultureisaprivate
nonproft organization that: 1. provides educational programs
for women involved in agriculture in Arkansas, 2. provides a
networkwithotherArkansaswomeninvolvedinagricultural
community issues, and 3. identifes new ways to balance the
demands of family, community and professional life.
Other national organizations such as Women in Blue Jeans
and Women in Denim have similar purposes. Programs such
as Annies Project seek to address the challenges that women
faceasfarmownersandbusinesspartnersinagricultural
operations, and arm them with the tools to succeed in their
operations.
General stresses that women experience in society may
be particularly acute for women in male-dominated felds such
as agriculture. These stresses include agricultural stereotypes,
womens lack of perceived authority for farm management,
gender roles and stereotypes at home and in public, and lack
of access to agricultural programs and loans (Reynolds, 2008).
Managing Stress and Living Well
Threeofthebestthingsanyonecandotomanage
the stress in their life and live healthier include: 1. Eating
sensible amounts of healthy food (and eating regular meals),
2. Participating in some type of physical activity at least 30
minutes a day 5-6 times a week, and 3. Going to bed and
waking up at about the same time every day, allowing for
7-8 hrs. of sleep. A well managed diet, regular exercise, and
adequate sleep are proven strategies for fghting stress and
depression.
In addition to the ideas mentioned above, there are
severalmoreprovenwaystolowerstressandlivebetter.The
science of happiness and well-being has progressed enough
that we have identifed seven things all of us can do that will
improvethequalityofourlives.Thehealthierandhappier
we are, the better we will be able to function. The University
of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service has summarized
these seven keys of well-being in a publication called The
Personal Journey (Goddard & Marshall, 2006).
1.Enjoy today - In the hike of life, we can focus on the
obstaclesalongthetrailorthebeautythatsurroundsus.Those
who fnd the beauty in daily life travel well. The old adage is
true--happiness comes from wanting what you get more than
gettingwhatyouwant.Wearemorelikelytobehappywhen
wethinkaboutallthegoodthingsinourlivesratherthan
worryingaboutallthethingswewishwehad.
2.Find the gems in your past - Anyone who wants
to fnd a gem must be willing to search for it. Likewise, we
fnd treasures in our life stories when we are willing to dig
through challenges and disappointments to fnd them. Those
who fnd and cherish the gems in their past are those who live
the best lives. Some gems jump right out at us, but others take
some time to fnd and to polish. Quite often, todays gems
were yesterdays trials and diffculties. It is only through the
lensofourpersonalgrowthandperspectivethatwecannow
seediamondsinwhatweoncethoughtwereuglylumpsof
coal. Most of us have had disappointment and pain in our life
historiesandtheysometimesburdenus.Theymayevenaffect
howweseeourselvesandourlives.Oneofthesurprising
discoveriesofmodernpsychologyisthatbadeventsinour
past (childhood) dont have to lead to or cause a bad adult life.
Weneednotbeheldhostagetoourpast.Wecanrewriteour
>
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
STRESS continued from page 8
history with forgiveness - that is, we can go back through
thebadexperiencesofourlivesandoffercompassionand
understanding to those who hurt us. We can also choose to fnd
the good in our past and emphasize that. We can celebrate our
ownabilitiestosurviveandthriveinanimperfectworld.
3.Look forward to tomorrow - People who are excited
andhopefulaboutthefuturearelikelytohavebetterjourneys.
Those who look for and expect to fnd good things usually do.
Whoknowswhatgreatthingswillhappentomorrow!Some
ofuslooktothefuturewithanxietyandapprehension.We
worryaboutwhatmayormaynothappen.Constantworrying
isnt good for the human soul. People who have a steady
optimismaremorelikelytothrivethanthosewhoworryand
fret.
4.Use your strengths - Each person has strengths and
weaknesses.Thegreatestjoyandprogresscomefromusing
ourstrengthswhilemanagingourweaknesses.Wediscover
our strengths by noticing what we love to do-those things
thatchallengeusandgetussoengagedthatwelosetrack
of time. Many of us fret endlessly about our weaknesses.
We regularly come up with self-improvement programs to
overcome this weakness, but these efforts may not be very
productive. Psychologist Martin Seligman (2002) has said
thatweshouldntdevotetoomuchenergytocorrectingour
weaknesses. Rather, he believes that the highest success in
livingandthedeepestemotionalsatisfactioncomesfrom
buildingonandusingoursignaturestrengths.
5.Choose to serve - Psychologists have found that
peoplewhousetheirstrengthsandabilitiestomaketheworld
abetterplacearehappierthanthosewhodont.Whenwe
focusprimarilyonourselvesourviewoftheworldisnarrow
andlimited.Asweturnmoreenergyandattentiontohelping
others, the meaning and satisfaction of our own lives expand.
Therearecountlessplacesandwayswecanserveothers.
6.Choose to grow - Growth is the surest sign of progress
in life. Seeking new ideas, experiences, and projects helps us
growandenjoyourjourney.Whenwechallengeourselvesto
keep reading, listening, and learning, our lives are more full
andrich.Happinessisawayoftravelingmorethanaplaceto
go. When we travel the trails of life eager to learn and grow,
wewilltravelwell.
7.Dont Forget Your Compass! - Each of us is
equipped with a personal compass-or conscience-to guide us
alonglifesjourney.Conscienceisthepeacefulvoiceinside
of us that invites us to be compassionate, kind, and honorable.
When we ignore the compass, we get lost. When we use our
compass well, our journey will be richer and more meaningful.
Trytheprinciplesdescribedaboveandseeiftheydont
decreasethestressyoufeelandincreasethelightandenergy
inyourlife!
Summary and Conclusions
Poultry farming is a stressful occupation (e.g., heat
in summer, high fuel bills in winter, disease outbreaks,
equipment breakdowns, etc.) and many farmers push
themselves too hard. But just because stress is an unavoidable
partoffarmingdoesnotmeanitisunmanageable.
Proven techniques can help reduce stress and make our
lives happier as well as more productive. Many of you may
alreadybeexcellentinmostoftheareasmentioned.Celebrate
thepartsofyourlifethataresatisfying!Ifthereisanarea
where you would like to do better, make a plan. We wish you
happinessinyourpersonaljourney!
References
Daniels, A. M. 2006. Farming, Ranching and Stress:
Its a Family Issue. #1: Stress and the Farm or Ranch Family.
Extension Extra #14058. South Dakota State University
Cooperative Extension Service.
Goddard, H. W., & Marshall, J. P. 2006. The personal
journey. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture,
Cooperative Extension Service. http://www.arfamilies.com/
family_life/personal/default.htm Visited 9/18/08.
Huhnke, R. L. 2007. Stress on the farm. Agricultural
Safety and Health Series. Pub. # BAE-1720. Oklahoma State
University Cooperative Extension Service.

National Safety Council. 2003. Accident facts: 2003


edition. Itasca, IL.
Pitzer, R. 1987. Stress and coping on the farm. University
of Minnesota Extension Service. Online publication: www.
extension.umn.edu.Accessed7/29/08
Reynolds, K. 2008. Stress management for women
farmers and ranchers. UC Small Farm Program Publication.
AgricultureandNaturalResources.UniversityofCalifornia.
Seligman, M. E. P. 2002. Authentic Happiness. Free Press:
New York.
Smith, M. J., M. J. Colligan, and J. J. Hurrell. 1977.
A review of NIOSH psychological stress research-1977.
Proceedings of the Conference on Occupational Stress, pp 26-
36. Los Angeles, CA. Nov 3.
Walker, J. L., and L. J. Walker. 1987. The human harvest:
Changing farm stress to family success. Brandon University.
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

Weigel, R .1983. Stress on the Farm. North Central


Regional Extension Pub. 192a. Iowa State Univ.
/O
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
Water: Identifying and
Correcting Challenges
INTRODUCTION
The value of a clean, safe water supply is often overlooked in poultry production.
Watertestsperformedbyareputablelabcanbeavaluabletoolforidentifyingthesourceof
performance problems. On-farm tests can also be helpful for monitoring and improving water
quality.Thefollowinginformationwaspreparedasaguidelineforinterpretingpoultrydrinking
waterqualitytestresultsalongwithguidelinesforcommonlyusedcorrectionoptions.
BACTERIA TEST
TheestablishedguidelinesforpoultrydrinkingwaterqualityareoutlinedinTable1.
Note that CFU/ml means colony-forming units of bacteria/milliliter of water, and mg/liter is
thesameaspartspermillionorppm.ThetestresultsreceivedfromsomelabsarelabeledTotal
Plate Count (TPC) of aerobic (oxygen loving) bacteria as measured by CFU/ml. These results
do not indicate whether the bacteria present is harmful (pathogenic) or harmless, but it can
indicateifthesystemisdirtyandthereforeatriskforthepresenceofharmfulbacteria.Ifthe
TPC level is 1000 CFU/ml or less then the water supply is considered acceptable. However, the
goalshouldbe0CFU/mlevenwhenthesampleispulledfromtheendofthedrinkerline.The
closer water microbial results are to 0 CFU/ml, the better the water supply is for the commercial
poultry production. Should the test results be greater than 10,000 CFU/ml, it is strongly recom-
mended that the water system be thoroughly cleaned between focks with an approved cleaner.
After line cleaning, implement a consistent daily water sanitation program while birds are pres-
ent.
Chlorine is the cheapest water sanitizer available and it works well, but other prod-
uctssuchaschlorinedioxideandhydrogenperoxidearealsoavailableandusedsuccessfully.
Drinking water target levels of free chlorine are 2-4 ppm, for chlorine dioxide the desired level
is 0.8 ppm and for hydrogen peroxide, it is 25-50 ppm. (Table 2). Factors such as turbidity
(suspended solids in the water; water actually looks dirty) minerals and organic material which
is often present in surface water supplies will greatly infuence how effective sanitizers work.
In addition, the dirtier the water, the more likely there will be taste issues associated with the
useofchlorine.Itispossibletoseebirdsbackingoffwaterduetopresenceofhighlevelsof
chlorine, mainly when it is in the bleach form since bleach or sodium hypochlorite will have a
bittertasteassociatedwithit.Whenitbecomesnecessarytousemoreandmorechlorinetoget
a 2-4 ppm free chlorine reading, then it is strongly recommended that the water be tested and a
professionalwatertreatmentsysteminstalled.Chlorinedioxideandhydrogenperoxideareless
likelytocausetasteissuesandarethereforegoodalternativeswhentreatingsomewatersup-
pliessuchaspondorriverwatersupplies.
If the water test is performed by the Department of Health, the results are total coli-
forms.Thereareactuallytwotypesofcoliformcountsthatmaybereported.Total colform
counts detect bacteria that can be found in many locations including feces, but fecalcoliform
countsdetectbacteriathatarefoundonlyinhumanoranimalfeces.Coliformsareagood
indicatororganismforpotentialcontaminationbylivestock(runofffromconcentratedanimal
production areas) or human waste (failed septic system). If total coliform counts are more than
50 cfu/ml and/or any fecal coliforms are detected, it is recommended that the well be shock
chlorinated. However, shock chlorination can only be done to the water supply between focks
sincethehighlevelofchlorineisnotsuitableforconsumptionbyhumansoranimals.Inaddi-
tion, look for possible sources of contamination and correct the problem to prevent recontami-
Susan Watkins, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Chlorine is the
cheapest water
sanitizer
available and it
works well, but
other products
such as chlorine
dioxide and
hydrogen peroxide
are also available
and used
successfully.
//
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER CHALLENGES continued from page 10
nation.
Neverassumethatwaterqualityremainsgood
through poultry house water systems. When in doubt, test the
wateratthesourceandattheendoftheline.Resultsfrom
previous water tests (Table 3) show just how dramatically wa-
terqualitycanchangeevenoverthecourseofafewhundred
feet.
Water supplies should be tested if there is:
A noticeable change in color, odor or taste,
Any fooding near the well,
Apersonoranimalthatbecomessickfromwaterborne
disease,
Maintenance on water supply system,
Persistent poor fock performance or
A loss of pressure in water system (Langston, 1994).
MINERAL TESTS
Pure water does not exist as drinking water. All wa-
tersupplieshavesomeamountofdissolvedmineralsorcon-
taminants as they are referred to by EPA. In many cases the
contaminants are within acceptable ranges, cause no problems
andmayevenbedesirable.Howevercontaminantspresentat
unacceptablelevelscanpotentiallybelinkedtothefollowing
issues:
1) Poor performance,
2) Equipment failure or damage or
3) Presence of harmful bacteria or fungal slime
(some minerals serve as a food supply).
InformationinTable1islistedaspartspermillion
ormilligramsperliterwhichisthesame.Althoughppmisa
small amount, it is important to remember, the birds already
receiveabalanceddietandiftheyarealsoreceivinghigh
levels of such nutrients as salt in the water, in the form of
sodium and chloride ions, then the birds may exhibit poor
performancebecausetheyjusthavemorethantheirsystems
can handle. In addition, several water contaminants such as
ironandcalciumcanalsoimpacthowthedrinkersystem
functions. Even a fne buildup of mineral residue on seals or
rims could be all that is necessary to limit water fow and thus
resultinlessthanadequateconsumptionforoptimumbird
growthandfeedconversion.
ON FARM WATER TESTS
Whilelaboratorywatertestsprovidevaluable
information, time is required for samples to be analyzed and
criticaldecisionsmightbedelayed.Agooddealofvalu-
ableinformationcanbecollectedonsightusingtestkitsor
meters.Thisinformationcanprovideproducerswithaquick
scorecardofhowtheyaredoingwithrespecttowaterqual-
ity. However, it is important to remember not to base major
decisionsonasingletest.Twotothreetestsyieldingsimilar
resultsonsimilarsampleswillprovideamoresolidbasisfor
decisions.

Oxidation-Reduction Potential (ORP) Meters


Whendevelopingwatersanitationprogramsonetool
whichhasprovenusefulinassuringthatwaterhasoptimum
sanitizing value and quality for the birds is Oxidation Reduc-
tion Potential or ORP. ORP simply refers to the property of
oxidizing sanitizers such as chlorine to be their most effective.
A strong oxidizer literally burns up viruses, bacteria and other
organicmaterialpresentleavingwatermicrobiologicallysafe.
An ORP value in the range of 650 millivolts (mV) or greater
indicates good quality water that can be effectively sanitized
by as little as 2-4 ppm free chlorine. The lower the value such
as 250 mV indicates a heavy organic load or the presence
of reducing agents such as ferrous iron, (Fe
2+
), manganese
(Mn
2+
), bisulfde (HS
-
) and sulfte. Naturally occurring oxi-
dizing elements in the water such as oxygen and sulfur along
with chlorine and chromate can give increased ORP readings
but it is usually only a good sanitizing residual at a favorable
pH (5-7) that gives the most desirable ORP readings of 700-
750 mV. The ORP meter can be a useful tool for identifying
watersuppliesthatdonthaveadequatechlorineresidualand
foradjustingtheresidualwithoutoverusingchlorine.Areli-
able ORP meter costs around $100 and can be purchased from
Hanna Instruments, Hach or Grainger.
Chlorine Testing Kits
Chlorinetestkitscomeinavarietyofformats.The
format is not as important as what is detected. Most inexpen-
sive chlorine test kits (such as pool test kits) detect both free
andtotalchlorine.Totalchlorinedoesnotdistinguishbetween
thechlorinethatisboundandfreeoravailablechlorine.Only
freechlorineiscapableofwaterdisinfection.Aheavyorganic
loadinitwouldresultinagreaterpercentageofboundchlo-
rine resulting in a poor sanitizer and possibly bad taste issues
(decreased water consumption) even though the pool test kit
might indicate total chlorine levels of 4 to 6 ppm. Therefore,
becertainthatthetestkitdetectsfreechlorineandthatlevels
are2to4ppm.
pH Testing Kits
KitsfortestingwaterpHaregenerallyinexpensive
and somewhat reliable. Birds are very tolerant of pH 2-3 for
short periods, ( 2-3 days) and they are very tolerant of pH 4 to
8 on a continuous basis. Water sanitizers (chlorine, chlorine
dioxide or hydrogen peroxide) generally work better when pH
valuesarebetween5.5and7.Thereisconcernthatsome
forms of strong acids (muriatic or phosphoric) or low pH (2-
3) can actually damage drinker equipment so before beginning
any water acidifcation program, check the manufacturers
recommendations.
Using Test Information
The bottom line: utilize information on pH, ORP
andchlorineleveltodetermineifthesanitationprogramis
effectiveandtopreventequipmentdamagebytheoveruseof
WATER CHALLENGES continued on page 12
/2
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER CHALLENGES continued from page 11
chemicals.Itmayalsobevaluabletorecordandretaintheinformationcollectedsothattrendscan
beseen.
WATER SANITATION
Successful water sanitation programs start with a clean system. Once clean, there are
several options for maintaining a clean system and providing birds with water that has sanitizing
residual. These include chlorine, chlorine dioxide and hydrogen peroxide. Ozone systems are also
used on poultry farms, but can be expensive to install for water sanitation alone. Iodine has also
been used successfully as a daily water sanitizer. The guidelines in Table 2 can help growers assure
they have adequate sanitizer present.
WATER TREATMENTS
Table1providesinformationontreatmentoptionswhencontaminantsarefoundatunac-
ceptable levels. While there are many available treatment options, this section covers some of the
basic treatments concepts. Before investing in any technology for water treatment, talk with a repu-
table water equipment dealer to assure the investment will fx your water quality issues.
Filtration
Waterhasmanycategoriesofimpurities.Filtrationspurposeistoreduceorremovethe
solid particulates and microorganisms from the water. Dissolved impurities can pass through flters.
Think of it as fltering tea. The tea will taste the same before and after the flter but the tea leaves
will be trapped by the flter. The benefts of reduced particulates and microorganisms in water on
apoultryfarmareseveral.Filteredwatermeansthatthedrinkernipplesdonotclogordripso
the birds get water but the litter under the drinkers remains dry. This means, of course, that focks
growrapidlyduetoincreasedhydrationandfewerpathogensinthelitter.Filteredwatermeansless
frequentclogsandbetteroperationofevaporativecoolingsystemsandthereforeahealthierenviron-
ment for the fock.
When used in conjunction with oxidation (described below) fltration can remove can
remove dissolved minerals. Oxidation causes dissolved minerals to precipitate (settle) out, leading
to higher particulate loads and problems with water lines, drinkers and cooling systems. However,
when water is fltered after oxidation, particles and minerals are removed.
The retention of particles and microorganisms on flters is measured in microns. A micron
is one millionth of a meter. A good reference point is 40 microns, which is the smallest particle the
averagehumaneyecanseeunderoptimallightconditions.Thestandardretentionlevelforpoultry
house water systems is 20 microns. By far, the most common flter employed on poultry farms is
the 10 long wound flter. While the flters are rated for 20 micron retention, they generally only
retain 50% of the 20 micron particles, and that is only when a fow rate of 2 gallons per minute or
less is passed through them. Higher fows cause channeling, where the water separates the windings
and particles are pushed through. Also, these flters do not seal well to the flter housings which can
results in by-pass fow around the ends of the flters. To eliminate these problems, flters with o-ring
seals and flter medias that retain 95% of the stated micron rating should be used (Hammond, 2008).
Oxidation
Oxidation is the process of reacting soluble minerals such as iron, manganese and sulfur
with an oxidizer such as chlorine, ozone or chlorine dioxide or even air to create an insoluble par-
ticle that can be fltered from the water. One requirement for proper oxidation is to allow adequate
time for the oxidizers to react with the minerals. To oxidize iron requires above 7 pH and a
minimumor20minutesreactiontimewhilemanganeseneedsabove8pHandmuchlongerreaction
time.
Water Softener
Watersoftenersareusefulforremovingcalciumandmagnesiumaswellassolubleiron
and manganese. Water passes through a synthetic material or resin called zeolite where sodium
is traded for these minerals. Sodium ions must be periodically replaced by fushing the softener
tank with a solution of sodium chloride (salt). Most water softeners do not tolerate oxidized iron
/
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER CHALLENGES continued from page 12
or manganese or iron bacteria. These must be removed frst. If the water is cloudy, then some of
the contaminants are not dissolved and must be removed frst before the water softener.
Aeration
Aerating water can be effective for removing hydrogen sulfde, reducing dissolved carbon
dioxide as well as oxidizing iron and manganese. This can be accomplished by pumping water
intoholdingtankandallowingthewatertofallintothetanklikeawaterfallinsteadofpumping
waterintoaholdingtankfromthebottom.
Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis (RO) is the most common option for reducing sodium, chloride and ni-
trates in water. In reverse osmosis, the water is forced by high pressure through a series of mem-
branes. Water must be pre-treated to remove calcium, magnesium iron and manganese prior to the
RO system. RO treated water can be aggressive or damaging to metal pipes and fttings.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, water is one of the most essential nutrient birds receive, yet the quality of
bird drinking water is often taken for granted. Providing focks with a clean, wholesome supply can
make a difference in performance. Should water be a suspect for fock problems, make arrangements
tohavewatertestedfortotalbacterianumbersaswellasformineralcontent.Whiletotalaerobic
plate count wont tell exactly what is in the water, it is an indicator of excessive levels of bacteria
that should be addressed. By promoting a regular water sanitation program on farm, producers can
preventenvironmentsinwatersystemsthatcouldleadtopoorbirdperformance.Alsounderstand-
ingwhattypesofchemicalcontaminantsarepresentandaddressingthosethatareknowntocause
poorperformancecanhelpgrowersimprovetheirbottomline.
WATER CHALLENGES continued on page 14
/4
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER CHALLENGES continued from page 13
Water
Quality
Indicator
Levels considered
average
Maximum
Acceptable
Level
Maximum
Acceptable
Levels Indicate
Treatment
Options/
Comments
Total Bacteria
(TPC)
Total
Coliforms
Fecal
Coliforms
0 CFU/ml
0 CFU/ml
0 CFU/ml
1000 CFU/ml
50 CFU/ml
0 CFU/ml
Dirty system, may taste bad and
COULD have pathogens in the
water system
Water with >50 total coliforms or
any fecal coliform has been in con-
tact with human or animal feces
Clean the system between focks with
approved sanitizing cleaners and establish
a daily water sanitation system when birds
are present
Shock chlorinate as well
pH 6.5 - 7.8 5-8 below 5 - metal corrosion
above 8 - Water sanitizers work
poorly, bitter taste
Raise pH with soda ash (Na
2
CO
3
), lime
Ca (OH)
2
or sodium hydorxide (NaOH)
Lover pH-phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid
and hydrochloric acid for strong alkalinity,
citric acid and vinegar for weak alkilinity
Alkalinity 100 mg/l 300 mg/l Associated with bicarbonate,
sulfates and calcium carbonate
Can give water a bitter taste which
makes it undesireable to the birds
High levels can make it diffcult to
lower the pH
Can be corrosive to cool cell pads
Acidifcation
ANION Exchange dealkalizer
Can be reduced by removing free CO
2

(carbon dioxide) through aeration
Total Hardness Soft 0 - 75mg/l as CaCO
2
Somewhat hard 76 to 150
Hard 151 to 300
Very Hard >300
Hardness causes scale which
reduces pipe vlume and drinkers
hard are to trigger or leak (main
factors are calcium and magnesium,
but iron and manganese contribute
small amount)
Do not use water softener if water already
high in sodium unless using potassium
chloride instead of sodium chloride (salt)
Polyphosphates will sequester or tie-up
hardness and keep in solution
Acidifcation to below pH of 6.5
Calcium (Ca) 60 mg/l No upper limit for calcium, but
if values are above 110 mg/l may
cause scaling
Treatment same for hardness
Magnesium (Mg) 14 mg/l 125 mg/l May cause fushing due to laxative
effect particularly if high sulfate
present
Treatment same for hardness
Iron (Fe) .2 mg/l 0.3 mg/l Birds tolerant of metallic taste
Iron deposits in drinkers may
cause leaking
Can promote growth of bacteria
such as E. Coli and Pseudomonas
Treatment includes addition of one of
the following:chlorine, chlorine dioxide or
ozone then fltration removal with proper
sized mechanical fltration
Manganese 0.01 mg/l 0.05 mg/l Can result in black grainy residue
on flters and in drinkers
Similar to iron but can be more diffcult to
remove due to slow reaction time
Chlorination followed by fltration
most effective in pH range of 8.5, needs
extended contact time with chlorine prior to
fltration unless using Iron X media
Ion exchange resin if pH is 6.8 or above
Greensand flters with pH above 8.0
Chloride (Cl) 50 mg/l 150 mg/l Combined with high Na levels,
can cause fushing and enteric
issues
Can promote Enteroccoci bacterial
growth
Reverse Osmosis, blend with non-saline
water, keep water clean and use daily sani-
tizers such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine
to prevent microbial growth
Sodium (Na) 50 mg/l 150 mg/l With high Cl levels can cause
fushing
Can promote Enteroccoci bacterial
growth
Reverse Osmosis
Blend with non-saline water,
Keep water clean and use daily sanitizers
such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine to
prevent microbial growth
Table 1. Water Quality Standards and Treatment Options.
TABLE 1 continued on page 15
/:
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
WATER CHALLENGES continued from page 14
Water
Quality
Indicator
Levels considered
average
Maximum
Acceptable
Level
Maximum
Acceptable
Levels Indicate
Treatment
Options/
Comments
Sulfates 15 - 40 mg/l 200 mg/l Sulfates can cause fushing in
birds
Rotten egg smell is hydrogen
sulfde, by-product of sulfur loving
bacteria growth - this can cause air
locks in water system as well as
fushing in birds
Since sulfdes can gas off, test
results may underestimate actual
level present
Aerate water into a holding tank to gas
off sulfur
Anion exchange (chloride based)
Treatment with oxidizing sanitizers then
fltration
If a rotten egg odor is present, shock
chlorination of well is recommended plus a
good daily water sanitation program while
birds are present
Nitrates 1 - 5 mg/l 25 mg/l Poor growth and feed conversions
May indicate fecal contamination,
test for coliform bacteria
Reverse Osmosis
Anion exchange
Lead 0 mg/l 0.05 mg/l Can cause weak bones and fertil-
ity problems in broiler or turkey
breeders
Lead is not naturally occurring. Look for
pipes, fttings or solder that contain lead
Water softeners and activated carbon can
reduce lead
Copper 0.002 mg/l 0.6 mg/l High levels can cause oral lesions
or gizzard erosion
Source is most likely from the corrosion
of pipes or fttings
Zinc 1.5 mg/l Higher levels may reduce growth
rates
Look for locations where water may have
come in contact with galvanized containers
Water softener and activated carbon will
reduce adsorption
Table 1. continued.
Table 2. Suggested Sanitizer Levels in Poultry
Drinking Water with Birds in the House.
Table 3. Examples of Aerobic Bacteria Levels Found
in Poultry Drinking Water Sources.
Sanitizer
Suggested
residual level
in the drinking
water
(ppm) Comments
Chlorine 2-4 ppm free chlo-
rine
Chlorine is most
effective in 5-7 pH
range

Total chlorine test
does not separate the
bound chlorine from
the free or available
chlorine
Chlorine
dioxide
0.8 ppm Effective over a wide
pH range 4-9 but does
work best in pH range
of 4-7
Hydrogen
peroxide
25 - 50 ppm Hydrogen peroxide
works well when
injected after ozone
treatment
Farm
Sample
Location CFU/ml
A At the well 2,700
A
End of drinker line in
poultry barn
26,600
B
At source (community
water line)
203,000
B
End of drinker line in
poultry barn
2,340,000
C At the well 600
C
End of drinker line in
poultry barn
282,000
D At the well 0
D
End of drinker line in
poultry barn
4,775,000
/c
AVIAN Advice Fall 2008 Vol. 10, No. 3
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G. Tom Tabler, Department of Poultry Science and Yi Liang, Department of Biological
and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Skip-a-day and Every-
day Feed Programs for
Broiler Breeders in the
Hen House
by R. Keith Bramwell
page 6
Understanding and
Controlling Waterfowl
by Frank T. Jones and F.
Dustan Clark

page 8
Effects of Temperature
Variation in On-farm
Hatching Egg Holding
Units in Commercial
Broiler Breeder Flocks
by R. Keith Bramwell,
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


POULTRY LITTER continued on page 2
Summer 2008 Volume 10 no. 2
Poultry Litter: Issues and
Opportunities
Introduction
Manyfarmfamiliesthroughoutthe
southeasternandDelmarvaregionsofthe
UnitedStatesrelyonpoultryproduction
astheirprimarysourceofincome.This
hasworkedwellforyearsbutthatis
changing;dueinparttourbanencroachment,
environmentalconcerns,increasing
regulations, and legal ramifcations impacting
howproducersmanagepoultrylitter.What
aresomeissuesassociatedwithlitterand
whatopportunitiesexisttobestdealwiththis
byproduct?
Major Issues
Untilrecently,mostproducers
spread litter on felds and pastureland.
Manyproducersalsohavebeefcattleas
asupplementalincomesource;taking
advantageoflittersfertilizervalue.This
practice has proven benefcial for decades, but
after years of spreading litter on felds, soil
nutrient is no longer balanced on many felds.
Cropsneednitrogen(N)presentinlitter,but
manysoilsnolongerrequirephosphorus(also
presentinlitter).Fertilizerapplicationsonce
basedonNneedsofcropsarenowbased
onsoilphosphorus(P)levels;preventingor
limitingamountoflittersomeproducersmay
apply.
Producersabletoapplylitterbasedon
nutrientmanagementplansandsoiltests
arealsoatrisk.ConcernsoverNlossfrom
ammoniavolatilization,Pinsurfacerunoff,
odors,dust,andcomplaintsfromneighbors
taketheirtollonproducersandtheir
families.Poultryandlivestockoperations
AVIAN
inbothEuropeandtheUnitedStatesare
thelargestsourcesofammoniaemissions;
accountingforanestimated70to90%
oftotalemissions(Mukhtaretal.,2006).
AmmoniavolatilizationdecreaseslitterN
content and represents a signifcant loss of
fertilizervalue(Tabler,2006a).Inthepast,
ammoniawasconsideredanuisanceodor
emittedfrompoultryhouses.However,due
toitslargeoutputfrompoultryfarmsandits
rapidreactionwithstrongatmosphericacids
(nitricandsulfuric)toproduceammonium
salts(PM2.5),ammoniaemissionsarenow
beingheavilyinvestigated(Baeketal.,
2004).InmanypartsoftheUnitedStates,the
fractionofPM2.5associatedwithammonia
emissions is as much as 50% of total fne
particlemass(StraderandDavidson,2006).
Itislikelyregulationsaddressingammonia
emissionsareinagriculturesnearfuture.
Bestmanagementpractices(BMPs)should
beinplaceandutilizedinseveraldifferent
areastohelpreduceammoniaemissions.
Majorsourcesofammoniaemissionsfrom
poultryproductionincludethepoultryhouse
itself, litter storage facilities, and felds where
litterisapplied;eachsourcerequiringitsown
specifc BMPs.
Dustandodorassociatedwithlitter
isanothercriticalissueforproducers.
Eventhoughdustandodorshavealways
beenassociatedwithlivestockproduction,
asoperationsbecomelargerandmore
concentrated,managementofdustandodors
becomesmoreimportant(Ulleryetal.,2003).

AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2


POULTRY LITTER continued from page 1
Dustandodorsfromlivestockoperationshaverecently
become a highly emotional issue due to the infux of city
dwellerstorural,agriculturalareas.Producersandnewfound
neighborshavevastlydifferentideasaboutwhatlifein
thecountrymeans.Thishasledtoanescalatingnumber
ofcomplaintstoauthoritiesandanincreaseinthenumber
oflocalgovernmentsconsideringsetbackrequirementsor
othersitingregulationsforneworexpandingagricultural
operations.
It is diffcult and expensive to study the exact make up
ofodorsbecausemostodorsaremadeupofmanydifferent
gasesatextremelylowconcentrations(Jacobsonetal.,2006).
Spilledfeed,beddingmaterialandthepoultryorlivestock
themselvesaccountforaportionoflivestockodorsbutmost
poultryandlivestockodorsresultfromdecompositionof
manure(Tabler,2006b).Odorconcentrationcanbequite
variabledependingonlevelofmicrobialactivityinthelitter
ormanure.Microbialactivityandgrowtharedependenton
moisturecontent,pH,temperature,oxygenconcentrationand
otherenvironmentalfactorssuchaswindspeed,windpattern
andseason(Tabler,2006b).
Dustaggravatestheodorsituationbyactingasa
transportmechanismcapableofcarryingodorslongdistances
dependingonaircurrents.Excessivedustinpoultryhouses
isalsoadetrimenttohouseenvironmentandmayadversely
affecthealthofbirdsandworkers.Severalsourcesinthe
poultryhousecancontributetodustgenerationincluding
bedding,manure,feed,dander,feathers,andbacteria.Proper
managementcanmaintainin-housedustatmanageablelevels.
Unfortunately, spreading litter usually generates signifcant
amountsofdustand,insomecases,complaints,aswell.
Therefore,usecommonsenseandgoodneighborpractices
wheneveritistimetospreadlitter.
Opportunities
Addressingpropermanagementanddisposalofpoultry
litteroffersopportunitiesfornewandinnovativethinking.
Forexample,mostpoultrylitterisspreadongrassland
surfacewhichhasraisedseriousrunoffandwaterquality
concernsinmanyareas.However,incorporationoflitter
intothesoilhasproventobeaneffectivetechniquefor
decreasingvolatilizationandrunofflossesinsomecropping
systems. Pote et al. (2003) developed a knifng technique that
minimizeddisturbanceofthesoilstructure,foragecrop,and
thatchwhileincorporatingpoultrylitterbelowthesurface
ofestablishedperennialgrassland.Nutrientconcentrations
andmasslossesinrunofffromincorporatedlitterwere
signifcantly lower (generally 80-95% less) than in runoff from
surface-appliedlitter.Bythesecondyear,litter-incorporated
soils had greater rain infltration rates, water-holding
capacity,sedimentretention,andshowedastrongtendency
forincreasedforageyield(Poteetal.,2003).Infollow-up
work,Poteetal.(2006)developedamechanicalincorporator
thatappliedpoultrylitterunderthepasturesurfacewhich
decreasednutrientlossesinrunoffabout90%andtendedto
increaseforageyield.Currentresearchisfocusedontestinga
multi-shankincorporatorthatcanrapidlyapplyseveraltonsof
litter beneath a grassland setting before reloading (Pote, 2008);
similartosurfaceapplicationmethods.Suchinnovative
thinkingandproductdevelopmentcouldpotentiallyoffer
multiple benefts to producers and integrators. Not only would
incorporationgreatlyreducesurfacerunoffandthethreat
towaterqualitybutammoniavolatilization,dust,odor,and
complaintswouldalsolikelybereducedcomparedtosurface
application.
Vegetativeenvironmentalbuffersorwindbreaksarean
oldtechnologythatholdsnewpromisefortunnel-ventilated,
totallyenclosedpoultryhouses.Windbreaksareableto
bufferdust,odors,andnoiseemissionsfrompoultryhouses
whileaddingtopropertyvaluesandaesthetics,aswellas
foster improved neighbor relations (Tyndall, 2008). As the
windbreakmatures,italsoaddsavisualscreeningeffect
toagriculturaloperations.TheAppliedBroilerResearch
Farmrecentlyplanteda4-rowwindbreakinfrontof4tunnel
fansatonebroilerhouse.Thewindbreakcontains2rows
ofadeciduousspecies(closesttothefans)and2rowsof
evergreens. Deciduous trees planted as the frst rows opposite
fanstendtowithstandthehigh-particulateloadsbest,because
particulatematteraccumulatingonleavesduringsummer
whentunnelfansareinusewilldropoffwiththeleavesinthe
fallandnewleaveswillreturnthefollowingspring.Mixingof
speciesisrecommendedfortworeasons:1)increasedspecies
diversityreducestherisksofwholescalepest/pathogenloss;
and2)somespecies(e.g.poplars)featuringveryrapidgrowth
may have relatively short healthy life span (Tyndall, 2008).
Toinsurelivability,theminimumdistanceofthevegetative
bufferfromfansistobe10timesthefandiameter(Maloneet
al.,2006).Toencourageinitialestablishmentandgrowth,an
effectiveirrigationandweedcontrolprogramisessential.
Bioflters are another odor control device recently
adaptedforlivestockandpoultryoperationsthatareboth
economicalandeffective.Thetechnologyispopularin
northernEuropeandisattractingincreasedattentioninthe
United States. Biofltration can reduce odor and hydrogen
sulfde emissions by as much as 95% and ammonia by 65%
(NicolaiandSchmidt,2005;Nicolaietal.,2006;Sunetal.,
2000). Typically, a bioflter is a layer of compost and wood
chipsthatsupportamicrobialpopulation,orsimplyabedof
organic material 10 to 18 inches deep (Schmidt et al., 2004).
Microbesassociatedwiththeorganicmaterialconvertodorous
gasestocarbondioxideandwaterasairpassesthroughthe
bioflter. Schmidt et al. (2004) illustrated elements of an open-
bed bioflter (Fig. 1) which include:
Amechanicallyventilatedspacewithbiodegradablegaseous
emissions
Anairhandlingsystemtomovetheodorousexhaustairfrom
the building or manure storage through the bioflter
Anairplenumtodistributetheexhaustevenlybeneaththe
bioflter media.
Astructuretosupportthemediaabovetheairplenum.
Porous bioflter media that serves as a surface for
microorganismstoliveon,asourceofsomenutrients,and
astructurewheremoisturecanbeapplied,retained,and
availabletothemicroorganisms.

AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2


Bioflters do require maintenance in four areas assessing
pressuredropacrossthemedia,weedcontrol,rodentcontrol,
andmoisturecontrol(NicolaiandSchmidt,2005).Moisture
control is critical for the bioflter to properly reduce odor.
Mediaselectionisalsoimportantwithcriticalproperties
including1)porosity,2)moistureholdingcapacity,3)
nutrientcontent,and4)slowdecomposition(Schmidtet
al.,2004).Exhaustfanswillalsoneedtobechecked(and
possiblyreplaced)tobesurethereisenoughfanpowertoboth
ventilatethebuildingandpushtheexhaustedairthroughthe
bioflter.
Summary
Manyfarmfamiliesrelyonpoultryproductionas
theirprimaryincomesource.Thelitterbyproductfromthis
productionisamajorconcernforproducersandtheindustry
today.Itwillrequirenewandprogressivethinkingand
developmentofnewtoolstosolvetheproblem.Currently,
thistypeofworkisongoingacrossthecountry.From
innovative equipment design to vegetative buffers to bioflters
andmore,researchcontinuestofocusoneffortsthathelp
farmersfarmwhilekeepingneighborshappyandprotecting
theenvironment.However,producersshouldbeproactiveand
involvedwhenairemissioncontrolsarediscussedtoprevent
misguidedregulationsthatdemandunrealisticexpectations
fromtheagriculturalindustry.
References
Baek,B.H.,B.P.Aneja,andQ.Tong.2004.Chemical
coupling between ammonia, acid gases, and fne particles.
Environ. Pollution. 129:89-98.
Jacobson,L.D.,J.A.Kosiel,S.J.Hoft,A.J.Heber,and
D.B.Parker.2006.Odoremissionsandchemicalanalysisof
odorouscompoundsfromanimalbuildings.Pp4-14.Proc.
WorkshoponAgriculturalAirQuality:StateoftheScience.
Potomac, MD. June 5-8.
Malone,G.W.,G.VanWicklen,S.Collier,andD.
Hansen. 2006. Effcacy of vegetative environmental buffers to
captureemissionsfromtunnelventilatedpoultryhouses.Pp
Figure 1. Open-bed bioflter attached to livestock
barn (from Schmidt et al., 2004).
875-878. Proc. Workshop on Agricultural Air Quality: State of
the Science. Potomac, MD. June 5-8.
Mukhtar,S.,A.Mutlu,S.Capareda,R.Lacey,B.Shaw,
andC.Parnell.2006.Seasonalandspatialvariationsof
ammoniaemissionsfromanopen-lotdairyoperation.Pp943-
946.Proc.WorkshoponAgriculturalAirQuality:Stateofthe
Science. Potomac, MD. June 5-8.
Nicolai,R.E.,C.J.Clanton,K.A.Janni,andG.L.Malzer.
2006. Ammonia removal during biofltration as affected by
inletairtemperatureandmediamoisturecontent.Trans.
ASABE. 49(4):1125-1138.
Nicolai, R., and D. Schmidt. 2005. Bioflters. South
DakotaStateUniversityFactSheet.FS925-C.SouthDakota
StateUniversity.Brookings,SD.
Pote,D.H.,W.L.Kingery,G.E.Akin,F.X.Han,P.A.
Moore,Jr.,andK.Buddington.2003.Water-qualityeffectsof
incorporatingpoultrylitterintoperennialgrasslandsoils.J.
Environ. Qual. 32:2392-2398.
Pote,D.H.,T.R.Way,W.L.Kingery,G.E.Akin,K.R.
Sistani,F.X.Han,andP.A.Moore,Jr.2006.Incorporating
poultrylitterintoperennialgrasslandtoimprovewaterquality.
Proc.ArkansasWaterResearchCenterConf.Publ.date:April
18, 2006. Abstr.
Pote, D. H. 2008. Personal communication.
Schmidt, D., K. Janni, and R. Nicolai. 2004. Bioflter design
information.BiosystemsandAgriculturalEngineeringUpdate.
UniversityofMinnesotaExtensionService.Publ.No.BAEU-
18.
Strader,R.,andC.Davidson.2006.Ammoniaemissions
fromagricultureandothersources.Proc.Workshopon
AgriculturalAirQuality:StateoftheScience.Potomac,MD.
June 5-8.
Sun,Y.C.J.Clanton,K.A.Janni,andG.Malzer.2000.
Sulfur and nitrogen balances in bioflters for odorous gas
emission control. Trans. ASABE. 43(6): 1861-1875.
Tabler,G.T.2006a.Ammoniaemissionsattracting
signifcant attention. Avian Advice 8(2):9-11.
Tabler, G. T. 2006b. Odor An emerging concern for
producers. Avian Advice 8(1):1-3.
Tyndall, J. 2008. The use of vegetative environmental
buffersforlivestockandpoultryodormanagement.Proc.
MitigatingAirEmissionsfromAnimalFeedingOperations
Conference.DesMoines,IA.May19-21.IowaState
University.
Ullery,C.,S.Pohl,A.Garcia,H.Stein,K.Tjardes,and
C.Schmit.2003.Odormanagementinformationforlivestock
operations.SouthDakotaStateUniversityExtensionPubl.No.
ESS803-A. South Dakota State University. Brookings, SD.
4
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
R. Keith Bramwell, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Skip-a-day and Everyday Feed
Programs for Broiler Breeders in
the Hen House
Introduction
Controllingbodyweightinreplacementbroilerbreedersandbreedersinthehenhouseisa
portionofthepoultryindustrythatwillcontinuetoevolve.Becauseofthegeneticpotentialfor
growth in modern breeders, methods to control body weight and uniformity within a fock continue
toreceiveattentioninanefforttoimprove,oratleastmaintainreproductiveperformance.
IntheUnitedStates,feedrestrictingpulletsandyoungcockerelsprimarilyinvolvesoneof
severalformsofaskip-a-dayfeedingprogram.Theuseofskip-a-dayfeedinginthepullethouse
oftenoccursinanefforttouniformlydistributesmallamountsoffeedthroughoutthehousetoallow
allbirdsequalandimmediateaccesstofeedallotments.Iffeeddistributiondoesnotoccurina
uniformandevenfashion,thiscanresultinpooruniformityofbodyweightandbodyconformation
amongthepulletsandcockerels.Whilethetechnologyandequipmentexiststouniformlydistribute
smallfeedallotments,itisnotfoundinthemajorityofpullethousesintheUnitedStates.When
pulletsandcockerelsexhibitpooruniformityinthepullethouse,thisoftentranslatestopoorperfor-
manceinthehenhouseasthematurationprocessisunevenandthereforeallbirdswillnotrespond
toreproductivestimulithesame.Therefore,variousversionsofskip-a-dayfeedingisstillcommon
placeinthepoultryindustry.
Asreplacementbreedersaremovedtothehenhouse,themostcommonpracticeintheU.S.is
tobeginprovidingfeedallotmentsonaneverydaybasis.However,inothercountries,andoccasion-
allyintheU.S.,theuseofskip-a-dayfeedingmaycontinueinthehenhouseinanefforttomaintain
birduniformityandfurthercontrolfeeddistributionpriortotheonsetofeggproduction.These
programs usually involve feeding one of various versions of skip-a-day feeding until frst egg or 5%
productionisattained.Whenutilized,themostcommonskip-a-dayprograminthehenhouseisa5-
2feedingschedule,asthisseemstobeasortofcombinationbetweenthetraditionaltrueskip-a-day
andeverydayfeeding.
Research Trial Design
AttheUniversityofArkansasBroilerBreederResearchFarmatrialwasdesignedtodrawa
directcomparisonbetweeneverydayfedand5-2skip-a-dayfedbirdsfollowinghousinginthehen
house. This trial involved a total of 4080 Cobb 500 pullets which were raised together and accord-
ingtoindustryrecommendations.At21weeksofage,pulletsweremovedtoasingleproduction
style hen house and randomly divided into 48 pens with 24 replicate pens of 85 hens per pen for
eachofthetwofeedtreatmentgroups.Bothgroupswerefedthesamequalityandquantityoffeed
perbirdperweek(feedallotmentsandfeedformulationsaccordingtoindustrystandards)withthe
skip-a-day fed birds receiving their weekly feed allotments in fve days rather than seven. The 5-2
fedbirdshadtwoofffeeddayseachweekeachofwhichfollowedeithertwoorthreeconsecutive
feeddays.Once5%eggproductionwasattainedforeachindividualtreatmentgroup,eachgroup
wasfedintoproductionthesameandaccordingtoindustryrecommendations.Allconditionsand
feedprogramswerethesameforbothfeedtreatmentgroupsthrough60weeksofage.
Production results
Aswasexpected,theonsetofeggproductionwasdelayedintheskip-a-dayfedgroup.The
onset of egg production in the skip-a-day group occurred fve days later than the everyday fed group

AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2


andthereforepeakineggproductionwasdelayedaswell(Figure1).However,theskip-a-dayfed
groupwasabletomaintaineggproductionfollowingpeakandfollowedasimilareggproduction
trend.TheperiodiceggproductionresultsinTable1showthatwhiletheskip-a-daygroupcameinto
production fve days later and attained peak production several days later, by 30 weeks of age cu-
mulativeeggsproducedperhenhousedwassimilar.Additionally,attheconclusionofthe60week
production cycle, there was no signifcant difference in total eggs produced per hen housed.
Hen mortality for the trial was relatively low with 8.1% and 9.6% life of fock mortality for the
skip-a-day and everyday fed birds with no signifcant difference found in hen body weight at any
age. Egg weights were recorded by pen weekly through the trial and showed no signifcant differ-
ence in any week between the feed treatment groups with a 60-week life of fock average of 66.08
and66.21gpereggfortheskip-a-dayandeverydayfedgroups.
Conclusions
Byindustryrecommendations,skip-a-dayfeedingbroilerbreederpulletsinthehenhouseprior
totheonsetofproductionisnotcommonplaceintheUnitedStates.Theresultsfoundinthisproject
areconsistentwiththosefoundbyproducersthathaveutilizedthisfeedingprograminthehenhouse
bothintheUSandinternationally.However,inthistrialwewereabletocomparethetwofeeding
programssidebysideinaresearchsettingdesignedtosimulateproductionconditions.Althoughthe
skip-a-day fed birds were slower coming into production, by 60 weeks of age there was no signif-
cantdifferenceinthetotalnumberofeggsproducedperhenhoused.Additionally,eggweight,bird
weight,andlivabilityarenotnegativelyaffectedinskip-a-dayfedbirds.Therefore,feedingbroiler
breederpulletsinthehenonaskip-a-dayfeedprogramisnotdetrimentaltoreproductiveparameters
andcanbeusedasanalternativefeedingprograminanefforttofurthercontrolbodyweightunifor-
mity.
Summary
1.Feedingbroilerbreederpulletsona5-2skip-a-dayfeedingprogramisnotdetrimentalto
breederperformance.
2.Althoughpulletsonthisskip-a-dayfeedprogramcomeintoproductionseveraldayslater
thaneverydayfedbirds,theymakeupforthisinoveralleggsproducedperhenhousedat60weeks
ofage.
Table 1. Cumulative egg production per hen in skip-a-day versus everyday
fed breeder hens through 60 weeks of age.
Figure 1. Egg production in
skip-a-day versus everyday fed
breeder hens
Age in weeks
6
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
Understanding and
Controlling Waterfowl
Introduction
Waterfowlareavaluableresourcethatistreasuredbymany.Arkansasisknownbymany
as a prime spot for duck hunting. The V formation of arriving focks is, for many, a familiar
andwelcomesignofthechangeofseasons.Yetwaterfowlcaneasilybecomeanuisanceas
well as spread disease to both backyard and commercial focks. In addition, waterfowl can be
year-round residents and populations can rapidly get out of hand. In fve to seven years one pair
ofgeesecanbecome50to100birdsthatfoulpondsanddamagelandsorcropsnearthewater
(Williams-Whitmeretal.,1996).Thisarticleisintendedtoincreaseunderstandingofwaterfowl
characteristicssothateffectivecontrolmethodscanbedesigned.
Waterfowl Biology
Waterfowlincludesducks,geeseandmigratoryswans.Habitatssuitableforwaterfowl
containtwoprimarycomponents:apermanentbodyofwaterandsuitableopenfeedingareas
withabundantvegetation.Waterisrequiredforwaterfowltoland,escapeandrest.Landand
vegetationarerequiredforfeed,matingandnesting.Inshort,waterfowlaregenerallyquite
adaptablewithregardtositeselection.Anysitethatprovidesthemsafety,foodandnesting
locationswillbeutilized(Anonymous,2007;Williams-Whitmeretal.,1996).Sincemany
poultryproducersalsohavecattleoperationswiththerequiredpasturelandandstockponds,
thesefarmsmaybeattractivesitestowaterfowl.
Waterfowl are also very adaptable with regard to food. Ducks are flter feeders and will
eatalmostanything,whileswanseataquaticplantsandgeesegenerallyeatterrestrialgrasses.
However,mostwaterfowlwillusuallycometolandtwiceaday(morningandevening)looking
for food. Normally waterfowl will roost on or near the open water at night (Cleary, 2008).
Waterfowlarenormallymonogamousandsolitarynesters.Geeseandswansmateforlife,
whileduckstendtoseekanewmateeachbreedingseason.Waterfowlwillusuallylayanegga
day or an egg every other day until the clutch is complete. The 28 to 34 day incubation period
(dependingonthespecies)usuallybeginswhenthelastornext-to-lasteggislaid.Newly
hatchedwaterfowlarequicklearnersandbeginforagingsoonafterhatch.However,studies
have shown that frst year mortality rates of 60 to 70% are not uncommon (Cleary, 2008).
Legal Cautions
NativewaterfowlintheUnitedStatesareprotectedbybothstatelawsandtheFederal
MigratoryBirdTreatyAct.Theselawsprohibithunting,killing,selling,purchasingor
possessingmigratorybirdswithoutstateandfederalpermits.Permitsarenotrequiredtoscare
awaywaterfowlaslongasthebirdsarenotharmed.However,nestingbirdsareprotectedand
maynotbeharassedwithoutafederalpermit(Williams-Whitmeretal.,1996).
Control Methods
Noonecontrolmethodislikelytobeeffective.Combinationsofmethodsgenerally
provide the best control. Control methods are classifed into the following fve categories:
habitat modifcation, exclusion, harassment, chemical sprays and lethal control (Anonymous,
nodate).Whiletimeandspacedonotallowacompletedescriptionofcontrolmethods,several
ideaswillbeoutlinedundereachcategory.
Frank T. Jones and F. Dustan Clark,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Native waterfowl
in the United
States are
protected by both
state laws and the
Federal Migratory
Bird Treaty Act.

These laws
prohibit hunting,
killing, selling,
purchasing or
possessing
migratory birds
without state and
federal permits.

AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2


WATERFOWL continued on page 8
WATERFOWL continued from p. 7
Habitat Modifcation
Eliminatemanmadefoodsources.Ifanyoneis
intentionallyfeedingwaterfowl,itshouldstopimmediately.
Waterfowlshouldnotbeallowedaccesstofoodscrapsor
otherrefusethatwouldattractornourishwaterfowl(Williams-
Whitmeretal.,1996).
Removedomesticwaterfowl.Domesticwaterfowltend
toattractmigratorywaterfowl(Anonymous,NoDate).
Steepenbanksofpondsandcreeks.Waterfowlprefer
gentle,grassyslopessothatitiseasytocomeinandoutofthe
waterforrestandfood.Steepbanksmakesiteslessattractive
towaterfowl.
Managegrassandplants.Replaceplantsthatwaterfowl
liketoeatwithonestheydonotprefer(Anonymous,NoDate)
Waterfowlprefer:
Kentuckybluegrass
Bromegrass
Canarygrass
Colonialbentgrass
Perennialryegrass
Quackgrass
Redfescue
Waterfowldonotprefer:
Maturetallfescue
Periwinkle
Myrtle
Pachysandra
Englishivy
Hostaorplantainlily
Groundjuniper
Switchgrass
Exclusion
OverheadGridSystem.Gridsystemsarethincables
thatarevisibletobothhumansandwaterfowlthatarestrung
on10ftcentersbetween5ftsteelfenceposts.Waterfowl
(particularlygeese)aregenerallydiscouragedbygridsystems
becausetheyareseenasabarrierbetweenthemandthewater.
Gridsystemsgenerallyworkwellforbodiesofwaterthatare
lessthan150ftacross,butcan(withsomeeffort)bemadeto
workonbodiesupto300ftacross.
Fencing.Installingathreefootpoultrywirefencemay
discouragegeesefromcomingashore,butdiscouragingducks
mayrequirehigherfencing.Triplestrandelectricfencehas
beenusedeffectively.Wiresshouldbestrungat5,10and15
inchesabovetheground.However,fencingmustbeclearly
markedtopreventaccidentallyshockinghumans.
Vegetationandrock.Waterfowlprefertoexitabody
ofwaterwheretheyhaveaclearviewofpredators.Trees,
largeshrubsorrocksalongtheshorelinemaypresentabarrier
thatwaterfowlarereluctanttocross(Anonymous,NoDate;
Williams-Whitmeretal.,1996).
Harassment
Dogs.Useoftraineddogstocontrolwaterfowlis
effective,butownersmustbeincontrolofthesituationsince
theownerisresponsiblefordamagetobirdsdonebydogs.
Bordercolliesorotherherdingdogsoftenworkwellinthese
situations(ZiengenhagenandTuck,2005).
Pyrotechnics.Bottlerocketsthatscreamandexplodeor
frecrackers can be effective harassment methods. However,
individualsusingpyrotechnicsshouldbetrainedintheiruse
andweareyeandearprotection
Chasing.Chasingwaterfowlonfootorinasmall
vehicleislaborintensive,butwhenusedinconjunctionwith
othercontrolmethods,canbeeffective.
Otherharassmenttechniques.Highpressurewater
sprayers,airhornsandbeatingpotsorpanstogethercanalso
beusefulharassmenttechniques
Chemical repellants
Whilethereareinnumerablehomeremedies,feware
legal and effective. Chemical repellants must meet specifc
legalrequirements,whichmakethemexpensiveandnot
suitableinallsituations.Inaddition,cautionshouldbe
exercisedwhenusinganychemicalnearpoultryhousesas
theymayinterferewithbirdperformanceorcauseresidues.
Producersshouldcheckwiththeirservicetechorintegrator
toverifyanychemicalsacceptancebeforeitisusednearthe
poultryhouse.
Lethal control
Hunting.Duringhuntingseason,waterfowlcanbe
effectively controlled with frearms, but regulations must be
observedandhuntingpermitsarerequired.
Biosecurity
Waterfowlareknowntocarryanumberofdiseases.
Therefore,itisimperativethatpeoplewhohavebeenin
contactwithwaterfowlbathe,changeclothesandusedifferent
footwearwhenenteringcommercialpoultryhouses.Abetter
ideawouldbetohavenocontactwithwaterfowlatallpriorto
workinginoraroundpoultryhouses.
Summary
WaterfowlareatreasuredresourceintheUnitedStates.
However,waterfowlcanbecomeanuisanceandhazard
aroundcommercialpoultryhouses.Therefore,itisimportant
to control waterfowl through habitat modifcation, exclusion,
harassmentorlethalmethods.Itisalsoimperativethat
individualswhohavehadcontactwithwaterfowlnotenter
poultryhouses.
References
Anonymous. No Date. Nuisance wildlife Wild geese.
MissouriDepartmentofConservationhttp://mdc.mo.gov/
landown/wild/nuisance/w_geese/types.htm 6/11/08
8
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
WATERFOWL continued from page 7
Effects of Temperature Variation
in On-farm Hatching Egg
Holding Units in Commercial
Broiler Breeder Flocks
Introduction
Broilerbreederhatchingeggsarecommonlyheldinstoragefacilitiesatthebreederfarm
anywherefromonetofourdaysandagainatthehatcheryuntilplacedinthesetters.Inthepoultry
industry,somepre-incubationofhatchingeggsfollowingovipositionandduringstorageisinevi-
table,yeteffortsshouldbemadetoreducethisoccurrence.Withthecontinueddevelopmentofthis
industrytherehavebeentremendousadvanceswhichhaveimprovedtheavailableequipmentto
maintainhenhousetemperatures,andthequalityofeggtransportationvehiclesandeggstoragefa-
cilitiesinthehatchery.However,withthisimprovedtechnology,on-farmeggstoragefacilitieshave
been largely neglected which has made it extremely diffcult for producers to maintain constant egg
storageroomtemperaturesatthefarmlevel.
Whileonepurposeofeggstorageistoaccumulateeggstomeetthedemandforchicksand
tobestutilizehatcheryfacilities,ultimatelythegoalistoarrestfurtherembryonicdevelopmentwhile
maintaining embryo viability. While an egg storage temperature of 68F (20C) is the most com-
monlypracticedindustryrecommendation,theactualon-farmeggstoragetemperaturecanrange
from a low of 60F (15.6C) up to 75F (23.9C). The range in egg storage temperature from one
farm to the next is often due to different management programs, while day to day fuctuations within
thesamecompanyisaresultofpooreggstoragefacilitiesthatareunabletomaintainaconstant
storagetemperature.Hatcheryeggstorageconditionshavebeenevaluatedinthepast,withrecom-
mendationspresentedtoreducelossesinhatchability.However,researchregardingeggstorageat
thebreederfarmislimitedandincomplete.Therefore,theobjectiveofthisstudywastodetermine
theeffectsofoscillatingandvariableon-farmeggstoragetemperaturesonhatchabilityandembryo
viability in commercial broiler breeder focks.
Egg Storage and Hatching Procedures
Fourthousandthreehundredtwenty(4320)hatchingeggswereobtainedfromtheUniver-
sityofArkansassBroilerBreederResearchfacilityandwereplacedintotwoseparateeggstorage
chambers, with all eggs stored at a control temperature of 70 F (21.1 C) for 0-24 hours. After the
Anonymous. 2007 Canada good management FAQ Frequently asked questions. http://www.canadagoodwmanagement.
com/faq.html 6/11/08
Cleary, E. C. 2008. Waterfowl. http://www.extension.org/pages/Waterfowl 6/11/08
Williams-Whitmer,L.M.,M.C.Brittingham-BrantandM.J.Casalena.1996.Geese,ducksandswans.PennsylvaniaState
University, Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension, Pub. No. CAT UH087
Ziegenhagen,S.andB.Tuck.2005.Livingwithnuisancewildlife.OregonStateUniversityExtensionServicePublication
EC1579.
R. Keith Bramwell, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2


HATCHABILITY continued on page 10
HATCHABILITY continued from page 8
initial 24 hour storage period, eggs were divided into 864 egg lots and assigned to treatment groups.
One group of eggs remained at 70 F for the entire 72 hour storage period (Control). Four other
groups were moved to separate storage chamber with temperatures set at either 66 F (18.9 C), 68
F (20.0 C), 72 F (22.2 C), or 74 F (23.3 C) to represent Treatments 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.
Eggs were stored at these temperatures for an additional 24 hours for a total of 48 hours of storage
time. Then eggs stored at 66 F were stored at 74 F, eggs at 74 F were stored at 66 F, eggs at 68
F were stored at 72 F, and eggs at 72 F were stored at 68 F for an another 24 hours for a total stor-
age time of 72 hours. After 72 hours of storage all eggs were returned to 70 F. Treatment details
areoutlinedinTable1.Thisdesignensuredthatalleggsinthisexperimentwereheldatanaver-
age of 70 F for the entire three day on-farm egg storage time period. To summarize this design,
allhatchingeggsfromthedifferenttemperaturetreatmentgroupsweresubjectedtoeithera2or4
degree F temperature fuctuation above and below the 70 F base temperature, but were held at an
average of 70 F.
Afterthestorageperiod,eggsweretransportedtotheiroriginalcommercialbreederfarm
wheretheywereplaceddirectlyonacommercialhatchingeggtransportationtruckandsenttoa
commercialhatcheryforincubation.Notreatmentorspecialcaretookplaceaftertheon-farmstor-
ageperiod.
Results and Discussion
The hatchability of eggs subjected to a 2 F temperature change from 70 F was reduced
bynearly2%ascomparedtothecontrolgroup(74.69vs.76.47%hatch,respectively).Eggsthat
underwenta4Ftemperaturechangehadnearlya1%lossinhatchascomparedtothecontrolgroup
(75.61vs.76.47%,respectively).Itisinterestingtonotethatthegreatertemperaturevariationdid
notnecessarilyresultinagreaterlossinhatchability.
However,regardlessofwhetherthetemperaturevariationwas2or4F,allhatchingeggs
used in the study moved from the hen house at about 80 F to the 70 F storage chamber for 24
hours.Eggsthatthenincreasedintemperaturefor24hoursanddecreasedforanother24hoursbe-
fore increasing again to 70 F ( i. e. 70 F-s-t-s) experienced a signifcant drop in hatchability as
comparedtothecontrol(3.55%and2.16%lossinhatch,respectively,Figure1).Eggsinthisgroup
experiencedmultiplechangesintemperaturefromthehenhousetothehatchery.Fromthetimeof
lay,theseeggsdecreasedintemperatureto70Fthenthetemperaturewasraisedfor24hours,then
loweredfor24hours,thenraisedfor24hours,thenloweredastheyweremovedtothehatchery(67
F)thenraisedwhenmovedtothesetters(threeperiodsofdecreasingtemperaturesandthreewith
increasingtemperatures).
Eggs that were stored at 70 F then decreased in temperature for 24 hours, then increased
after 48 hours then were returned back to 70 F (70-t-s-t)experiencednodifferenceinhatchabil-
ityandlessthan1%lossinhatchoffertile.Eggsinthistreatmentgroupbasicallyunderwentone
changeindirectionofthetemperaturetheyweresubjectedtofromthetimetheywerelaiduntilthe
eggsreachedthecommercialhatchery.Theseeggsdecreasedintemperatureafterlayto70F,then
thetemperaturewasdecreasedagainfor24hours,thenincreasedfor24hours,thendecreasedfor24
hours,thendecreasedagainastheyweremovedtothehatchery(67F)thenraisedwhenmovedto
thesetters(twoperiodswheretemperaturesweredecreasingandtwowithincreasingtemperatures).
Eachtimetheinternaltemperatureoftheeggiselevatedtonear75F,metabolicactivityisagain
initiatedandembryodevelopmentensuesonlytobeslowedagainduringadditionaleggcooling.
Whilecoolinghatchingeggsisnecessary,startingandstoppingembryodevelopmentweakensthe
embryoandreducesitsviability.AsillustratedinFigure2,theidealsituationisforhatchingeggsto
undergoonlytwotemperaturedirectionchanges;onefromthehentothelowesttemperaturepointat
thecommercialhatcheryeggstoragefacilityandthesecondtemperaturedirectionaseggsaremoved
intotheeggsetters.
Conclusions
Itiswellknownthatmosthatchabilityproblemsarearesultofpoorfertility.However,
when egg production is attained and the fock maintains high levels of fertility, how we care for
hatchingeggscanhaveatremendouseffectonoverallhatchability.Whilecurrentindustryrecom-
mendations vary from 63 F to 70 F for on-farm egg storage, data from this research indicate that
10
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
HATCHABILITY continued from page 9
variationsinon-farmeggstoragetemperaturesofaslittleas2degreesFcanreducehatchability
byasmuchas3.5%.Experiencefromevaluatingcurrenton-farmeggroomtemperaturevalues
indicatesthatvariationintheactualtemperatureandthesettemperaturesaregreatandoftenexceed
thoseparametersestablishedinthisstudy.Therefore,regardlessoftheequipmentinthebreeder
houseandthehatcheryfacilities,hatchabilityisroutinelylostincommercialhatcheriesduetone-
glectoftheon-farmeggstoragefacilities.
Summary
1.Maintainingaconstantenvironmentforhatchingeggspriortoincubationiscriticalto
achieveoptimumhatchability.
2.Excessivetemperaturevariationinon-farmhatchingeggstoragecancausehatchability
lossesofupto3.5%.
3.Monitoreggstorageandtransportationconditionsusingtemperaturedataloggers.
4.Makeadjustmentstoequipmenttoprovidehatchingeggswithaconstantenvironment.
Thiscanincludestirringfansineggrooms,improvedheatingandcoolingequipment,andimproved
insulationpropertiesintheeggroom.
Figure 1. Hatchability Loss due to Egg Storage Temperature Variation
11
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
HATCHABILITY continued from page 10
Figure 2. Ideal temperature changes for hatching eggs.
Table 1. Egg storage temperature treatments
1
t = decrease in temperature; s = increase in temperature
1
AVIAN Advice Summer 2008 Vol. 10, No. 2
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G. Tom Tabler, Frank T. Jones and Walter G. Bottje, University of Arkansas Division
of Agriculture
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Gut Health - Is Anything
More Important in
Turkey Productioin?
by Jim Plyler and
Susan Watkins
page 7
Runting-Stunting
Syndrome in Broilers
by F. Dustan Clark and
Frank T. Jones

page 9
Weighing Broiler
Breeder Females Post
Feeding
by R. Keith Bramwell,
Jon R. Moyle,
Doug E. Yoho and
Bob S. Harper
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


ENERGY USE continued on page 2
Spring 2008 Volume 10 no. 1
Energy Use and Costs at the
Applied Broiler Research Farm
Introduction
Highenergycostscontinuetocause
concernforpoultryproducersacross
thecountry.Currently,bothintegrators
andproducersarefacedwithincreasing
productioncosts,makingnormaloperations
more diffcult. A number of farms, including
the Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF),
haverecentlybeenrenovatedinaneffortto
become more energy effcient and remain
competitive.However,thehighenergycosts
havepromptedmanyproducerstowonderif
renovationsarepayingoff.
Energy Use
The ABRF placed its frst fock of
birdsinNovemberof1990andsentbirds
toprocessinginJanuaryof1991.Thefarm
hasalwaysheatedwithpropane.Thedatain
Figure 1 show that propane prices averaged
about$0.56/galpriorto2000.Propaneprices
roseanaverageofabout$0.13/galbetween
2001and2007andarecurrentlyat$2.04/gal.
AVIAN
Figure 2 illustrates annual farm propane
usagefrom1991through2007.Datais
notreportedfor2006becausethefarmwas
undergoing renovation from Jan-Apr 2006,
therebymissingmostofthecoldweather
thatyear.Whilethemostpropaneconsumed
in any one year (33,800 gal) was in 1996,
anaverageofabout17,000galwasused
between1991and1997.Propaneusage
between2000and2005hasaveragedslightly
over23,350gal.Thisincreaseinusage
waslikelyduetoairleaksinthehouses
and curtains (which were getting older) and
broodingchicksatwarmertemperatures
comparedtoearlieryears.Gasusagefor
2007 (the only full year since the renovation)
was 22,100 gals. So, has the ABRF used less
gassincetherenovation?With16yearsof
before-renovationdatabutonlyonefullyear
of data since the renovation, it is diffcult to
predictthelong-termeffectofrenovationon
propaneusage.However,thetotalusagein
2007appearstobeslightlylowerthanthe
averageusagefortheprevioussixyearssince
2000.
Figure 1. Average ABRF Propane Prices
Figure 2. Propane use at the ABRF
between 1991 and 2007
A
v
e
r
a
g
e

P
r
i
c
e

(
$
/
g
a
l
)
P
r
o
p
a
n
e

u
s
a
g
e

(
g
a
l
s
)

AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1


ENERGY USE continued from page 1
Annual ABRF electricity use data are shown in Figure
3. After the initial three years of operation (1991-1993),
electricalusageaveragedabout75,000KWHannuallyuntil
2006.Whenthefarmwasrenovated,itwentfromfour
curtain-sidedhouseswhichwereabletotakeadvantage
ofbothnaturalventilationandnaturaldaylight,tofour
solidsidewall,tunnelventilatedhousesthatrequiredpower
ventilation (fans) and artifcial light both day and night.
Electricityusagewasexpectedtoincreaseaftertherenovation
and it did. After renovations, 2006 (a partial year running
from April through Dec) used 90,941 kilowatt hours, while
the full year of 2007 used 120,681 kilowatt hours. There is
nowbettercontrolofin-houseconditions,providingamore
uniformenvironmentforthebirds,butitcomeswithan
increaseinelectricityusageandcost.Soisthefarmsaving
onelectricityusesincetherenovation?No,actuallymore
kilowatthourshavebeenusedsincetherenovationthan
before. BUT our performance data suggest that the extra
electricitytranslatedintoabetterenvironmentforgrowing
birds,betterbirdperformanceandabiggersettlementcheck
on a consistent basis (Tabler, 2007).
Energy Costs
Annual costs for both propane and electricity have
increased since renovation (Figures 4 and 5) and 2007 costs
forelectricityandpropanewerethehighesteverinthehistory
of ABRF. Yet, the reason for high propane costs was due to
increased propane prices (Figure 1), while the reason for high
electricitycostswasincreasedusageratesnotelevatedprices
(Figure 3).
Eventhougheveryintegratorandeverycomplexdoes
things somewhat differently, most integrators have modifed
theirbroilercontractstoofferpayincreasesasanincentive
toproducerswhorenovatetheirfarms.Somemayalsooffer
assistancewithammoniacontrolproducts,bedding,orfuel
allowanceasanaddedincentive.However,aftertheenergy
billswerepaiddidwehavemoreofthesettlementcheckafter
renovationsthanbefore?
Energy Costs and the Settlement Check
Theaverageannualpropanecostasapercentageofthe
settlement check at the ABRF is shown in Figure 6. During the
period1991through2000,propanecostswerealmostalways
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c
i
t
y

u
s
a
g
e

(
K
W
H
)
Figure 3. Electricity use at the ABRF between
1991 and 2007
P
r
o
p
a
n
e

c
o
s
t
s

(
$
)
Figure 4. Propane costs at the ABRF between
1991 and 2007
E
l
e
c
t
r
i
c
i
t
y

c
o
s
t
s

(
$
)
Figure 5. Electricity costs at the ABRF between
1991 and 2007
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
Figure 6. Historical annual gas costs as a
percentage of the settlement check at ABRF

AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1


lessthan10%ofthecheckbut,between2001and2005,these
costsamountedtomorethan20%ofthecheck,reachinga
peak of 30.92% in 2004. In 2007 (after renovations) propane
costsasapercentageofthesettlementcheckwerethelowest
(23%) since 2001.
Electricitycostsasapercentageofthesettlementcheck
haveremainedfairlyconstantthroughoutthehistoryofthe
farm (usually about 51%) (Figure 7). Electricity cost as a
percentageofthesettlementcheckwas5.32%in2007,similar
tocostsincurredduringmostyearsbeforerenovation.
Average propane cost data in Table 1 show the same
dramatic increase in energy costs seen in Figure 6. However,
since the ABRF uses each settlement check to pay production
costs,averagedatasometimesarenotadequate.Thetable
also contains the range of propane costs by fock and average
January low temperature data obtained from NOAA. Since on
averageJanuaryisthecoldestmonthoftheyear,temperature
data were included to gage the infuence of atmospheric
temperatureonpropanecosts.Onaveragemaximumpropane
costs before 2000 were 20.18% of the settlement checks,
whileafter2000peakpropanecostsaveraged47.43%.
Correlationsbetweenmaximumpropanecostsandlow
temperatures prior to 2000 show a coeffcient of -0.60, while
similar correlations after 2000 show a coeffcient of -0.16.
Theseanalysessuggestthatlowtemperatureslikelyhada
largeeffectonhighenergycostspriorto2000,whileprice
appeared to be the primary infuencer after 2000. These
data also suggest that had the ABRF not anticipated elevated
energy costs, major cash fow diffculties could have arisen.
What This Means
Whilethesedatagivesomeindicationofenergyuse
andcostbeforeandafterbroilerfarmrenovation,they
only refect conditions at ABRF, which is on one site in
Northwest Arkansas. It would be diffcult to transfer these
fgures anywhere else with any degree of certainty. A farm
acrosstheroad,acrossthestate,oracrossthecountrywould
likelyreportdifferentinformationthanthatpresentedhere.
P
e
r
c
e
n
t
Figure 7. Historical annual electricity costs as a
percentage of settlement check at ABRF
Granted, the ABRF is designed to be a typical four-house
commercialbroilerfarmsimilartothousandsofothersacross
Arkansas and the U.S. However, it is also unique, as is every
otherfarm,intermsofitslocation,topography,elevation,
geographical setting, wind currents, airfow patterns, other
climatefactors,andlocalenergycosts.Energyuseisalso
affectedbythemanagementprogramofthefarmsintegrator
andhoweachgrowerappliestheprogram.Therefore,itis
importanttounderstandthelimitationsofthesedata.Thedata
representonebroilerfarmandshouldbetakenassuch.
Table 1. Average and Range of Propane Costs per
Flock as a Percentage of the Settlement Check (SC)
No. Av. Cost Cost Range Av. Jan. Low
Year Flocks (% of SC) (% of SC) (degrees F)*
1991 5 9.11 1.17-27.67 24.9
1992 6 7.97 1.43-15.94 30.0
1993 5 6.50 0.48 - 13.23 26.3
1994 7 8.01 2.03 - 16.60 25.3
1995 6 8.42 0.78 - 19.02 26.9
1996 6 21.29 3.38 - 34.11 22.2
1997 6 10.60 2.73-20.61 22.7
1998 5 8.13 1.13 - 17.97 32.1
1999 5 8.34 2.59 - 16.54 30.8
2000 5 9.98 2.33 - 19.86 27.1
2001 7 20.99 4.88 - 35.99 25.1
2002 6 27.46 4.46-64.67 27.9
2003 6 23.36 2.17-57.31 23.7
2004 6 29.11 6.84 - 46.08 27.9
2005 5 29.35 7.28 - 45.62 29.8
2006 4 10.83** 0.73 - 20.66** 35.1
2007 5 28.72 1.22 - 62.50 25.1
* Average Low Temperature in Fayetteville during January
according to NOAA data. NOAA data indicate that January
is,onaverage,thecoldestmonthoftheyear.
**2006 was a partial year running from April through Dec.
Summary
Highpropanepriceshavepoultryproducersstrugglingto
keeptheirfarmsinoperation.Somearequestioningwhether
recentexpensiverenovationsaresavingorcostingmoney.
Every operation is unique, making that a diffcult question
toanswer.Itdependsoneachindividualproducersunique
situation (farm location, energy costs, integrator incentives
and management style). During 2007, the ABRF paid the
highestpriceinthefarmshistoryforbothgasandelectricity.
However,integratorincentivestorenovateoffsetsomeof
thosehighercosts.Electricitycostincreasedfrom5.04%to
5.26%whilegascostdecreasedfrom26.34%to21.77%ofthe
settlementcheckafterrenovationcomparedtotheprevious
5-yr period. Limited data exists for the post-renovation period
and these fgures will likely change with time. Caution should
betakennottoreadmoreintothedatathanisactuallythereat
thisearlystage.
ENERGY USE continued on page 4
4
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
Jim Plyler, Consultant, Turkey Health & Specialties, LLC., and
Susan Watkins, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Gut Health - Is Anything More
Important in Turkey Production?
Introduction
Gut health challenges are a signifcant and costly issue for turkey live production. Thanks
tothepowerofgeneticselection,thecommercialturkeyhasundergonedramaticimprovements
in growth and feed effciency. Unfortunately the new and improved turkey remains vulnerable to
entericdiseasessuchasenterovirus,astrovirus,coronavirus,reovirus,rotavirusandotherunnamed
viruses, not to mention the bacterial challenges (E. coli, SalmonellaandClostridium) and protozoal
issues (coccidia, Hexamita, Trichomonas, Cochlosoma and cryptosporidia). And with feed costs
increasing,evenonepointlostinfeedconversionisaneconomicchallenge.Guthealthissuescan
resultinlossoffeedconversion,uniformity,weight,rateofgain,andhighercondemnationrates.
Therefore, prevention of gut enteric challenges can result in signifcant savings. By reviewing the
stages of development and identifying areas in the production process that are crucial to optimizing
guthealth,themodernturkeyproducercanmakesoundmanagementdecisionsthatsupportthebot-
tom line, a proftable business.
Management of Breeders and Eggs
Optimizing gut health begins before the producer ever receives the poults. The 28 day incu-
bation process at the hatchery is actually the frst weeks of life for the poult with the poult being 4
weeks old when he arrives at the brooder barn. Poult quality and health status is greatly infuenced
by the nutrients and antibodies the poult receives from the egg yolk. The beneft the poult receives
from the egg will be dependent on the hens nutritional and immune status. Therefore, the frst cru-
cial step in minimizing enteric challenges is proper management of the breeder bird. If not treated
properly,bacterialinfectionsinbreederbirdscanbethestartofentericissuesinpoults.Poultsneed
tobefreeofSalmonella, PseudomonasandClostridium at hatch. A sound breeder program will
focus on breeder nutrition, breeder management, breeder vaccination programs (including serologi-
cal monitoring to check titers) and preventing disease challenges
. Toassuretheeggisnotcompromised,thereshouldbeaconsistentprogramforegghandling,
sanitation and holding. It is benefcial to set eggs according to length of storage time and egg size
as well as fock age and vaccination program for breeders. This approach allows a more uniform
hatch of poults similar in size and immune backgrounds. Close monitoring of incubation tempera-
ture,humidityandpulltimealongwithathoroughunderstandingofequipmentcapabilitiesinclud-
ing the delivery truck will help minimize poor uniformity in poults delivered to the farm. Remem-
ber,moststressinpoultsoccursasaresultofdehydrationduetooverheating.Inaddition,fewer
lethargic poults will arrive at the farm if hot or cold spots in the delivery truck are minimized.

References
Tabler, G. Tom. 2007. Applied broiler research farm report: Production results and economic returns before and after
renovation. Avian Advice 9(4):4-5.
ENERGY USE continued from page 3
...prevention
of gut enteric
challenges
can result in
significant
savings

AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1


Barn Clean-Out Programs
Theproducerneedstohaveplentyoftruedowntime
between focks and must utilize this time wisely. A good
clean-out program will include sweeping the foor after litter
isremoved;athoroughwashdownbeforedisinfection;useof
soapanddisinfectantsthatarecompatible;andafterdisinfec-
tion of the barn, application of a litter amendment to the foor
to kill bacteria that can not be sanitized in dirt. Also important
are good programs for darkling beetle, fy, rodent, varmint
andwildbirdcontrol.Goodclean-outprogramsarenon-nego-
tiableindefeatingentericchallenges.Inaddition,theground
outsideofthebarn,particularlyaroundtheexhaustfansand
nearthedoorswhereequipmentandpersonnelenterandexit,
mustbetreated.Onceareasinandaroundbarnsareclean,
maintainingastrictbiosecurityprogramistheonlyoptionfor
maintainingsanitation.Thisincludeskeepingthebarndoors
closedevenwhenthehousesareempty.
Being Ready for Poult Arrival
Oncethepoultsarriveonthefarm,theproducer,service
technician,nutritionist,andveterinarianallbecomerespon-
sible for the success or failure of gut health. A good poult
assessmentuponarrivalisparamount.Thisassessmentcan
helptheproducertoknowimmediatelyifpoultsarestressed
and need extra attention. Less than desirable poults can be
managed into a successful fock but, only with strong manage-
mentintensity
Poults never recover from a poor start. Before the poults
arrive, the barn should be ready (feed and water in place and
accessible; ventilation system and heaters working). The
producershouldalsohaveadequatehelpforquickpoult
placement.Makesurethelitteriswarm,butnothot.Itis
mucheasiertowarmthebirdsalittlemoreifnecessary,than
itistocoolthemdown.Ifapoultisoverheatedordehy-
drated,whetherinthehatchery,truckorfarm,thedamages
are often irreversible. Birds that have been slightly chilled
can be warmed and in most cases things are fne. BUT this
doesnotmeanuseNOheat!!!Thebirdwillletyouknowifit
is comfortable or too hot or cold. Loud screaming, running,
pacing,orhuddlingpoultswilltellthestory.Ifpoultsarent
happy,thereshouldbeasenseofurgencyaboutcorrectingthe
problem. Staying focused on the focks needs for the frst 4
weeksoftheirlifecanalmostguaranteesuccess.
The quicker poults fnd feed and water, the faster their
digestivetractwillbegintofunctionnormally.Proper,con-
sistentlightingprogramandintensitywillhelpwithfeedand
water consumption. Proper feed presentation (including cor-
rect feeder height and feed depth adjustments) is important for
assuring that poults eat feed. Use of hydrated feed attractants
such as Oasis or Early Bird will also encourage poults to eat
andstimulatetheirappetite.Ifpoultsaredehydrated,make
surethefeedattractantiswellhydrated,butonlyusealittleon
thefeed.Thegoalistohavebirdscleanupattractantsquickly.
Puttingoutmorethantheywilleatinafewhoursmaycause
theunderlyingfeedtomoldleadingtocropmycosis.Ifgut
healthissueshavebeenaconsistentfarmproblem,consider
using disposable feed trays for a couple of focks to help break
the cycle. NEVER RUN OUT OF WATER OR FEED!!! De-
hydratedbirdsdonteatandbirdswithoutfeedeatlitter.Eat-
ing litter can cause birds to consume signifcant bacterial, viral
or protozoal challenges, which could lead to enteric issues.
Water Sanitation and Management
Utilize a thorough water line fush and line cleaning with
a proven water system disinfectant between focks. Since
slow water fow during brooding promotes warm water and
potentiallymicrobialgrowthinthesystem,thesecanleadtoa
bioflm in the water system which makes the lines 10 to 1000
times harder to clean. Without complete removal of bioflm
or slime, problems may never be completely solved. By
thoroughlycleaningthewaterlinesbeforethebirdsarrive,it
ispossibletohaveamoreconsistentandeffectivedailywater
sanitationprogramwhenthebirdsarepresent.Investina
doubleinjectionsystemsoalongwithchlorine,awateracidi-
fer can be injected to lower the pH thus allowing the chlorine
in the bleach to work more quickly. Use target values at the
endofthewaterlineof2-5ppmfreechlorine,a6.0to7.0pH
and an ORP (oxidation reduction potential) of 750-850 mV.
Ifsupplementalwaterdrinkersareusedtostartpoults,make
sure they are clean and flled with sanitized water on a daily
basisormoreoftenisevenbetter.
Havetheverybestwatersanitationprograminplace
every day of the focks life. Often producers get in a cycle
of removing the water sanitizer in order to add products such
as medications, vitamins and electrolytes. Remember proper
useofantibiotictreatmentsiskeyinestablishingoptimumgut
microfora. It is also important to remember that over use of
water additives can promote bacterial growth and bioflm in
thedrinkingwatersystemwhichcancontributetoguthealth
problems.Whiletherearetimeswhentheseproductsmight
beuseful,aproducershouldthinklongandhardaboutusing
productsthatcouldcompromisethequalityofthewatersince
turkeyswilldrinkatleast2poundsofwaterforeverypound
offeedconsumed.Onewaytoobjectivelytestthetheory
aboutwhetherawateradditiveishelpfulistopaycloseatten-
tiontothequalityofthebirddroppingsoncethebirdshave
beenonaproductforafewhours.Ifthedroppingsbecome
TURKEY GUT HEALTH continued on page 6

AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1


looseandwatery,theproductshouldberemovedandbirds
placed back on sanitized water. The use of copper based prod-
uctsisanexceptiontotherule.Periodicuseofcoppersulfate
or copper proteinate products in the water can be benefcial for
preventingcropmycosis,butdroppingsmaybeloose.
Ifpoultsareseverelybeaktrimmed,itiscriticalthat
nipple drinker line pressure be minimized to enhance the
poults ability to drink. Use water meters to monitor water
consumptiontoassurebirdsarealwaysincreasingtheirdaily
water intake. If water consumption drops or fat lines, birds
arenotwellandaproducercanrespondbeforetheissues
becomeadisaster.Ifdrinkersaredifferentbetweenthebrood
and fnish barn, make sure some of the fnish barn drinker
typesareplacedinthebroodbarnbeforemovesothebirds
willhaveadequatetimetoadjusttotheirnewwatersupply.
Service Technician Role
Theservicetechnicianplaysanimportantroleinthesuc-
cess of all aspects of a fock, but especially in the prevention
ofguthealthissues.Ifpre-placementpoultryhousechecks
are utilized, many problems can be corrected or prevented
beforetheybecomefullblowndisasters.Servicetechnicians
shouldperformapoultqualityassessmentatplacementtohelp
getthestartoffontherightfootandmakenecessarymanage-
mentadjustments.Ifthefarmhistoryisnotgoodregarding
diseasechallenges,thencloselymonitoredfollow-upsby
servicetechnicianswillpaybigdividends.
Inaddition,athoroughfarminventoryonproblemfarmscould
revealproblemssuchascloggedornon-workingdrinkersand
feeders.
Inentericdiseasesituations,servicetechniciansareoften
asked, Is something missing from the feed? Yet, most often
feedsareexactlyasformulatedbythenutritionistandthe
realquestionsisWhatcausedthesebirdstoeatlitterandnot
feed?Inadequatedailybirdcareorpoormanagementarefre-
quentlyinvolvedinsuchsituationandshouldberuledoutbe-
forelookingforlessobviouscauses.Poormanagementissues
could include improper ventilation (too much or too little),
inadequatetemperaturecontrol,excessivelittermoisture,high
levels of ammonia, distasteful water (due to too much sanitizer
or microbial growth), poor feed presentation or any number of
otherissues.
Nutritionist Role
Whilethenutritionistplaysanimportantroleines-
tablishingproperguthealth,therearetwokindsofpoultry
nutritionists,thosethatformulateforgivingdietsandthose
whoformulatebareessentialdietsthatareunforgiving.It
is important to realize that feeding low quality or marginal
rationstothenewandimprovedpoultcanpotentiallydoir-
reversibledamage.Sinceturkeyshavethehighestrateofgain
earlyinlife,theyneednutrientdensedietsthatsupportthe
rapid growth rate. Feeding for least cost in the frst two diets
or approximately the frst eight weeks can result in lost perfor-
mance that is never regained. The frst diets need good quality
ingredientsplusqualityfattomakethefeedpalatable.There
is some dispute that high fat diets (6-8%) are not well utilized
TURKEY GUT HEALTH continued from page 5
by the very young poult, but the real beneft of fat may be that
qualityfatstimulatesthepoultsappetite.Thepoultneeds
adequate levels of highly utilizable essential amino acids.
Laboratory assays of diets and ingredients will assist in
assuringthecorrectqualityandquantityofnutrientsarepres-
ent. Running regular mixer profles to will confrm that mix
timeisadequateandthatmicro-ingredientssuchascoccidio-
statsareuniformlydistributedinthefeed.Itisalsoimportant
toknowthequalityofanimalby-productsindietsanddeter-
mineifmanufacturerstreattheiringredientforClostridium.It
mightevenpaytotesttheseingredientsonaroutinebasisfor
Clostridium.
Notonlyisapropernutritionalprogramcritical,buta
strongqualitycontrolprogramisamusttoassurethatquality
ingredientsarereceivedandhighqualityfeedproduced.This
isasimportantformacroingredientssuchascorn,soybean,
fatandanimalproteinssourcesasitisformicroingredients
suchasvitamins,aminoacids,andtraceminerals.Itisalso
crucialtoensurethatthefeedmilldeliversdurablepelletsand
crumbles with a minimum amount of fnes to encourage feed
consumption.Properlyformulatedfeedsareworthlessifbirds
donoteatthefeedasacompletemeal.
Finally, the use of antibiotics for bacterial challenges is
becominglimitedsoitisimportanttoexplorealternativeop-
tions such as competitive exclusion or enzymes which aid the
digestionoffeedcomponents.Wemustuseanyadvantageto
offsetdiseasechallenges.
Veterinarian Role
Keeptheveterinarianinvolvedtohelpdetermineifgut
health issues are of bacterial, protozoal, or viral origin. It is
important to know the poult source (history), the farm his-
tory and to use performance reports as your report card. You
can also check fnished feed samples, water samples and fecal
droppingstohelpdiscoverrootcausesofproblems.Iftruth
betold,higherintensitymanagementmaybetheanswerwhen
previousperformancehasbeenpoor.Inaddition,youcando
your own postings of birds to determine if the fock is headed
foradisasterorifthingsareokay.However,agoodmonitor-
ing program (serology, histopathology, PCR, and periodic
postings) along with a good laboratory and pathologist will
often provide more defnitive answers.
Ifguthealthisanissue,pullahistologicalsampleon
every fock and submit to a laboratory with a good patholo-
gist.Thiswilltellthestory.Iftherearestillquestions/issues,
submit a fresh intestinal sample (placed on dry ice immedi-
ately) to your pathologist for virus isolation. When pulling
gutsforhistologicalsamples,itisimportanttorandomlyselect
thebirdssothatthesamplingincludeshealthyaswellassick
birds. It is also important to observe crop and gizzard contents
whenpullinggutsamples.Noteonlabsubmissionformif
litterwaspresentbecauseeatinglitterwilloftenresultincoc-
cidiosischallengesandexcessivemucusproductioninthegut,
alteringhistologicalresults.Ifthebirdsarefulloflitterthis
shouldbeacriticalwarningsignthatmeasuresshouldbetaken
todrawbirdsbacktofeedeitherbytopdressingfeedwithan
attractantorhandrunningthefeedline.
7
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
SYNDROME continued on page 8
Runting-Stunting Syndrome
in Broilers
Introduction
Themicrobialagentscausinganumberofintestinaldiseasesinyoungbroilershavenot
yet been identifed and such conditions are often called viral enteritis (Anonymous, 2008).
However,agentscausingsimilarsignsinyoungbirdshavebeenreportedaroundtheworld
and have been called runting stunting syndrome (RSS), malabsorption syndrome, brittle bone
disease, infectious proventriculitis, helicopter disease and pale bird syndrome (Rebel et al.,
2006)
Runting-stunting syndrome (RSS) was frst reported in the 1940s, became well known
to the commercial industry in the 1970s and has since been reported around the world (Rebel
et al. 2006). RSS continues to cause economic hardship in the broiler industry through
decreasedbodyweights,elevatedfeedconversions,reduceduniformity,reducedlivability,plant
downgrades and secondary diseases (Anonymous, 2008; Zavala and Barbosa, 2006).
Recognizing Runting Stunting
While symptoms of RSS can vary dramatically, birds are generally affected by RSS early
in life with symptoms and mortality peaking at about 11 days. After placement RSS affected
birds may huddle around feeders and waterers, or may persistently peck at the walls. Feed
consumption is often depressed. A sizable proportion of the fock may be involved and while
affected birds that are not culled may not die, they never recover. Often fock mortality is
unaffected, but fock uniformity which normally runs about 70% decreases to about 35%. As
F. Dustan Clark and Frank T. Jones,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Conclusion
One question that is frequently asked is: What is missing from the feed? Well if enteric issues are present, normally the
missing component is their beak/mouth. A better question is: What caused the bird to back off feed and eat litter? The frst step
istocloselyexaminethedailycareofthebirdstoidentifypoormanagementissuessuchasoverorunderventilation,temperature
swings, wet litter, ammonia, bad tasting water due to too much sanitizer or microbial growth, or poor feed presentation.
Dealing with enteric issues/gut health is a total team effort. All members of the team must fulfll their roles whether it is the
breeder/hatcherymangers,thenutritionist,theveterinarian,theservicetechnicianortheproducer.Strong,consistentprograms
mustbeimplementedandfollowedtohavegoodguthealth!Preventingguthealthdisastersrequiresoffenseanddefenseparticu-
larlysincemanyofthechallengesareseasonal.Keepinggoodqualityfeedandwaterinfrontofthebirdatalltimesiscrucial
asisdailymonitoringfeedandwaterconsumptionandgrowthrate.Itisalsoimportanttohaveastrongsenseofurgencyabout
implementingcorrectiveactionandensuringimmediatefollowthroughwhenissuesariseisessentialforsuccess.
As the turkey continues to improve in growth rate and feed effciency, it will be critical for everyone involved in bird man-
agement to stay in tune with how to rear this evolving bird. Even subtle changes in bird health, especially gut health, infuence
theirlivelihood.Costtoproduceisstillparamountwiththecompanyandproducer,butwhenimprovingcostsleadsusastrayof
soundproductionpractices,theresultsmaybemorecostly.Whenentericissuesgetthelead,theyalwayswintheraceandyou,
thecompanyandproducer,arethelosers.
TURKEY GUT HEALTH continued from p. 7

AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1


SYNDROME continued from page 7
feathersappearonaffectedbirds,theyaresmallerthannormal
and may be curled especially at the wing tips (helicopter
disease) (Zavala, 2006). The legs and beak of affected birds
may appear pale in color (pale bird syndrome) and some birds
may have rickets or broken legs (brittle bone disease) (Rebel
et al., 2006).
Whendiseasedbirdsarenecropsied,theliversare
generallysmall,butgallbladdersareenlarged.Intestinesare
thin and translucent with large amounts of fuids along with
poorly digested feed present in the lumen (Zavala, 2006).
Intestinesofaffectedbirdsmayappearenlargedwhereas
the stomachs (proventriculi) may appear infamed (Shapiro
et al., 1998, Guy, 1998). The normal intestinal growth of
the jejunum (the portion of the intestine where much of the
digestion and nutrient absorption takes place) is interrupted
by RSS (Esmail, 1988; Rebel et al, 2006). Pancreases from
diseased birds degenerate and digestive enzymes are reduced.
Droppingsfromaffectedbirdsareunusuallyloose,ventsare
soiledandlittermaybecomedamp,enhancingthepossibility
of secondary infections (Zavala, 2006; Zavala and Sellers,
2005).
What causes Runting Stunting Syndrome?
Researchers have not reproduced all the feld symptoms
of RSS experimentally and believe that several viruses,
bacteria and other pathogens may be involved. Reovirus was
originally thought to be the cause of RSS, but adenovirus,
enterovirus,rotavirus,parvovirusandothersmayalsobe
involved. Bacteria often isolated from RSS birds (E. coli,
Proteus micabilis, Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus
cohnii, Clostridium perfringes, Bacteroides fragilis and
Bacillus licheniformis) are commonly found in the intestinal
tractandmaycausesecondaryinfections,aggravating
the initial lesions (Rebel et al., 2006). Brooding at cool
temperatures tends to worsen RSS symptoms, as does short
down-time between focks. Certain strains of birds appear
to be more susceptible to the effects of RSS than others and
male birds are more severely affected than females (Zavala
and Barbosa, 2006). However, it is interesting to note that
researchershavefoundthatresistantbroilerstrainshave
strongerimmunologicalresponsesthansusceptiblestrains.
Thisdifferenceisparticularlypronouncedwhengutimmunity
is compared (Rebel et al., 2006). Some researchers have
suggested that the poor growth and retarded feathering (which
are consistently observed in RSS cases) are due to a common
underlyinginfection,whilevirtuallyallothersymptomsresult
fromotherinfectionsormanagementfactors.
Controlling Runting Stunting Syndrome
RSS often appears suddenly and disappears equally
suddenly, making it diffcult to determine effective control
measures. However, it is important to remember that RSS is a
diseaseofyoungbirdswithsymptomsandmortalitypeaking
atabout11dayssocontroleffortsshouldbefocusedearly
in the life of the fock. Control efforts should focus in three
primary areas: Biosecurity, good poultry house management
andvaccination.
When RSS is reported in an area, it is important for
the industry in the area to tighten Biosecurity procedures to
reducethepossibilityofexposureandtoslowthespreadofthe
disease. It is particularly important to emphasize procedures
thatcontrolfarmvisitors,properlymanagedisposalof
mortality and limit vermin infestations (rodents, wild birds and
insects).
Theobjectiveofproperpoultryhousemanagementis
toprovideanenvironmentforthebirdsthatisvirtuallystress
free. In RSS situations, poultry house management is doubly
important. Good management starts before the birds arrive. A
minimumof12daysofdowntimeshouldbeallowedbetween
focks. Since litter has been shown to transmit the disease,
it should be removed if birds have broken with RSS. If it is
not possible to remove the litter, heat the litter to 100F for
100hoursorcompostthelitterinthepoultryhousetolessen
the possibility of passing the disease to the next fock via
litter.Thebroodchambershouldbecleanedanddisinfected
asthoroughlyaspossiblepriortochickplacement.Sincelow
broodingtemperatureshavebeenshowntoworsentheeffects
of RSS, DO NOT reduce brooding temperatures to save fuel.
Checkonbirdsoftenandmaintainahouseenvironmentthat
is as stress free as possible. Remove dead birds quickly and
cull severely if RSS breaks. The application of vinegar or
other acidifers via water may reduce spread of the disease.
Supplementalvitaminsandmineralsinbothbreederand
broilerfeedshasalsobeenshowntoimproveimmunityin
chicks and their ability to deal with RSS.
Certain strains of reovirus (e.g. 1733 and 2408) were
originally implicated as the cause of RSS and vaccines have
beendevelopedforsuchstrains.Whilevaccinationofbroilers
for RSS may be effective about 50% of the time, a consistent
vaccinationprogramforbreedersoftenprovideslongterm
benefts (Shane, 2008, van der Heide, 2000). RSS vaccination
programsforbreedersgenerallyprovideprotectionforadult
birds,reducingthepossibilityofspreadtoyoungbirds.In
addition,immunityinbreederhesispassedtochicks,helping
toprotectthemfromthedisease.
Summary:
Runting stunting syndrome (RSS) has caused economic
lossesinthepoultryindustryforoverthreedecades.Whilethe
reovirus was originally thought to cause RSS, further research
hasshownthatothervirusesandbacteriaarelikelyinvolved.
Control of RSS involves Biosecurity, good poultry house
managementandvaccination.
References:
Anonymous. 2008. Malabsorption syndrome (pale
chickorbirdsyndrome,infectiousproventriculitis,runting
& stunting syndrome, helicopter disease). http://www.
worldpoultry.net/poultry_malabsortion_syndrome/accessed
3/31/08
Esmail, S. H. M. 1988. Scanning electron microscope
ofintestinalvillousstructuresandtheirputativerelationto
digestion and absorption in chickens. Reprod. Nutr. Develop.
28(6A):1479-1487.
9
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
Weighing Broiler Breeder
Females Post Feeding
Introduction
Obtainingaccuratebodyweightsisacriticalpartoftheprocessofrearingreplacement
broiler breeder pullets and managing breeder hens and males. From the frst few weeks of age in the
pullethouse,allfeedallocationsaredeterminedbythebirdsweeklyweightgains.Obtainingac-
curatebodyweightsisveryimportanttomaintaininguniformity,bodyconformationandtheoverall
development of pullets and young cockerels. Research has shown that accurately and uniformly
controllingbodyweightofbothreplacementbreedersandbreedersinthehenhousewillresultin
improvedperformanceparameters.
In the United States, the majority of poultry integrators rear pullets on some version of a
skip-a-day feed program in order to control body weight among all the birds in a house. Under our
currenthousingconditions,skip-a-dayfeedprogramsarethebestwaytouniformlydistributefeedto
allbirdssimultaneouslyinanefforttomaintainbodyweightuniformity.However,thepresenceof
feed in the crop or digestive tract will infate the actual body weight of the birds and skew feed allot-
ments. Therefore, replacement breeders are typically weighed on off feed days to normalize the data
andnotconfoundbodyweightswitheitherthepresenceorabsenceoffeedinthecropordigestive
tract.Thisallowsforbodyweightmeasurementstobeconsistentfromweektoweekwithoutregard
forfeedcleanuptimeandthepresenceorabsenceoffeedinthecrop.Therefore,eachweekpullets
andcockerelsareweighedwithanemptycropanddigestivetract.Thisprocesscontinuesuntilbirds
aremovedtothehenhouseandfeedingbeginsonaneverydaybasis.Theseweightsareconsidered
tobeemptyweights.
WEIGHING continued on page 10
SYNDROME continued from page 8
Guy, J. S. 1998. Virus infections of the gastrointestinal tract of poultry. Poultry Sci. 77:1166-1175.
Rebel, J. M. J., F. R. M. Balk, J. Post, S. Van Hemert, B. Zekarias and N. Stockhofe. 2006. Malabsorption syndrome in
broilers. Worlds Poultry Sci. J. 62:17-29.
Rebel, J. M. J., J. T. P. van Dam, B. Zekarias, F. R. M. Balk, J. Post, A. Flores Minambres and A. A. H. M. ter Huurne.
2004. Vitamin and trace mineral content of feed of breeders and their progeny: Effects of growth, feed conversion and severity of
Malabsorption syndrome of broilers. British Poultry Sci. 45(2):201-209.
Shane, S. 2008. Latest advances in poultry health. Poultry Intl, April 2008. http://www.wattpoultry.com/PoultryInternational/
Article.aspx?id=22434 Accessed 4/2/08.
Shapiro, F., I. Nir and D. Heller. 1998. Stunting syndrome in broilers: Effect of stunting syndrome inoculum obtained from
stunting syndrome affected broilers, on broilers, leghorns and turkey poults. Poultry Sci. 77:230-236.
Van der Heide, L. 2000. The history of avian reovirus. Avian Dis. 44:638-641.
Zavala, G. 2006. Runting stunting syndrome (RSS) in broilers: In vivo studies. http://www.poultry-health.com/fora/inthelth/
zavala_wpdc_06.pdf Accessed 3/31/08.
Zavala, G. and T. Barbosa. 2006. Runting and stunting in broiler chickens. Apinco-Facta, May 2006. http://www.poultry-
health.com/fora/inthelth/zavala_apinco_06.pdf Accessed 3/31/08.
Zalvala, G. and H. Sellers. 2005. Runting-stunting syndrome. The Informed Poultry Professional Issue 85:1-4. http://www.
vet.uga.edu/avian/documents/pip/2005/PIPJuly-Aug%202005.pdf Accessed 3/31/08.
R. Keith Bramwell, Jon R. Moyle, Doug E. Yoho and Bob S. Harper,
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
10
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
WEIGHING continued from page 9
Inthehenhouse,mostcommercialproducersmovefroma
skip-a-daytoaneverydayfeedprogramashensarebrought
into production. Feed is often provided daily in the early
morninghoursshortlyafterthelightsareturnedon.While
feedinghenseverydayinthehenhousehasproventobean
effectivemanagementtool,birdscannotbeweighedonoff
feeddays.Thishasledtotheconcernoverwhetherhen
weights are truly refective of the actually body weight and
mass.Consequently,currentindustryrecommendationsare
designedtoaddressthisissueandsuggestproducersweigh
breederslateintheafternoonhourstoobtaintheempty
weights.Thisallowsanyfeedconsumedtohavetimetopass
throughthebirdsdigestivesystemandthereforecreatean
emptyweightsituationforweighingpurposes.Inbreeders
thiscanbefurthercomplicatedbythefactthatthemajority
ofeggproductionoccursinthemorninghoursfollowingfeed
cleanupwhichwouldresultinadditionallybodyweightloss.
Toaddressthisissue,aresearchprojectwasdesigned
toweighbreedersatvariousintervalsduringthedaytodeter-
mine the best time to weigh birds to most accurately refect
actualbodyweightgains.
When to weigh breeders
Birds used in this study were housed at the University
of Arkansas Broiler Breeder Research Farm. A single pen of
breederscontaining71henswasusedforthisstudyandduring
eachweighperiodallhenswerecorralledinacatchpenwith
eachhenweighedindividuallysothatnosamplingerrorcould
affect the results. All hens were weighed prior to daily feeding
and again at feed cleanup time. Additional bird weights were
obtained at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 hours following feed cleanup.
This process took place on the same birds at 24, 28, 34 and 41
weeksofage.Theseageperiodsrepresentedpre-laying,pre-
peak,peakandpostpeakinproductionstagesoflife.
Weightdatafromthe41weekoldbirdsaredisplayed
in Figure 1 and show no signifcant differences in body weight
atanytimeperiodafterfeedcleanupthrough10hoursafter
feed is consumed. Data from each of the other ages (24, 28
and 34 weeks of age) refect the same patterns and trends with
no signifcant differences detected between time intervals
followingfeedcleanuptime.Itwaspreviouslybelievedthat
henswouldlosebodyweightthroughoutthedaytoapproach
theemptyweightsfoundpriortofeeding.However,these
datamakeitapparentthatthepassingoffeedandthecon-
sumptionofwaterappeartooffseteachotherandallowthe
hentomaintainanearconstantbodyweightthrough10hours
following feed cleanup. Body weights obtained prior to
feedingwouldbetheonlyweightsthatcouldbeconsidered
emptyweightsastheywereobtainedimmediatelyafter
lights came on in the morning and are a refection of body
weightlossduetofeedandwaterpassageoccurringduring
thedarkhours.
Theseresultswouldallowbreederservicetechsto
weighbreedersinthehenhouseatanytimefollowingfeed
cleanupandthatthedatawouldbeconsistentwithbody
weightsobtainedatanytimethroughouttheday.Thesedata
willallowtechnicianstobemoreproductiveinagivendayin
regardstoschedulingweighingofbreedersinthehenhouse.
Figure 1. Average hen body weights (g) at 41 weeks of age.
11
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
How to weigh birds
Whenweighingbirds,itisoftenrecommendedtoweighallbirdscaughtinacatchpenand
not weigh a specifc number of birds to meet a given criteria. This has been the recommendation
for broilers in research trials but has not been evaluated in replacement pullets and breeders. As part
ofthisproject,bodyweightswererecordedforeachhenintheordertheywerecaughtinthecatch
pen. For each age group and for each time interval previously mentioned, this resulted in 40 inci-
dences of weighing all birds in a catch pen. Data presented in Figure 2 is a summary of all the data
obtained from this project and shows that the last birds caught in a catch pen are signifcantly lighter
weight than the frst birds caught. This data supports that found with broilers in research trials and
demonstratestheimportanceofweighingallbirdsinacatchpen.
For instance, if 60 birds are caught in a catch pen and only the frst 50 are weighed because
that meets the minimum number needed then the body weight recorded would not be refective of
the actually weight of the birds caught or the birds in the fock. If this occurs with pullets and feed
allotmentsaredeterminedbaseduponthesebodyweightstheninaccuratefeedallotmentscouldbe
provided and less control over fock body weight would be the result.
Summary
1.Whenweighingbroilerbreedersinthehenhouse,accurateandconsistentbodyweights
canbeachievedbyweighingbirdsatanytimeafterfeedcleanup.Thereisnoadvantagetowaiting
forfeedpassageinanattempttoobtainemptyweightsinbreedersduringtheafternoonhours.
2.Whenweighingbirdscaughtincatchpensitisimportanttoweighallbirdscaughtinthe
penandnotstopatapredeterminednumberofbirds.Thelastbirdscaughtwillbethesmallestbirds
and need to be included in the fnal group weight to most accurately determine the average body
weight of the birds in a fock.
WEIGHING continued from page 10
Figure 2. Average body weights (g) by order birds were caught.
1
AVIAN Advice Spring 2008 Vol. 10, No. 1
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by Jim Plyler, Turkey & Health Specialties, LLC., and Susan Watkins, Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the effcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Applied Broiler
Research Farm Report:
Production Results and
Economic Returns
Before and After
Renovations
by G. Tom Tabler
page 6
Broiler Chicken Growth
in Perspective
by Frank T. Jones

page 7
Evaluation of Water
Sanitaizers
by Jennifer Hughes,
Amanda Hancock,
Brookee Dean and
Susan Watkins
page 9
Understanding and
Controlling Feral
Pigeons (Columba livia)
by Frank T. Jones
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


RELATIONS continued on page 2
Winter 2007 Volume 9 no. 4
Keys to Successful Company-
Grower Relations
Good Relations are Important
Poultryproductioncostsareatan
all time high which means fnancially
challengingtimesfortheindustry.Noone
needstoberemindedthatwhenmoneyis
tight,frustrationlevelsforbothgrowersand
companypersonnelcansoar.Thatswhyit
isimportanttorememberthebasicsofbeing
a good fock supervisor because actions that
fuel grower unhappiness will beneft no one.
By focusing on and practicing the key
elements for a positive working relationship,
companypersonnelcanhelpmaintaingrower
confdence and help improve proftability
evenduringtoughtimes.Growersalsocan
beneft from practicing relationship building
skills because it helps demonstrate their desire
tohavethecompanyssupport.Eventhe
mostinexperiencedservicetechnicianwill
bemoreofanassetwhengrowerstreatthe
individualwithrespectandappreciationand
vice/versa.Thefollowingparagraphsoutline
relationship building skills that are tried and
trueasnotedbyalongtimesuccessfulpoultry
man.Sometimesjustalittlereminderofthe
basics is all we need to keep our business on
the right track.
THE SIX SENSES FOR SUCCESS
Sense of Awareness
Servicetechnicianstodaycarrya
greaterburdenofresponsibilitythantheir
predecessors and that makes it critical
thateyesandearsremainwideopenatall
times. Any savvy old timer will quickly
agree that it is usually overlooking/missing
thelittledetailsthatcreatesomeofthe
AVIAN
biggestchallengesinpoultryproduction.
Unfortunately,inourcurrentworldof
informationoverload,weoftenputon
blindersbecausewefeelitistheonlyway
wecannotbementallyoverwhelmed.So
the next time you fnd yourself distracted
fromthebasicsorconsumedbyissuesthat
reallyarenotessentialtothecorebusiness
ofsuccessfulpoultryfarming,sitdown
withyourbestpoultrygrowerandletthem
remindyouwhatisimportantforproducing
a good fock. Use that information to make a
checklist of what to notice when you pull on
afarmorenterabarn.Writingitdownand
keeping it handy can help service technicians
maintainahighlevelofawarenessforthe
issuesthatcountmost.Beawareandfocus
onissueswhichyoucancorrectorcontrol!
Management Intensity
Closelyassociatedtosenseofawareness
ismaintainingfocusonwhatiscriticalto
the mission of rearing proftable focks.
Thats where the checklist comes in handy.
Again,theinformationagehasresultedin
distractionsthatcaneatupalotoftimeand
attentionwithlittlevaluetothegrower,the
servicetechnicianorcompany.Knowing
whatisimportanttothesuccessofthe
businessandstayingfocusedcanhavea
tremendousimpactonyourcredibilityasa
companyrepresentative.Maybeitstimefor
afarminventorytoseethateverythingthats
supposedtobeinplaceisbeingproperly
utilized.Ifyouhavehighfeedprices,which

AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4


RELATIONS continued from page 1
wepresentlydo,thenyourintensityshouldbeonimproving
feed effciency. Every point of feed conversion improves the
company and producers pay check.
Sense of Urgency
Whenservicepersonneldonotaddressissuesor
problems in a timely manner, they risk destroying their
credibilitywiththegrowerandvaluetothecompany.When
a grower concerned about a sudden spike in mortality calls,
it is time to take immediate action because it is not only
thegrowerslivelihoodthatisthreatened,butalsoyoursas
thecompanyrepresentative.Timeisoftheessencewhen
diagnosingandcorrectingissuesthatinvolvedelicateliving
creatures like commercial broilers and turkeys. If you do not
care enough about your growers business to respond quickly
whenyourgrowersendsoutanSOSforhelp,thenyouare
inthewrongbusiness!Providingtimelysupporttoagrower
canhaveatremendousimpactongrowerloyaltyandattitude
becausetheactioncommunicatesthatyougenuinelycare.
Bottomline,correcttheopportunitiesASAP/PDQ!
Total Communication
Sinceservicetechnicianstypicallyspendmoretimewith
growersthananyothercompanyrepresentative(savethefeed
truck driver) their ability to represent company policies and
goodbirdmanagementinformationtothegrowersisessential.
Thecommunicationshouldbeclearandconciseyetpositive
whether it is written or spoken. Growers deserve the truth,
buttheyalsodeservetohavethemessagedeliveredina
mannerthatisunderstandableandclearlyaddressestheissue
at hand. Growers also deserve a service technician that works
asapartnernotasapoliceman.Windshieldtimesometimes
impairs logic/positive thinking. Stick with and communicate
thepropergameplan.
Listening
The least taught and most neglected skill in our society is
theartoftrulylisteningtoothers.Onceagain,theinformation
overloadageoftencausesustoselectivelychoosethepieces
ofinformationwewishtohearandthatisusuallythebits
of info that will make our lives less stressful. Unfortunately
manytimes,therealissuesofproblemsliejustunderthe
surfaceandmayneedalittlecoaxingtogettotherootcause.
Andtheonlywaytogetthereisoftenbygenuinelylistening
to the whole message and by asking questions. If a service
technician fnds themselves distracted and missing a message
fromagrowerthatcouldbecrucialinformation,itistimeto
practice good listening skills. Sometimes this can be as simple
as making a commitment to paraphrase the message that has
just been heard. When a person knows they must recall the gist
ofareceivedmessage,aneffectivepracticeistosayLetme
make sure I have this straight, you have just told me that .
Thispracticeencouragesservicetechnicianstostayfocused
ontheinformationdeliveredaswellashowthemessageis
delivered. When the grower knows the service technician
isfocusedontheirissues,thenthecommunicationchannels
areopenedforproblemsolving.Successfullisteningand
communicationisatwowayexchange.
Teamwork
Every marketed fock bears many signatures, from the
hatcheryandbreedermanager,tothefeeddeliverypersonnel
and others. But the most visible signatures on the fock report
cardarethoseofthegrowerandtheservicetechnicianbecause
they have the most infuence on the bird environment, which
includesairquality,temperatureandavailabilityoffeedand
good water. Nothing should make a service technician or
grower prouder than when their signature on a fock are
signsofsuccess;lowcosts,goodlivability,weights,goodgain
per day, and feed conversions, resulting in a good pay check.
Key to producing a signature fock is cooperatively focused
team work, with the service technician and the grower being
theteamleaders.
WHO ARE POULTRY PRODUCERS?
Tobuildasuccessfulandrewardingrelationshipwith
contractproducersandfarmmanagers,aservicetechnician
mustunderstandthegrowerculture.Producersaremanagers
whoareintelligentandofteneducatedifnotformallythen
certainly through hard work and experience. Producers
usually have chosen poultry farming because they like
independenceortheopportunitytobetheirownbossandset
their own work schedules. They have a desire for success
andtheytendtobegoaloriented.Poultrygrowersarehuman
and like to be treated with respect. Finally, many growers
aresecondandthirdgeneration.Moreandmoregrowersare
older and most likely from a generation very different from
thegenerationoftheservicetechnician.Poultrygrowers
dealwiththesameissuesasthecompany;environmental
compliance,foodsafety(properuseofchemicalsand
reduction of food pathogens), bird well being and increasing
productioncosts.Aservicetechnicianmustbeableto
explain how fock costs are determined on a performance
contract,andtheproducershouldunderstandthecontractand
how performance contracts work. The bottom line, service
techniciansandgrowersreallyhavemuchmoreincommon
thantheyaredifferent.Byfocusingonthecommonbonds,
servicetechnicianscanforgeastrongrelationshipwiththeir
growers.Byunderstandingandrespectingwhoagroweris,
servicetechnicianscanbuildtrustandloyalty.Producersare
thelifebloodtoanypoultrycompany!

SUCCESSFUL SERVICE TECHNICIAN/ FLOCK


SUPERVISOR QUALITIES
Be consistent
Consistentapplicationofcompanypoliciesand
procedureswithoutexceptionsisimportant,butitisalso
importanttorecognizethateachgrowerhasadifferent
temperamentandpersonality.Somegrowersrequireonlya
gentlenudgetogetaresponse,whileothersmayrequirea

AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4


frmer approach. Conscientious service personnel may spend
more time seeking to understand growers than dealing with
productionissues,butitisworththeeffort.Goingtheextra
mileforeverygrowerandvisitingeachfarmconsistently
sends a powerful message to growers you care and seek to be
asfairaspossible.Itisalsoimportanttobediligent.Dont
wait too long to implement corrective action. Follow-up when
yourequestagrowertoimplementasolutiontoaproblem.If
you are not diligent, the word will get out that you do not stick
toyourgoalsorbecomeinconsistentinyourexpectations.
Be professional
Alwaystreatproducerswithrespectevenifthe
relationshipbecomesstrained.Remembereveryonecan
haveabaddayduetopersonalproblemssowhenmindsets
arebad,waittoaddressissues.Alwaysbetotallytruthful.
Neverbeafraidtoadmitwhenyouarewrongandbewilling
toapologizewhenyouareatfault.Documentationisavery
importantaspectofprofessionalism.Keepaccurateand
detailedrecordstohelppreventmiscommunication.
Be fair
Let farm managers/producers know you care and that you
want them to be successful. Make sure requests to growers are
realistic and doable. Recognize and praise good work.
Be focused and spend time wisely
Donotletthejobbecomeboringandroutine.Avoid
redundancywhichleadstoboredomandcomplacency.
Oftenwecanbeoverwhelmedbyhowmuchneedstobe
accomplishedanditbecomessooverwhelmingthatitis
almosttemptingtojustdonothing.Onceagainitcanbeeasy
to get in a rut so when you fnd self losing focus or motivation
to do a good job, then fnd at least one thing on each farm to
focus on. It could be air, litter or water quality, but take that
concept and make sure you have helped that producer get the
bestthathecanwiththatconcept.Thenmovetoanotherarea.
By breaking the production cycle into specifc categories, then
focusing on specifc topics, the job can become manageable.
Other ways to break the rut cycle are conducting a farm
inventory. It is amazing how many times we can fnd things
that need to be addressed when we specifcally look at all the
details.Oneexampleofafarminventorystepwouldbeto
count all the brood stoves and categorize them into working
or non-working stoves. Do the same with feed pans, nipple
drinkers etc. You very well may help a producer identify root
causestoproblems.
Ask for feedback
Just like the trucks which have the Hows my driving?
signs, we need feedback to assure we are effectively
performingthejob.Itisamazinghowmanypeopleincluding
growers will never say a word about a topic until asked. If a
servicetechniciangenuinelywantstohelpagrowerimprove
their bottom line then try asking the following questions.
What can I do to help?
What do you need to succeed?
What do you think?
If nothing else, this helps establish that the grower-service
technicianrelationshipisapartnership.
Explain the importance of issues
Set the right example by knowing the business yourself.
This makes it much simpler to educate others and when we
educate,westandamuchbetterchanceofconvincingothers
thatourideasaresolid.
Credibility
Credibilityisbasedonhavingagenuineunderstanding
ofthebusinessincludinggrowercostsandpay.Aservice
technician should be able to explain fock costs on a
settlementsheetbecauseitprovescredibilityasacompany
representative.Italsobuildstrustifaservicetechnician
genuinelyunderstandsandcaresaboutthebusiness.No
onehasalltheanswersallthetime.Thereforeifthegrower
raisesaquestionwhichtheservicetechniciancannotreadily
answer;credibilitycanbemadebyassuringthegrowerthat
youwillgetananswerandthenfollowthroughinatimely
manner.
Conclusion
Which rung on a ladder is the most important? Every
rungisequallyimportantandthistheoryisthesamefor
poultry production. Every signature on a fock is equally
important in the success or failure of the fock, but there are
certainly two fock signatures, namely the grower and the
servicetechnicianwhicharethemostvisible.Duringtough
times, the necessity of a strong service technician-poultry
growerrelationshipiscritical.Byfocusingonthesixsenses
of success, knowing the business and taking time to practice
thequalitiesofsuccess,servicetechnicianscanbuildbonds
withgrowersthatwillweatherhardtimes.
4
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
G. Tom Tabler, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Applied Broiler Research Farm
Report: Production Results and
Economic Returns Before and After
Renovations
Introduction
Renovations at the University of Arkansas Poultry Science Departments Applied Broiler
Research Farm (ABRF) were completed in April 2006. Six focks of broilers have been harvested
on the 4-house commercial-scale farm since renovations were complete. This report compares the
average production performance results of those 6 focks to the 5-yr average performance prior to
renovationonanindividualhousebasisaswellasforthefarmasawhole.
Performance Results
Table 1 lists average broiler performance at the ABRF before and after renovation. Since no
differenceswereseenbetweencondemnationrates,thesedatawereleftoutofTable1.Eventhough
about 2% fewer birds were placed per house after renovation than before (22,374 before renovation
versus 20,579 after renovation), these data were also not included. Prior to renovation the ABRF
averaged a 4.33 lb bird at 42 days of age with a 1.88 feed conversion, a livability of 94.90%, a 0.103
lb average daily gain and 91,257 pounds produced per house annually. After renovation the ABRF
averaged a 5.92 lb broiler at 46 days of age with a 1.87 feed conversion, a livability of 95.57%, a
0.129 average daily gain and 114,449 pounds produced per house annually. Although birds grown
after renovation were 4 days older and 1.6 pounds heavier, they showed a one point better feed con-
versionthandidbirdsgrownbeforerenovation.Inaddition,whencomparedtobirdsgrownbefore
renovation, birds grown after renovation had a 0.75% higher livability and gained 0.026 pounds
moreweightperday.Thesedataindicatedthattheenvironmentforgrowingbirdswasimproved
after renovations and birds responded to the enhanced care with greater production effciency.
Table 1. Average broiler performance at ABRF before and after renovation.
1

House
2
Age Feed Average Wt. Livability ADG
No. (Da) Conversion (Lbs) (%) (Lbs/Da)
B
3
A B A B A B A B A
1 42 46 1.91 1.89 4.19 5.97 94.49 96.33 0.100 0.130
2 42 46 1.87 1.85 4.39 5.97 95.34 96.42 0.105 0.130
3 42 46 1.87 1.85 4.36 5.90 94.94 95.21 0.103 0.128
4 42 46 1.88 1.88 4.38 5.85 94.46 94.32 0.104 0.127
Farm 42 46 1.88 1.87 4.33 5.92 94.81 95.57 0.103 0.129
1
Before data represent average performance on 27 focks placed between 2001 and 2005.
2
Hse. No.= House Number; Age=Age in days at processing; Feed Conv.=Feed Conversion;
Avg. Wt=Average Live Weight at slaughter; Livab=Livability; ADG=Average Daily Gain in
poundsperday.
3
B=Before Renovation; A=After Renovation
Although birds
grown after
renovation were 4
days older and 1.6
pounds heavier,
they showed a one
point better feed
conversion than did
birds grown before
renovation.

AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4


Prior to renovation major structural and equipment differences existed between at the ABRF. Before renovation houses 1
and 3 were curtain sided conventionally ventilated, while houses 1 and 2 were curtain sided tunnel ventilated houses. Houses 1
and 2 had R-10 insulation in the roof while houses 3 and 4 had R-19. These differences and others were likely responsible for
performance differences between the houses before renovations were undertaken. However, there were also performance differ-
ences among the 4 individual houses after renovation. Some of this difference between houses, especially in houses 4 and 3 was
likely the result of some very wet experimental bedding material used during the frst fock after renovation.
Economic Returns
The data in Table 2 show the average economic returns obtained by the ABRF before and after renovations. Average base
pay on the broiler contract before renovation was $0.042 per pound of salable meat and $0.051 cents per pound after renovation.
Before renovation pay per pound of salable meat averaged 3.95 cents for the ABRF and the average settlement check per fock
was $15,049. After renovation average pay was 5.43 cents per pound of salable meat and the average settlement check has aver-
aged $25,533 per fock. The differences in average pay/lb was (5.43 3.95) 1.48 cents, while the difference in average total pay
was ($25,533 $15,049) $10,484. While the increase in pay/lb was welcomed, what part of the increase in total pay was due to
improved performance and what part was due to the increase in pay?
Table 2. Average economic returns at ABRF before and after renovation
1
.
House
2
Pay/lb. Fuel Allow Total Pay Sold
No. (cents/lb) ($) ($) (Lbs)
B
3
A B A B A B A
1 3.66 5.38 $133 $189 $3,363 $6,398 87,859 116,126
2 4.11 5.58 $133 $1.89 $3,981 $6,638 93,031 116,239
3 4.02 5.49 $133 $185 $3,854 $6,425 92,071 113,631
4 4.00 5.26 $133 $185 $3,843 $6,072 92,068 111,801
Farm 3.95
4
5.43 $532 $748 $15,049 $25,533 91,257 114,449
1
Before data represent average performance on 27 focks placed between 2001 and 2005.
2
Hse.No.= House Number; Pay/lb=Grower payment in cents per pound; Fuel Allow=Fuel;
Allowance; Total Pay=Total Payment
3
B=Before Renovation; A=After Renovation
4
Pay/lbforthefarmisaweightedaveragebaseduponthepoundssoldperhouse
The average total pounds produced on the ABRF before renovation was (91,257 x 4) 365,029, and (114,449 x 4) 457,797
pounds after renovation (Table 2). If the ABRF could have improved bird performance, but had not received the 1.48 cent pay/lb
increase, average total pay would have been (457,797 x $0.0395) $18,083. Thus, ($25,533 $18,083) $7450 of the increased total
pay was a result of improved bird performance. This means that ($7459 / $10,484) about 71% of the increase average total pay
increase at ABRF was due to improved bird performance, while about 29% was due to an increase in pay/lb.
Summary
The ABRF produced an average of (457,797 - 365,029)
92,768 more pounds after renovation than before and average
pay/lb was 1.48 cents more after renovation. Average total pay
per fock at the ABRF was almost $10,500 more per fock af-
ter renovations than before. An estimated 71% of the increase
inaveragetotalpaywasduetoimprovedbirdperformance,
while 29% was due to the increase in pay/lb. While renova-
tionhadapositiveeffectonbirdperformanceandeconomic
returns at the ABRF, each grower faces a slightly different
situationwithregardtoeconomicreturns.
6
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
Frank T. Jones, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Broiler Chicken Growth
in Perspective
It has been stated that: If you grew as fast as a chicken, youd weigh 349 pounds at
age 2. While this statement may have been originally intended to be a humorous way of
emphasizing the rapid growth of commercial broiler chicken strains, it is highly misleading and
hasbeenmisused.Anexplanationappearsinorder.
At present in the U. S. less than 2% of the total population is involved in production
agriculture. This means, of course, that a majority of 98% of the population (consumers) has no
idea how their food arrives or the challenges involved in production agriculture. Yet, consumers
demandinexpensive,tastyandnutritiousfoods.Tomeetthesedemandsproductionagriculture
continues to adopt increasingly more effcient production methods. The broiler industry has
become more effcient primarily by breeding birds that grow rapidly.
Thegrowthcurveshownbelowistypicalofbroilergrowth.Growthcurvesforvirtually
all animal species resemble this curve. However, it is important to realize that the period of
rapid growth is short lived and growth slows almost as quickly as it began. The comparison of
chicken growth rates with human growth rates used the most rapid growth rates on the curve.
Suchcomparisonsareunrealisticbecausetheyfocusonashorttimespanwhenextremelyrapid
growthoccursandsuchgrowthcannotbesustainedforalongtimeperiod.
It is also important to understand that birds (including chickens) normally gain weight
rapidly.Thisrapidgrowthallowsbirdstogainbodymass,matureandreproducerapidlyduring
warmermonthssothatchancesofsurvivalduringthecoldermonthsareenhanced.Broiler
production takes advantage of this rapid growth to economically produce meat for consumers.
However, one must realize that chickens (even those bred for rapid growth) grow two to three
timesSLOWERthatothercommonbirdspecies.Infact,itmightbesaid,Ifyougrewasfast
as a house sparrow you would weight 698 pounds at age 2.
Figure 43-15. Typical Growth Rate of Straight-run Broilers at Different Age

From: Lacy, M.P. 2002. Broiler Management. In: Commercial Chicken Meat and Egg Production.,
D.D. Bell and W.D. Weaver, Jr. eds., p852
Growth curves
for virtually all
animal species
resemble this
curve.
7
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
SANITIZERS continued on page 8
Evaluation of Water
Sanitizers
1
Introduction
The poultry industry continues to emphasize the importance of clean drinking water
systemsfortheirbirds.Whilethereareproductsavailablewhichdoanexcellentjobof
eliminating bioflms and completely cleaning water systems of potentially harmful bacteria, not
allproductsareeasytohandlenoraretheyreadilyavailabletoallpoultrygrowers.Inaddition,
as the use of water acidifers becomes more popular, the incidence of fungal blooms in water
systems has also increased. Most fungi need pH values of 2-6 to survive. When acidifers are
used without a good sanitizer present, then a clear, thick fungal slime can potentially occur,
which, once established, can be very diffcult to remove. Fungal slimes can also occur after
theuseofwatersolubleantibiotics.Antibioticscanimpairthegrowthofbacteria,leavingthe
systemvulnerabletofungalbloomsparticularlyifthegrowerdoesnothaveagooddailywater
sanitation program. However there are a limited number of sanitizers available for use as water
linecleanerswhichmeetthefollowingcriteria:
1. Approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as safe to use in drinking water systems,
2. Safe to use and handle,
3. Not corrosive or damaging to the equipment,
4. Effective in removing slime or bioflm from pipes and drinkers,
5. Affordable and available
Becauseoftheseandotherconcerns,theneedtoidentifyavarietyofgoodlinecleaning
productsremainsimportanttotheindustry.Therefore,itisthemissionofourlabtocontinue
toevaluatenewproductsutilizingatestmethodwhichsimulatestheslimyconditionsthatcan
occurinpoultryhousewaterlines.
In this test, fve water sanitizers were evaluated for their effectiveness in killing total
aerobic (oxygen or air loving) bacteria and molds. The products were:
1. AquaVite - acidifed copper based water treatment,
2. PronTech - ammonia based cleaner,
3. Proxy-Clean - 50% stabilized hydrogen peroxide,
4. Oxine - stabilized chlorine dioxide and
5. Sterilex - buffered acid product
Methods
Each product was added to 3 replicate beakers of 50 ml of water containing algae. Water
containingalgaewasusedtocreateaheavymicrobialchallengeforthecleaners.Three
untreated 50 ml aliquots served as the control and received no treatment. Prior to addition of
the product to the water, an initial aerobic bacteria and mold count were determined for each 50
mlaliquot.EachtreatmentwastestedattheconcentrationslistedinTable1.Thealiquotswere
held uncovered at room temperature and retested at 4 and 24 hours post treatment application.
Jennifer Hughes, Amanda Hancock, Brookee Dean and Susan Watkins
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
1
Mention of company or trade names does not constitute endorsement by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service or Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science and does not imply their approval to the exclusion of other companies or products that may be suitable.

AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4


SANITIZERS continued from page 7
Table 1. Treatment Concentrations.
Treatment Preparation Methods
AquaVite,
pH 1.5
A 1.50 pH stock solution was prepared
then 0.39 ml was added to 50 ml of test
water.
AquaVite,
pH 3.0
A 3.00 pH stock solution was prepared
then 0.39 ml was added to 50 ml of test
water.
Oxline
10 g of activator was added to 3.25 oz of
Oxlineliquidandmixed.Afterstandingfor
10 minutes, 1.27 ml of stock solution was
added to 50 ml of test water.
PronTech,
0.50 %
A 0.5 % solution was prepared.
PronTech,
1.00 %
A 1.0 % solution was prepared
Proxy-Clean,
0.78 %
A 0.78 % solution was prepared
Proxy-Clean,
3.00 %
A 3.00% solution was prepared
Sterilex,
1.25 %
1.17 ml of solution 1 and 1.17 ml of
solution 2 was added to 50 ml of test water
Sterilex,
2.50 %
2.34 ml of solution 1 and 2.34 ml of
solution 2 was added to 50 ml of test water.
ResultswereanalyzedusingtheGLMprocedureofSAS.
Prior to analysis, the microbial data was converted to log10
to normalize the data set. Signifcantly different means were
separated using the least square means repeated t-test.
Results
The initial aerobic plate counts (APC) did signifcantly
differ among the treatments, but all were 5 logs or higher
which translates to over 100,000 colony forming units of
aerobic bacteria per ml (Table 2). At 4 hours APC from
controlwaterremainedunchangedandhighasdidthetwo
AquaVite treatments. The 0.78% Proxy-Clean APC also
remainedhigh,butwereaboutaloglowerthancontrolcounts.
APC from Proxy-Clean 3%, PronTech 0.5%, PronTech
1 % and Sterilex 1.25% were about two logs lower than
control. The Sterilex 2.5% and the Oxine treatments
reduced APC at 4 hours by 5 and 6 logs respectively. At 24
hours APC was reduced to undetectable levels by the Proxy-
Clean 3.0%, Oxine and Sterilex treatments. Aerobic
bacteriaweredetectedinallothertreatments.
Theinitialmoldlevelsforeachtreatmentrangedfrom
1.7 to 3 logs. (Table 3) All treatments except AquaVite
completelyeliminatedofmoldfromthetestwaters.
Inconclusion,severalproductswereevaluatedfortheir
ability to kill aerobic bacteria and molds in the presence of a
heavy organic load. Several of the test products signifcantly
reducedthemicrobialloadinthewater,whileotherstested
werenotaseffective.
Table 2. Impact of Different Products on the
Aerobic Plate Count in Water
Product
Tested
0 Hour Pre
Treatement
4 Hours Post
Treatment
24 Hours Post
Treatment
(Treatment) Log
10
APC
Control 6.10a 6.12a 6.08a
AquaVite,
pH 1.5
5.76abc 5.49a 5.75a
AquaVite,
pH 3.0
5.72abc 5.76a 5.72a
Oxine 5.49c >1e >1d
PronTech,
0.50 %
5.82abc 2.82c 2.79c
PronTech,
1.00 %
6.07ab 2.58c 2.50c
ProxyClean,
0.78 %
5.86abc 4.23b 3.24b
ProxyClean,
3.00 %
5.87abc 3.00c >1d
Sterilex,
1.25 %
5.79abc 2.58c >1d
Sterilex,
2.50 %
5.60b 1.29d >1d
SEM .16 .16 .3 .12
PValue .0001 .0001 .0001
a,b,c,d,e Values in a column with different letters were signifcantly
different
Table 3. Impact of Different Products on the
Mold Count in Water.
Product
Tested
0 Hour Pre
Treatement
4 Hours Post
Treatment
24 Hours Post
Treatment
Product Log
10
Mold Count
Control 3.05a 2.57a 2.87a
AquaVite,
pH 1.5
2.07bc 2.42a 2.34a
AquaVite,
pH 3.0
1.71c 2.49a 2.33a
Oxine 2.06bc >1b >1b
PronTech,
0.50 %
2.72ab >1b >1b
PronTech,
1.00 %
2.93a >1b >1b
ProxyClean,
0.78 %
2.79ab >1b >1b
ProxyClean,
3.00 %
2.74ab >1b >1b
Sterilex,
1.25 %
2.42abc >1b >1b
Sterilex,
2.50 %
2.00bc >1b >1b
SEM .16 .2 .2 .1
PValue .0278 .0001 .0001
a,b,c Values in a column with different letters were signifcantly
different
9
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
Frank T. Jones, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Understanding and
Controlling Feral Pigeons
(Columba livia)
Pigeons in History:
Fossil records show that pigeons lived in Jordan and on the Palestinian coast 300,000 years ago, well
before humans are reported to have inhabited earth (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). Pigeons originally lived in
caves, on rocky cliffs and ledges in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and, as a result, became known as
Rock Doves (Disdelle, 2005). While it is unclear exactly when pigeons were domesticated; fgurines, mosaics
and coins portraying domestic pigeons began to appear in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) about 4500 BC
(Anonymous, 2007b). The domestication of pigeons may have predated domestication of the chicken (Johnson,
1998).
It is likely that the advance of the Roman Empire is responsible for the spread of pigeons throughout
Europe (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). European settlers brought caged pigeons for human consumption to Nova
Scotia in 1606. Those birds that escaped are apparently the ancestors of present day feral pigeons (Johnson,
1998).
Pigeons have been associated with art and religion for centuries. The ancient Greeks gave pigeons
totheirchildrenaspets,atethemasfoodandusedtheirmanureasfertilizer.TheRomansdevelopedasophis-
ticated production and marketing system for pigeon meat (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). For centuries in England
pigeonfeceswasdeclaredpropertyoftheCrownbecauseitwasusedtomanufacturesaltpeter,oneofthethree
components of gunpowder (Blechman, 2006; Hicks, 1997).
Julius Caesar may have been the frst to use pigeons to send messages back home from battle. Pigeons
havebeenusedaswarmessengerssince.Infact,pigeonshavebeenusedtocarrymessagesbyeverymajorhis-
torical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States of America (Blechman, 2006). Although electronic
communications have largely replaced pigeons, prior to the invention of the telegraph in 1836 and the telephone
in 1875, the fastest way to send any kind of news was by pigeon (Lyne, 2002). During World War II the mes-
sagescarriedbypigeonssavedthelivesofmanythousandsofsoldiersandtheBritishgovernmentawardedthe
Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross) to 32 different pigeons (Anonymous, 2007a).
However, the relationship between humans and pigeons appears to have been a love-hate relationship
fromthebeginning.Severalmillionpeopleadorethedomesticatedpigeonstheybreedforfood,forracingorfor
their beauty. In addition, many enjoy feeding and observing the feral pigeon population. Yet the feral pigeon
population has created problems in cities for centuries. Writings from 4000 years ago mention birds [probably
pigeons] spreading feces in the street (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002).
Biology of Feral Pigeons
Pigeons measure 11 to 14 inches from bill to tail, weigh 9 to 13 ounces and have a wing span on 20 to
26 inches. Males are bigger than females. While most pigeons are gray in color, up to 28 different color patterns
canbefoundinferalpigeons.
Pigeonseatmostlyseedsandgrains,butcanalsoeatinsects,fruit,vegetationandfoodpeople(in-
tentionally or unintentionally) provide (Link, 2005). Pigeons are not fussy eaters because they have a poorly
developed sense of smell and few taste buds. Pigeons have only 37, while chickens have 316 and humans have
about 7,000 taste buds (Calvin et al., 1957; Roura et al., 2007; Disdelle, 2005).
Most birds take sips of water and then throw their heads back to let the water trickle down their
throats. Pigeons and their relatives suck up water by using their beaks like straws. This characteristic allows
pigeons to consume water rapidly and to access virtually any source of water (Link, 2005).
Feral pigeons are highly social creatures that choose to live in colonies, though not required by nature
to do so. Pigeons can fy 40 to 50 miles per hour and travel up to 600 miles in a day, but most feral pigeons do
not migrate. While most city pigeons stay close to home, fying less than 12 miles in a day, they can fy much
further if necessary (Disdelle, 2005).
Feral pigeons are one of the few larger animals that have been able to adapt to the hazards, noise, and
PIGEONS continued on page 10
... pigeons have
been used to
carry messages
by every major
historical
superpower from
ancient Egypt
to the United
States of
America
10
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
PIGEONS continued from page 9
hectic pace of big city life (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). Indeed, pi-
geonsinhabitvirtuallyeverycityinNorthandSouthAmerica,often
enjoyingyearlongbreedingseasons.Pigeonsaremonogamousand
mate for life (Link, 2005). Depending on the locale, pigeons gener-
ally lay eggs and rear young six to ten months each year, taking time
offinornearwinter.Whilestarlingsreproduceinsynchronysothat
inagivenareaeggsarelaidandhatchedwithinafewdaysofeach
other,thereproductionofpigeonsisnotsynchronized.Therefore,
somepigeonsaregenerallynestingeverymonthoftheyearevenin
colder climates, but peak breeding season is usually in spring and fall
(Johnson, 1998; Williams and Corrigan, 1994).
Pigeons make well-hidden nests on high ledges, under
bridges,orinemptybuildings.Malesgenerallybringnestingmateri-
alstothefemalesonepieceatatimefornestconstruction.Pigeons
usually lay two white eggs. First eggs produce males about 70% of
thetime,whilesecondeggstendtoproducefemales.Consequently,
pigeonpopulationsusuallyconsistofequalnumbersofmalesand
females. The parents take turns keeping the eggs warm. Males usu-
allystayonthenestduringthedayandthefemalesstayonthenestat
night. Eggs take about 18 days to hatch (Johnson, 1998; Lyne, 2002).
An average of about 70% of eggs hatch and 55% of eggs result in a
fedged chick (called a squab) (Johnson, 1998).
Afewdayspriortohatchthecropsofbothmalesandfe-
males begin producing a cheesy substance called crop milk. During
the frst few days of life squabs are fed exclusively crop milk, which
bothparentsregurgitate.Earlyresearcherssuggestedthatthenutrient
content of crop milk closely resembled the nutrition the bird received
from the egg prior to hatching (Davies, 1939). Crop milk is a semi-
solid material containing about 71% moisture, 17% protein, 10% fat,
1% minerals, 1% starch and antibodies that protect the young bird
from disease causing organisms (Sales and Janssens, 2003; Davies,
1939; Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). About three days after hatching,
parents begin to mix grains with crop milk and gradually replace crop
milk with grains. Young leave the nest (fedge) at 4 to 6 weeks, but
the second clutch of eggs is laid one to two weeks before squab from
the frst clutch fedging. Eggs from the second clutch require incuba-
tionandmalesassumethegreaterroleinsquabcareduringclutch
overlap (Johnson, 1998; Williams and Corrigan, 1994). Pigeons
breeduptosixtimesperyeardependingontheclimateandavailable
food supply (Anonymous, 2007c). Pigeons can live up to fve years
in the wild, but can live for more than 15 years when raised by people
(Williams and Corrigan, 1994).
Problems with Feral Pigeons
Whilepigeonshavesomeadmirablecharacteristics,ithas
beenestimatedthatlargermoderncitiescontainoneferalpigeonfor
every 20 people (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002). One feral pigeon has
been estimated to produce between 22 and 26 pounds of feces annu-
ally.Whenlargecoloniesarepresent,droppingstendtoaccumulate
in roosting and breeding sites. Walkways can become dangerously
slippery, resulting in accidents and broken bones. Feral pigeons can
alsodestroyvegetationwhensearchingforfood.Thedamageincities
caused by feral pigeons has been estimated at $34 to $48 per bird
peryear.Pigeondroppingscanalsoencouragethegrowthoffungi
thatdamagelimestone,leadingtoerosionofhistoricbuildingsand
monuments (Haag-Wackernagel, 2005). Pigeon droppings can also
causestructuraldamagetobarnsorsilos,andnestbuildinginelectri-
cal panels, junction boxes, or lights may cause short circuits and fres
(Lyne, 2002).
Pigeons have been known to harbor several species of
roundwormsandtapewormsaswellasdiseasessuchasornithosis,
encephalitis (of several forms), Newcastle disease, histoplasmosis,
cryptococcosis,toxoplasmosis,Salmonella,pseudotuberculosis,and
coccidiosis.Inaddition,pigeonscommonlyharborectoparasites
such as feas, lice, mites, ticks, several mite species (including the
northern fowl mite) (Williams and Corrigan, 1994). Feral pigeons
have been reported to carry at least 70 species of microbial pathogens
and 17 different ectoparasites that affect humans (Haag-Wackernagel,
2005).
Controlling Feral Pigeons
Reducingoreliminatinglargenumbersofestablished
feral pigeons can be a diffcult and time-consuming task, particu-
larly around poultry facilities. However, persistent efforts can yield
results.
Habitat Modifcation
The frst step in addressing feral pigeon control is the
eliminationoffeeding,watering,roosting,andnestingsites.Discour-
agepeoplefromfeedingpigeonsandcleanupspilledgrainorfeed
aroundfacilities.Eliminatepoolsofstandingwaterthatpigeonsuse
for watering. Holes in buildings should be boarded up or covered
with quarter-inch galvanized wire mesh to prevent access. Locate and
destroy nests and eggs at 2-week intervals to reduce pigeon numbers.
However, habitat modifcation efforts should be used in conjunction
with other control methods (Williams and Corrigan, 1994).
Birth Control
In recent years major cities have experienced signifcant
problemswithferalpigeons.Thecountlesssitesavailablefornesting
have made the problem diffcult to address. However, at least one
producthasbeendevelopedthatisreportedtoreducethepigeon
populationthroughbirthcontrol.Theproductreducesthehatch-
abilityofpigeoneggsasameansofpopulationcontrol(Anonymous,
2007c). The product is reported to act by interfering with the mem-
brane separating the egg yolk from the egg white (called the vitelline
membrane). The active ingredient in this new product is nicarbazin
(USEPA, 2005). Nicarbazin is approved by the U. S. Food and Drug
Administration for the prevention of coccidiosis in broilers (USFDA,
2002).
Poisons
Whileseveralpoisonoussubstancesarelegalandavailable
forthecontrolofferalpigeon,theymayrequirespecialpermitsfor
use.Inaddition,itisimportanttorememberthatpoultryproduction
housesareraisingbirdsdestinedforhumanconsumption.Whileit
may be remote, focks can be exposed to the poisons used and resi-
duesmaybefoundinthefoodsproduced.Thus,theuseofpoisons
forcontrolofferalpigeonsaroundpoultryfacilitiesisnotrecom-
mended.
Chemical Repellents
Variousnontoxicchemicalrepellentsareavailable.
Althoughchemicalrepellentsmaybeeffectiveinmanysituations,
theeffectivenessofrepellentsisusuallylostovertime,especially
in dusty areas (such as poultry facilities). Thus, the use of repellents
maybeeconomicallyshortsightedbecausetheyareexpensiveto
reapply. In addition, if people fail to use and monitor sticky products
properly,theseproductscancausepigeonsandsmallerbirdstosuffer
unnecessarily when they get stuck in them (Williams and Corrigan,
1994).
Harassment Techniques
Harassment techniques generally have little permanent ef-
fect on pigeons, particularly at well-established roosting and nesting
sites. However, harassment methods can be effective when used be-
11
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
forepigeonsbecomeaccustomedtousinganareaoronsmallgroups
ofpigeons.
The use of colored fags, balloons, ultrasonic sound, mag-
netic pulses, and various kinds of scarecrows (e.g. snakes or owls)
havebeenshowntobeineffective.Ontheotherhand,systemsthat
directly contact pigeons such as installing sprinklers in roost trees
or lighting up a roosting site with bright fuorescent lights generally
produce more reliable results (Haag-Wackernagel, 2002).
Install Barriers
Thecostofinstallingbarriersonlargebuildingswithex-
tensive roosting sites may be impractical. However, barriers are valid
options for smaller areas. Yet, established pigeons will fght any type
ofbarrierputinplace,especiallyifitisapopularnestingorroosting
site.Insuchcases,theremovalofpigeonspriortoinstallingbarriers
ismosteffective.
Installing sheet metal, wood, or other material at a 60-
degree angle over ledges, placing metal or plastic spikes (porcupine
wire) or electrifed systems that are designed to shock birds without
killing them, can be effective when installed in roosting, loafng or
watering sites. Installing bird netting to block off indoor roosting
and nesting areas can also be effective. Two inch mesh netting works
well for pigeons, and it isnt as likely to trap small songbirds as the
light,smallmeshmaterial.Ifthecostofnewnettingisprohibitive,
used gill netting may be purchased from fshermen or fsh hatcheries
(Link, 2005).
Trapping
Pigeonscanbeeffectivelycontrolledbycapturingthemin
traps placed near their roosting, loafng, or feeding sites. The key to
successful trapping is pre-baiting areas for several days before begin-
ning the actual trapping. To pre-bait, attractive baits, such as corn or
milo, are placed around the outside of the traps for 3 or 4 days before
placingtheminsidethetraps,onceset,visittrapsdaily.Ifbirdsbe-
come trap-shy, traps can be left open for 2 to 3 days and then reset
again for 4 to 5 days. Select another site if traps fail to catch a suf-
fcient number of birds. Trapped birds should be quick and humanely
euthanized. Releasing pigeons back to the wild is impractical since
pigeons are likely to return even when released 50 or more miles
from the problem site. If you cannot humanely kill them yourself,
fnd a falconer or wildlife rehabilitation center that will accept live
pigeons to feed to hawks (Williams and Corrigan, 1994).
Shooting
Shootinghasbeeneffectiveineliminatingsmallisolated
groups of pigeons. Where permissible, persistent shooting with .22
caliber rifes (preferably using ammunition loaded with short-range
pellets), .410 gauge shotguns, or high-powered air rifes can eliminate
a small fock of pigeons. Shooting can effectively remove the few
pigeons that may persist around the farm. However, check local laws
before employing a shooting program (Williams and Corrigan, 1994).
Summary
Thedomesticationofpigeonsmayhavepredatedthedo-
mestication of chickens. Pigeons have benefted humans in various
ways for centuries. However, most larger cities contain large num-
bersofferalpigeons,whichdepositfecesinpublicplaces,causing
damagetopublicpropertyandcreatinghazardsforhumans.Pigeons
are known to harbor numerous animal and human pathogens as well
asinternalandexternalparasites.Clearlyferalpigeonpopulations
mustbecontrolled.

References:
Anonymous. 2007a. Dickin Medal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickin_
Medal#Modern_era Visited 1/26/07.
Anonymous. 2007b. Domestic pigeon. Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://
www.britannica.com/eb/article-9030860 Visited 10/25/07.
Anonymous. 2007c. Rock pigeon. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Rock_Pigeon Visited 10/9/07.
Blechman, A. D. 2006. Cool facts about pigeons. http://www.andrewblech-
man.com/cool_facts.html Visited 10/26/07
Calvin, A. D., C. M. Williams and N. Westmoreland. 1957. Olfactory sensitiv-
ity of the domestic pigeon. Am. J. Physiol. 188(2):255-256
Davies, W. L. 1939. The composition of the crop milk of pigeons. Biochem. J.
33(6):898-901.
Disdelle, R. 2005. Pigeons. http://ehrweb.aaas.org/ehr/parents/pigeons!.html
Visited 10/22/07.
Haag-Wackernagel, D. 2002. The feral pigeon. http://pages.unibas.ch/dbmw/
medbiol/haag_6.html Visited 10/26/07
Haag-Wackernagel, D. 2005. Parasites from feral pigeons as a health hazard
for humans. Ann. Appl Biol. 147:203-210.
Hicks, C. 1997. Technical history of gunpowder manufacture. http://cjhicks.
orpheusweb.co.uk/gpdet.html Visited 10/26/07
Johnson, R. F. 1998. Feral Pigeons. The Kansas School Naturalist 45(2):1-
6. http://www.emporia.edu/ksn/v45n2-december1998/index.html Visited
1/31/07
Link , R. 2005. Living with wildlife Domestic pigeons (rock doves). Wash-
ington Dept of Fish and Wildlife. http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/pigeons.pdf
Visited 10/26/07
Lyne, T. B. 2002. Pigeons. http://www.globalbirdcontrol.com/pests/pigeons.
htm Visited 10/18/07
Roura, E. B. Humphrey, G. Tedo and I. Ipharraguerre. 2007. Unfolding the
codes of short-term feed appetence in farm animals. Proc. Western Nutrition
Conf. pp 127-154. September 25-27, 2007, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Sales, J. and G. P. J. Janssens. 2003. Nutrition of the domestic pigeon (Co-
lumba livia domestica). Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 59:221-232.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2005. Pesticide fact sheet:
Nicarbazin. http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/factsheets/nicarbazin.pdf Visited
11/9/07.
United States Food and Drug Administration. 2002. New animal drugs for use
inanimalfeeds;nicarbazin,narasin,andbacitracinmethylenedisalicylate.
http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/nada-141-124-nfr0001.pdf
Visited 11/9/07.
Williams, D. E. and R. M. Corrigan. 1994. Pigeons (Rock Doves). In: Scott
E. Hygnstrom, Robert M. Timm, Gary E. Larson eds., Prevention and control
of wildlife damage. Coop. Exten., IANR, U. Nebraska Lincoln, USDA-
APHIS Animal Damage Control http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/Pigeons.
asp Visited 1/31/07
1
AVIAN Advice Winter 2007 Vol. 9, No. 4
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that infuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the effcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and feld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual fgures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by Jon Moyle, F. Dustan Clark and Frank Jones, Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science, University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Applied Broiler
Research Farm Report:
Propane and Electricity
Usage One Year After
Renovations
by G. Tom Tabler
page 7
E. Coli an Opportunist
that Causes Enteritis
by Vijay Durairaj and F.
Dustan Clark
page 9
Understanding and
Control of European
Starlings
(Sturnus vulgaris)
by Frank T. Jones
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


IMMUNITY continued on page 2
Fall 2007 Volume 9 no. 3
Understanding Immunity
and Vaccines
Introduction
We all realize that diseases cost both
companies and growers and they both
strive to avoid the consequences of disease.
Diseases can be caused by microbes (viruses,
bacteria, fungi or protozoa), internal or
external parasites, genetic disorders or
by nutrient deciencies. Modern poultry
production methods have virtually eliminated
nutrient deciencies and are addressing
genetic disorders. However, both companies
and growers continue to battle against
microbes and parasites. Since fewer and
fewer antibiotics are being used in poultry
feeds, growers and companies are depending
more heavily on the immunity provided by
vaccines. While important, this article will not
address parasite issues, but will provide some
understanding of microbial disease, immunity
and vaccines.
Understanding Immunity
Immunity can be described as the
ability of the body to recognize the presence
of material normally within the body
(self), and to eliminate foreign (non-
self) materials. When a disease organism
invades, the birds body usually produces
antibodies and specic cells whose purpose
is to engulf (or eat) and destroy foreign
substances. Substances that are identied
by the birds body as foreign are known
as antigens. In other words, antigens are
substances that cause the immune system
to develop a defense against an invading
organism (an immune response). However,
it is important to realize that antigens are
chemical substances that modern science has
AVIAN
often been able to identify and separate from
or weaken in the disease causing microbes
so that the birds body becomes immune
without getting the disease. Some proteins
are good antigens that are easily recognized
by the immune system and will produce an
effective immune response. Other materials,
such as carbohydrates are less effective
antigens, and the immune response may not
provide good protection (Varela, 2007). Once
a birds immune system has responded to an
antigen (either from the microbe or a vaccine)
antibodies circulate in body uids. If the bird
is exposed again to that microbe, it responds
very quickly because it remembers the
microbe (Cutler, 2002). The quick response
of the immune system prevents the disease
from happening or shortens its duration and
severity.
Disease Processes
When a bird is exposed to a disease
microbe, there is one of three outcomes,
either:
The bird gets the disease,
The bird is protected by immunity from
hens or
The bird is protected by immunity from
vaccines.
Getting a disease
For most poultry diseases the
progression is the same. This progression has
three steps or phases: infection, development
of immunity and recovery (Cutler, 2002).
2
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
IMMUNITY continued from page 1
When birds are not immune to a given disease, infection may
easily occur, allowing the microbe to attack various parts of
the body producing sickness in the bird. Depending on the
disease, some or all of the birds may die from the infection.
However, the performance of even those birds that do not die
is reduced by the infection.
Those birds that do not die from the infection usually
become immune to the disease. However, the development
of immunity in this fashion is risky because the disease may
irreparably damage tissues (such as the intestine) in the birds
body. Such immune responses are also expensive because
they require nutrients that cannot be used for growth or
production (Klasing, 1998).
Those birds that survive the disease have an active
immunity that allows their body to rapidly respond to future
invasions of the same or similar microbes. While performance
may return during recovery from the disease, the performance
lost during exposure is often never regained, particularly if the
challenge occurred early in the life of the bird.
Immunity from Hens
As the embryo develops within the egg it has no
immunity of its own, but antibodies from the breeder hen are
absorbed; protecting the chick from diseases. This immunity
(called maternal or passive immunity) protects the young bird
from diseases, but prevents the birds body from mounting
an immune response and is short lived. At 3 days of age
about half of the passive immunity is lost. Very little passive
immunity is present at 2 weeks and at 3 weeks it is completely
gone (Cutler, 2002).
Vaccine-induced immunity
Vaccines trigger the birds body to think that its being
invaded by a specic organism, and the immune system goes
to work to destroy the invader and prevent it from infecting
the bird again. If the bird is exposed to a disease for which it
had been vaccinated, the invading germs are met by antibodies
that will destroy them. The immunity the bird develops
following vaccination is similar to the immunity acquired from
natural infection.
Understanding Vaccines
Today, modern large scale animal agriculture has
vaccines against most major pathogens and are continually
creating new ones. However, vaccines come in a bewildering
array of forms including: live or killed vaccines, recombinant-
vector vaccines and DNA vaccines.
Live or Killed Vaccines
Several vaccines (i.e. Gumboro Disease, Newcastle
Disease, Infectious Bronchitis and others) come in live or
killed (inactivated) forms. While both live and killed products
produce results, it is important to realize the advantages and
disadvantages of both types.
It should be obvious that if birds are given the disease
causing microbe (the pathogen), they will develop the disease
we are trying to prevent. However, if birds are given a
weakened (or attenuated) and diluted form of the pathogen
they will develop immunity, but not develop the disease. This
is the concept behind live attenuated (weakened) vaccines
(Okonek and Peters, 1997). Attenuated or modied live
vaccines are created by weakening the disease microbe,
usually by culturing the pathogen in the laboratory until
it loses or reduces its ability to produce disease and then
providing a small dose of the organism during vaccination
(Varela, 2007). However, to be effective the live attenuated
organism must stimulate an immune response by growing
within the bird; usually causing brief, mild symptoms (a
vaccine reaction).
Live vaccines are the most effective type of vaccine for
a rapid, strong, long lasting immune response. Live vaccines
also tend to be less expensive and are less likely to cause
allergic reactions than other types of vaccines. (Whiting, 2005)
They can be administered by injection, spray/ fog, in the
water or by eye drops (intraorbitally). However, live vaccines
come with their own problems. Because they contain living
organisms, they must be handled with care. Excessive heat,
sunlight, freezing, chlorinated water and other conditions can
kill off live organisms, rendering them useless. Live vaccines
can also cause severe reactions in animals that have weakened
immune systems or are infected with other disease organisms.
In addition, if live vaccines are not handled with proper
biosecurity, the organism may spread to numerous other
avian species, causing (sometimes severe) reactions. Finally,
while rare, the organism could revert back to the wild form,
causing the disease.
Killed (or inactivated) vaccines are an alternative to
live vaccines. Killed vaccines contain no living organisms,
eliminating the potential of reversion to a wild, disease-
causing form. Killed vaccines are also safer than live vaccines
for weak or immune compromised animals. In addition,
killed vaccines are more stable in storage than live vaccines.
However, killed vaccines produce a much weaker, more
unstable immunity than live vaccines and multiple doses may
be required to maintain protection. Killed vaccines are also
more likely than live vaccines to cause allergic reactions in
birds. Finally, giving killed vaccines is much more labor
intensive since they must be administered by injection.
Recombinant-vector vaccines
Recombinant-vector vaccines are made by removing the
genes from the pathogen that direct cells to produce antigens
and then put these genes (recombine them) into the DNA
of a non-pathogenic microbe (called a vector). The newly
engineered vector is then used to infect the host, where the
vector will replicate and express the antigens of the virulent
pathogen resulting in an immune response (Prescott et al.,
2005). The biggest advantage to this vaccine type is that
the newly created vector is live, so that it can be used in a
similar manner to other live vaccines, but usually producing
milder symptoms following vaccination. The fowl pox virus
is one microbe that is used as a vector. One commercial
recombinant-vector vaccine combines fowl pox and Mareks
Disease. The vaccine protects birds from fowl pox as a live
3
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
virus, but also contains genes (DNA) from Mareks Disease Virus so that birds are protected from
both diseases.
DNA vaccines
DNA vaccines produce what is sometimes called genetic or DNA immunization. DNA
vaccines are made by isolating the genes (the DNA) that direct the pathogen cell to make antigens.
This DNA is then injected directly into muscle tissue. The DNA is then incorporated into the cells
within the animals body, allowing the animal cells themselves to produce antigens and in turn
immunity against the disease (Babiuk, 2007). At present there are no commercial available DNA
vaccines for poultry. However, testing suggests the following advantages DNA vaccines: 1. They
provide long- lived immunity with a single injection; 2. DNA from several pathogens could be
combined so that animals could be protected from multiple diseases with a single injection and
3. DNA vaccines are extremely stable, eliminating the need for refrigeration or special handling
(Henahan, 1997). However, many unknowns remain about the practicality of these vaccines in eld
situations, so it remains to be seen if DNA vaccines against poultry diseases will appear.
Summary
In summary, immunity is the ability of the birds body to recognize its own tissues (self) and
to eliminate foreign (non-self) materials in an immune response. Substances that cause immune
responses are called antigens. Since disease outbreaks are expensive, it is important to prevent them
and vaccination provides such protection. Live vaccines use altered or diluted microbes to produce
long-lasting immunity with a single exposure, but produce symptoms in the bird (vaccine reactions).
Killed vaccines do not produce vaccine reactions, but offer much less protection and may require
multiple injections. Recombinant-vector vaccines are made by isolating the DNA that encode for
antigen production in the pathogen and then placing that DNA in a non-pathogenic, which allows
that organism to produce the antigen as it grows in the animals body. At present, the use of DNA
vaccines seems to hold the potential to help ght most diseases, but questions remain about how
these vaccines will perform under eld conditions.
References
Babiuk, L. A. 2007. Modern vaccines. Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization, Saskatoon,
SK, Canada http://www.agriculture.de/acms1/conf6/ws5bvacc.htm visited 8/9/07.
Cutler, G. J. 2002. Immunity. In: Bell, D. D. and W. D. Weaver, Jr., eds. Commercial Chicken
Meat and Egg Production Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, USA, Pp 443-449.
Henahan, S. 1997. DNA vaccine outlook. http://www.accessexcellence.org visited 8/10/07
Klasing, K. C. 1998. Nutritional modulation of resistance to infectious diseases. Poultry
Science 77:1119-1125.
Okonek, B. A. M. and P. M. Peters.
1997 VaccinesHow and Why. http://www.
accessexcellence.org visited 8/7/07.
Prescott, L. M., J. P. Harley and D. A. Klein,
eds. 2005. Microbiology. pp. 740-744.
Varela, R. 2007. Vaccines: Understanding
immunity and the principles behind vaccination.
http://www.rn.com/main.php?uniq=297760&c
ommand=manage_courselist&data%5Bcourse
list%5D%5Bid%5D=1335&data%5Bsubmit_
value%5D=Display%20Entry Visited 8/8/07.
Whiting, T. 2005. Understanding immunity
and vaccination. Manitoba Agriculture, Food
and Rural Initiatives http://www.gov.mb.ca/
agriculture/livestock/dairy/cda20s01.html visited
8/7/07 visited 8/7/07.
4
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
G. Tom Tabler, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Applied Broiler Research Farm
Report: Propane and Electricity
Usage One Year After Renovations
Introduction
A year has passed since the Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF) underwent major renova-
tions necessary to remain up to date with current poultry industry standards for broiler production
facilities. This report details some of what we have seen in terms of electricity and propane usage
and cost at 1 year after the renovations. Propane and electricity usage and costs are reported on both
a farm basis and also for each of the 4 individual 40 x 400 ft broiler houses. With regards to electric-
ity usage, we are able to sub-meter total electricity usage. Therefore, for each individual house, we
are able to measure not only the total amount of electricity used, but also the portion of total electric-
ity used for lights and the portion used for fans.
Farm Totals
Table 1 lists usage and cost gures for propane at the ABRF for the period April 2006 - April
2007. Six ocks were grown during this period with placement months of April, June, August,
October, and December 2006 and February 2007. Propane usage for the year was 25,476 gals at
total cost of $34,228. The December ock used 12,622 gals (almost half the total for the year). This
was due, in part, to very cold weather conditions during the December-placed ock and the fact that
for much of the ock we allowed the controllers to automatically ramp the minimum ventilation run
time as they would during warm weather. This did provide excellent air quality in the houses and
excellent litter conditions (perhaps the best I can remember for a winter-time ock). However, it
also resulted in a gas bill that was roughly two-thirds of the chicken check. Therefore, before har-
vest, we began to decrease the minimum ventilation run time to a more manageable winter-time pro-
gram while keeping the ammonia level at less than 25 ppm. Through our integrator, we purchased a
hand-held ammonia sensor that clips to your belt; and it has proven to be an extremely useful tool in
managing house ammonia levels. I carry it when I am working in the houses. It is pre-set to sound
an alarm if the ammonia level is over 25 ppm. It has become an important part of my management
program, especially when the birds are small and any time we are using minimum ventilation.
Table 1. Propane usage and cost at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF)
one year after renovations (2006-07).
Month Placed Propane (gals) Propane Cost
April 2,576 $3,918
June 635 $860
August 176 $243
October 4,856 $6,361
December 12,622 $16,663
February 4,611 $6,183
YEARLY TOTALS 25,476 $34,228
Through our
integrator, we
purchased a hand-
held ammonia
sensor that clips
to your belt; and it
has proven to be an
extremely useful
tool in managing
house ammonia
levels.
5
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
Electricity usage and cost for the farm is reported in Table 2. A total of 125,040 kilowatt hours were used on the farm at a
cost of $7,502. Fan and light electricity do not sum to total because feed line, cross auger, and ll auger motors along with service
and convenience outlets, etc., are also included in total. However, fan and light electricity usage always accounted for 90% of
the total per ock electricity usage. Notice that the cost to operate the lights was within $550 of the cost to operate the fans for the
year ($3,252 for lights vs. $3,802 for fans). Solid sidewall housing has greatly increased electricity required for lighting because
natural light is no longer available. As a result, lighting is now an area that may offer potential monetary savings for tunnel ven-
tilated houses through use of more energy efcient bulbs. We are currently investigating 2 types of cold cathode bulbs (that are
easily dimmable and work with light dimmers) as an alternative to incandescent lighting.
Table 2. Electricity usage and cost at the ABRF one year after renovations (2006-07).
Month
Placed
Electricity usage (kwh) and cost ($)
Fan Cost Light Cost Total Cost
April 5,971 $358 9,209 $553 16,067 $964
June 13,303 $798 9,480 $569 23,607 $1,417
August 17,764 $1,066 10,000 $600 28,964 $1,738
October 11,471 $688 9,037 $542 22,300 $1,338
December 5,386 $323 6,414 $385 13,133 $787
February 9,475 $569 10,052 $603 20,969 $1,258
Yearly
Totals
63,370 $3,802 54,192 $3,252 125,040 $7,502
Propane Usage and Cost
Table 3 lists propane usage and costs for each house during the 6 ocks. As all producers know, most propane used to raise
chickens is consumed from October through April, with only a small portion consumed from April through October. In that
respect, the ABRF is no different than any other broiler farm. The December-placed ock used the most propane, followed by
the October- and February-placed ocks. There were differences in propane use among the 4 houses with House 1 using the most
at 7,026 gals ($9,425), followed by House 3 at 6,320 gals ($8,487), House 2 at 6,167 gals ($8,286), and House 4 at 5,693 gals
($8,030). Part of this difference was due to litter conditions within the houses that forced us to change the minimum ventilation
rates necessary to maintain ammonia levels at 25 ppm or less. House orientation may also play a part, although this is less of a
factor now with solid sidewalls than before renovations when the houses were curtain-sided. Nevertheless, shifts in the ceiling
insulation caused by strong winds from the south just prior to the completion of renovation may have also contributed to elevated
propane usage in house 1. At the ABRF, House 1 is the southernmost house while House 4 is the northernmost house.
Table 3. Propane usage and cost at the ABRF one year after renovations (2006-07).
Month
Placed
Propane usage (gals) and cost ($)
House 1 Cost House 2 Cost House 3 Cost House 4 Cost
April 638 $970 611 $929 634 $964 693 $1,053
June 154 $211 164 $225 136 $186 181 $248
August 72 $99 68 $93 18 $25 18 $25
October 1,327 $1,738 1,107 $1,450 1,222 $1,601 1,200 $1,572
December 3,572 $4,715 3,083 $4,070 3,196 $4,219 2,771 $3,658
February 1,263 $1,692 1,134 $1,520 1,114 $1,493 1,100 $1,474
Yearly
Totals
7,026 $9,425 6,167 $8,286 6,320 $8,487 5,963 $8,030
USAGE continued on page 6
6
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
Light Electricity
Kilowatt hours of electricity used for lighting the 4 individual houses, along with the cost for those kilowatt hours, are pre-
sented in Table 4. At the end of 1 year, Houses 1 and 2 had used practically the same amount of light electricity (12,817 kilowatt
hours in House 1 vs. 12,797 kilowatt hours in House 2) and there was only $1 difference in total cost between these houses.
House 3 used 12,918 kilowatt hours at a cost of $775 while House 4 used 15,660 kilowatt hours at a cost of $940. There are dif-
ferences in the number of light bulbs between the 2 sets of houses. Houses 3 and 4 have a total of 90 light bulbs (40 brood lights
and 50 dimmable lights) per house while 75 light bulbs (33 brood lights and 42 dimmable lights) per house were in Houses 1
and 2. Differences in the number of bulbs per house may account for most of the differences in light electricity usage between
the houses.
Before the start of the December 2006 ock, the incandescent lights in House 3 were replaced with a set of dimmable cold
cathode bulbs, which accounts for the dramatic decrease in electricity usage for the ock (710 kilowatt hours). The February
2007 ock electricity usage in House 3 increased to 1,794 kilowatt hours due, largely to the fact that we managed the light pro-
gram differently because we were growing a different genetic strain of bird that did not seem to perform as well when the cold
cathode lights were dimmed and brood lights were used to provide supplemental light.
Table 4. Electricity used for lights at ABRF during rst year after renovations (2006-07).
Month
Placed
Light electricity use (kwh) and cost ($)
House 1 Cost House 2 Cost House 3 Cost House 4 Cost
April 2,062 $124 2,032 $122 2,447 $147 2,668 $160
June 2,137 $128 2,171 $130 2,633 $158 2,539 $152
August 2,258 $135 2,260 $136 2,760 $166 2,722 $163
October 1,999 $120 2,059 $124 2,574 $154 2,405 $144
December 1,824 $109 1,783 $107 710 $43 2,097 $126
February 2,537 $152 2,492 $150 1,794 $108 3,229 $194
Yearly
Totals
12,817 $769 12,797 $768 12,918 $775 15,660 $940
Fan Electricity
Kilowatt hours of electricity and associated costs for running the fans in the 4 houses are presented in Table 5. Houses 1
and 2 are fairly similar with house 1 using 17,055 hours at a cost of $1,023 and house 2 using 16,653 at a cost of $999. Houses
3 and 4 are also quite similar but usage and costs are less than for houses 1 and 2. House 3 used 14,835 hours at a cost of $890
while house 4 used 14,826 hours also at a cost of $890. All 4 houses have 4 direct-drive 36-inch sidewall fans in the north wall
for minimum ventilation and 8 belt-drive tunnel fans with buttery shutters and cones for summer cooling. However, the tunnel
fans in houses 1 and 2 are 50-inch fans from one manufacturer
while the tunnel fans in houses 3 and 4 are 48-inch fans from a
different manufacturer. There are differences in the efciency
ratings between the 2 manufacturers fans and this is evident in
the kilowatt hour usage gures.
In house 4, it is interesting that the fan electricity cost
($890; Table 5) is actually less than the light electricity cost
($940; Table 4). In other words, it cost more to operate the
lights for 1 year than it did to operate the fans in house 4. This
fact points out the importance of lighting as a major cost center
when solid sidewall housing is used. With natural light no lon-
ger an option at the ABRF, the only light the birds receive has an
energy cost associated with it that can quickly add up over time.
USAGE continued from page 5
7
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
Table 5. Electricity used for fans at ABRF during rst year after renovations (2006-07).
Month
Placed
Fan electricity use (kwh) and cost ($)
House 1 Cost House 2 Cost House 3 Cost House 4 Cost
April 1,430 $86 1,433 $86 1,536 $92 1,572 $94
June 3,010 $181 3,151 $189 3,568 $214 3,573 $214
August 4,566 $274 4,299 $258 4,412 $265 4,487 $269
October 4,095 $246 3,666 $220 1,934 $116 1,776 $107
December 1,497 $90 1,435 $86 1,251 $75 1,203 $72
February 2,457 $147 2,669 $160 2,134 $128 2,215 $133
Yearly
Totals
17,055 $1023 16,653 $999 14,835 $890 14,826 $890
Summary
Propane and electricity usage and cost gures at the ABRF are presented for the one-year period since the farm was reno-
vated. It is apparent that lighting is a major expense associated with solid sidewall housing, in some cases, more expensive than
even the cost of ventilation. We will continue to monitor costs associated with both ventilation and lighting in an effort to help
producers determine the best methods to reduce production costs without adversely affecting bird performance.
Vijay Durairaj and F. Dustan Clark, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
E. Coli an Opportunist that
Causes Enteritis
Introduction
Enteritis caused by Escherichia coli (colibacilliosis) is an important disease in the poultry
industry because of increased mortality and decreased performance. E. coli is a bacterium that
can not be seen without a microscope and is often considered an opportunistic pathogen because
it infects whenever it has the opportunity. E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the intestinal tracts of
animals and is harmless as long as it is kept in check by other intestinal bacteria (Barnes et al.,
2003). When an imbalance occurs in bacterial ora of the intestinal tract, E. coli may grow and
cause an outbreak of colibacilliosis. Chickens of all ages are susceptible to colibacilliosis, but
usually young birds are considered more susceptible.
Signs of E. coli enteritis
Since E. coli is an opportunistic pathogen and will (given the chance) attack a number of
organs, infections can cause a wide variety of signs or symptoms. Symptoms may range from
sudden death of the bird to a vague sense that the bird is not doing well. Symptoms will also
E.COLI continued on page 8
8
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
depend on the age and general health of the bird. Generally,
birds will appear unthrifty and have rufed feathers. They may
also be depressed and have a decreased appetite. During the
acute phase of disease you may also notice yellowish colored
droppings and birds may be soiled in the vent region.
The cause of E. coli infections
E. coli enteritis does not t the classic denition
description of an infectious disease. This classic disease
denition states that one microbe causes a given disease
and that the illness can be reproduced in the laboratory
by infecting susceptible animals with that one microbe
(McMullin, 1998).
E. coli is normally present in the birds and the
disease can be triggered by numerous events (see Figure
1). Immunosuppressive diseases such as Infectious Bursal
Disease, Mareks disease, and Chicken Anemia may increase
susceptibility to E. coli infection. However, other countless
events or diseases can also increase susceptibility. For
instance, an E. coli infection may appear if birds do not have
regular access to feed or if their litter is too wet or if they are
exposed to another disease. Generally, anything that causes
stress in the bird may provide E. coli with the opening it
needs.
Once on E. coli outbreak happens, conditions may be
right for the disease to feed on itself, and affect the entire
ock. For example, if a signicant number of birds develop
diarrhea, litter moisture can increase, infecting more birds
and, in turn, causing more wet litter. Consequently, the best
approach to E. coli infections is prevention rather than control.
Prevention of E. coli Infections
Controlling all of the factors shown in Figure 1 is
imperative if growers are to control E. coli infections. As the
gure implies, these factors are interrelated.
A stressful house environment can easily encourage
E. coli infections. As mentioned, wet litter can encourage
infection, but most growers realize that wet litter is often
related to inadequate ventilation rates. Regular and frequent
checking of houses is also important, particularly as it involves
collecting the dead. Since commercial strains are bred to eat,
preventing stress means providing easy access to water and
feed is also important.
Growers tend to think that the company nutritionist and
the feed mill are the only ones responsible for the nutrition of
the birds. Although the nutritionist and feed mill personnel
bear much of the responsibility for bird nutrition, growers are
the last link in the chain. If growers do not store feed in clean,
dry tanks and ensure that feed is properly delivered to the
feeder pans, then birds do not receive the nutrition they need.
Since infection with another microbe can increase the
probability that birds will break with an E. coli infection, it
is also important to reduce or prevent the exposure of your
birds to pathogens. How do these pathogens arrive on the
farm? Human visitors are likely the largest source of pathogen
exposure. Thus, it is important to limit the number of visitors
and insist that visitors wear protective equipment (e. g.
disposable boots, coveralls and hair nets) during their visit.
Rats, mice and wild birds are another important source of
pathogen exposure so a vermin control program is essential.
Summary
In summary, E. coli is an opportunistic pathogen that can
produce a variety of symptoms in commercial poultry. E. coli
is present in the birds and the poultry house environment and
infects birds. However, if growers provide birds with proper
house environment, ensure that they have easy access to feed
and water as well as limit exposure to pathogens, E. coli
infections can be limited or eliminated.

References
Barnes, H. J., J-P. Vaillancourt and W. B. Gross. 2003.
Colibacillosis. In: Diseases of Poultry, 11th ed., Iowa State
University Press, Ames, IA, USA.
McMullin, P. 1998. Wet litter in turkeys: Diseases and
Interactions. Presentation at ADAS.NFU Turkey Conference
http://www.poultry-health.com/library/turkeys/adastu98.htm
Visited 8/10/07
E.COLI continued from page 7
*
*
9
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
Frank T. Jones, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Understanding and Control of
European Starlings
(Sturnus vulgaris)
Starling History
Starlings have apparently been associated with people since the beginning of agriculture.
Starlings have been kept as pets for centuries. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384322 BC)
described starlings. The Romans taught starlings to mimic human speech (Ehrlich et al. 1988). The
Roman author and philosopher Pliny the elder (23-79 AD) reported that starlings could mimic Greek
or Latin and that these birds practiced diligently and spoke new phrases every day, in still longer
sentences. The great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart owned a pet starling and is reported to
have patterned a part of one of his piano concertos after a tune whistled by the bird (West and King,
2007).
The rst two attempts to introduce starlings into North America failed, but in 1890, Eugene
Schieffelin, a wealthy New York pharmacologist and Shakespeare enthusiast, successfully introduced
60 birds into Central Park, New York. Another 40 birds were introduced at the same location the
following year. Though disputed, it is reported that Mr. Schieffelins purpose was to introduce all
the birds mentioned in William Shakespeares plays into North America (Collins, 2007). A little over
a century later, this introduction of 100 birds in New York has produced over 200,000,000 starlings
that are distributed virtually coast to coast (Ehrlich et al., 1988). Starlings have been intentionally
introduced all over the world, most often for aesthetic purposes. Yet, ironically, due to the large
ocks, noisy habits and large amounts of waste, starlings are now widely regarded as pests (Adeney,
2001).
Starling Biology and Behavior
Starlings are about the same size as robins (about 8.5 inches tall and weigh slightly over 3
oz.). They have dark feathers with a greenish sheen and with light speckles. The bill of adult star-
lings will be yellow between January and June (mating season) and dark brown the rest of the year
(Lynch and Messmer, 2000).
Soon after learning to y starlings form feeding and roosting ocks, which range in size
from less than 100 to many thousands. These ocks help protect birds by increasing the number of
eyes watching for approaching predators (Chow, 2000). Flock size tends to be larger in cold winter
months and larger ocks can exceed a million birds (Lynch and Messmer, 2000).
Starlings are not particular about their diet; they are omnivores (that is they will consume
whatever is available). Half or more of their diet often consists of insects (adult and larvae stages
of crickets, grasshoppers, moths, butteries and beetles), spiders and earth worms, but they also
consume both natural and cultivated berries, seeds, and fruits (Chow, 2000). Starlings also consume
large quantities of livestock feed and can have a signicant negative impact on production costs
(Kern, 2001).
Starlings are unusual anatomically in that their jaw muscles work backwards in com-
parison to most other birds. Most birds are structured so that the most powerful muscles are used
to clamp the bill shut, but starlings are structured with the strongest muscles to spring the bill open.
Starlings use this feature to pry fruit or seeds apart as well as to hunt small prey (e.g. insects). A
starling will insert its bill between blades of grass in thick turf or other cover and then spring its bill
open to expose prey. As the bill opens the starlings eyes move forward toward each other, permit-
STARLINGS continued on page 10
Starlings are
unusual
anatomically in
that their jaw
muscles work
backwards in
comparison to
most other birds.
10
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
STARLINGS continued from page 9
ting binocular vision and (presumably) easier capture of prey. This technique allows starlings to detect and consume both active
and stationary prey. This foraging system is particularly effective during colder weather (Ehrlich et al., 1988; Keys and Dugatkin,
1990). Most starlings remain in the same general area year round, but some choose to migrate several hundred miles (Johnson
and Glahn, 1998).
Resident male starlings begin checking out nesting sites in late winter, while migratory males begin the process in early
spring. Starlings are secondary cavity nesters, meaning they do not excavate their own cavities. While typical nesting sites vary
in size, oor areas for ideal sites are about 23 square inches (Zimmerman, 2005). In contrast to other cavity nesters, who lay their
eggs on nothing more than a bed of wood chips or feathers, starlings build nests of sticks, dried grass, paper, feathers and debris in
their cavities. Starlings also select fresh green vegetation (herbs) that contain volatile chemicals for incorporation into their nests
(Ehrlich et al., 1988). Recent research has shown that the incorporation of fresh herbs in nests has a positive effect on edgling
body size. While the use of fresh herbs in nests does not affect the number of mites in the nest, they do reduce bacterial counts
in nesting materials. Researchers believe that the herbs may have their benecial effects by causing mites to feed less on young
birds or by improving the sanitary condition of the nest (Gwinner and Berger, 2005).
Starlings are usually monogamous and begin to pair off in late February or early March. Nesting sites are so ercely
defended that death can result from the struggle. Male starlings choose the nesting site and begin gathering nesting materials,
but the couple work together on the nest, usually completing the task in 1 to 3 days. One egg is laid per day with a total of 4 to 7
eggs per nest and most are laid between 8 and 11 am. Eggs are incubated for about 12 days mostly by the female, but males do
participate. Nestlings are completely helpless and their eyes are closed for the rst 6 to 7 days. Young birds leave the nest (edge)
in 21 to 23 days, but parents continue to feed their young for a few days following their departure (Zimmerman, 2005). Nesting
starlings usually forage 200 to 500 yards from the nest, since parents visit the nest an average of 260 times per day when feeding
nestlings (Ehrlich et al., 1988). While the length of the breeding season varies from season to season, it generally runs from late
March through early July in the Northern Hemisphere and September through December in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending
on the length of the season, as many as three clutches are eggs are laid during a single breeding season. The rst clutch is usually
synchronized with other starlings in the area, so that all eggs are laid within a few days of each other. However, the second and
third clutches of eggs are less synchronized. The second clutch of eggs is laid almost immediately after nestlings edge, while the
third clutch is generally laid forty to fty days after the rst (Chow, 2000).
It has been reported that starlings have reduced the population of native species (Ingold, 1998). However, a recent
scientic survey found no relationship between the reduction in native species numbers and the increase in starling numbers.
Researchers speculated that reduced native species numbers are because of the loss of native habitats (Koenig, 2003).
Most observers agree that the characteristics of starlings (prolic breeding, aggressive nesting, an omnivorous diet [they
eat anything], and a close association with humans) mean that they are here to stay. Indeed starlings have, in some cases, been
benecial. Starlings themselves are a food source for raptors (hawks, falcons or eagles) and other native predators. In fact, the
starling population may have helped increase certain raptor populations (Collins, 2007). Also, in the Netherlands, Spain and
France, starlings have been, and continue to be, harvested for human food (Adeney, 2001). Starlings voraciously consume harm-
ful insects that affect crops, but on the other hand they consume fruit and vegetable crops. Thus, when starlings are not consuming
pests, they become pests (Chow, 2000).
Threats from Starlings
In spite of their musical abilities, their ingenuity, and their unique abilities, most folks in the United States view starlings
as loud, obnoxious birds, who ruin crops, steal grain and generally make an unsightly mess. Indeed, when a ock of starlings
descends on a fruit or grain crop, it is not difcult to envision a total crop failure (Adeney, 2001). Lee (2005) estimated that star-
lings consume about 1.8 pounds of livestock feed per bird per month. In addition to the feed consumed, starlings will contaminate
many more pounds of feed with feces containing numerous bacterial, protozoan and viral pathogens. Since starlings travel from
farm to farm, they represent a biosecurity threat (Byler, 2002). Starlings are important reservoirs and vectors for the introduction
of external parasites such as mites, eas, and bed bugs into poultry houses. Starlings are also associated with: food borne patho-
gens (like Salmonella), human fungal diseases (such as blastomycosis and histoplasmosis), human protozoan diseases (toxo-
plamosis), human rickettsial diseases (Q fever), horse diseases (eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and St. Louis encephalitis),
poultry diseases (coccidiosis, chlamydiosis, Newcastle Disease, and fowl pox) and swine diseases (transmissible gastroenteritis
(TGE)) as well as tapeworms, round worms (Tetrameres), intestinal worms (Capillaria) and gapeworms, which affect multiple
species (Kern, 2001). It has been estimated that starlings cost American agriculture (conservatively) $100 million per year (Byler,
2002)

Control of Starlings
Successfully managing starling and other pests means stopping the problem before it becomes a major issue. Start con-
trol efforts before the birds have a strong attraction to the site; keep at it until the problem is solved and use a variety of techniques
including: bird-proong (exclusion), trapping, frightening, shooting and toxicants (Lee, 2005).
11
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
Bird Proong (Exclusion)
Structures can be bird-proofed by closing all open-
ings larger than one inch, placing heavy PVC or rubber strips
over entrances or doorways and covering boards, ledges or
rafters with netting or porcupine wire to prevent roosting
(Johnson and Glahn, 1998). While exclusion (bird-proong) is
the best long-term solution to starling problems, few producers
are willing to take such steps (Lee, 2005).
Starlings are attracted to feed, water and shelter.
Limit or eliminate these factors and starlings will not remain
long. Clean up spilled grain or feed. Prevent standing water
and keep water in large troughs low enough so birds can not
perch on the edge to drink. Since starlings can not swallow
large particles, where possible present animals with feed in
blocks or cubes that are 0.5 or greater in diameter (Johnson
and Glahn, 1998).
Trapping
When dealing with small static populations of
starlings trapping and removal may be an effective method
of dealing with the situation. Traps should be placed where
starlings congregate and be maintained regularly. While a
number of effective trap designs are available, it is important
to purchase a trap that provides enough capacity to address
the problem. It is also important to release non-target species
(Lee, 2005).
Frightening
Frightening techniques work well in roosting situ-
ations, PROVIDED the problem is addressed as it begins to
develop. The difculty of dealing with roosting problems
increases with ock size. To be effective, efforts to frighten
birds must be persistent and the location, intensity and type
of scare devices must be varied. Examples of frightening
devices include distress calls, alarms, noise makers, explod-
ers, propane cannons, bright objects, laser beams, eye spot
balloons, pyrotechnics and hawk kites. Depending on the lo-
cation, it may also be wise to notify law enforcement ofcials
and neighbors of your efforts. Effective frightening apply
techniques as birds are beginning to roost late in the day and
maintain daily efforts until the ock moves (Lee, 2005).
Shooting
Since rie slugs can penetrate tin, drywall, plywood
or other such materials and travel over a mile, it may be wise
to use air guns, a 410 gauge shotgun with a no. 10 to 12 size
shot or a .22 rie with rat shot. Such weapons may be an ef-
fective method of controlling a few birds in a relatively small
area, but are ineffective at controlling large numbers of birds.
However, it may be an effective means of reinforcing scaring
and harassment efforts (Lee, 2005).
Toxicants
Toxicants used to control starling populations are
usually restricted use pesticides, which means that they are
regulated by both federal and state laws. Considerable skill
is required to ensure that these poisons do not affect humans.
The use of toxicants can have very serious and unintended
consequences and will also require considerable study of
starling roosting and feeding sites. Remember that most bird
species are legally protected by state laws, federal laws and
international treaties. The person using toxicants as a control
method is legally responsible for the consequences (intended
or not). In addition, toxicants that affect starlings may have
similar effect on poultry species and/or could produce residues
in poultry products.
References
Adeney, J. M. 2001. Introduced species summary
project European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) http://www.co-
lumbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/
Sturnus_vulgaris.html visited 8/13/07.
Byler, L. I. 2002. Nuisance Birds: New and Estab-
lished Control methods for PA. Herd Health Memo HHM-02-
12 Penn State University Cooperative Extension Service.
Chow, J. 2000. Sturnus vulgaris. Animal Diversity
Web at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edy/site/accounts/
information/Sturnus_vulgaris.html visited 7/30/07.
Collins, J. 2007. European Starlings. Starling Talk.
http://www.starlingtalk.com/european_starling.htm visited
7/31/07.
Ehrlich, P. R., D. S. Dobkin and D. Wheye. 1988.
European Starlings. http://www.stanford.edu/group/stanford-
birds/text/essays/European_Starlings.html 7/30/07.
Gwinner, H. and S. Berger. 2005. European starlings:
nestling condition, parasites and green nest material during
breeding season. J. Ornithol. 146:365-371.
Ingold, D. J. 1998. The inuence of starlings on
icker reproduction when both naturally excavated cavities
and articial nest boxes are available. Wilson Bull. 110:218-
225.
Johnson, R. J. and J. F. Glahn. 1998. Starling Man-
agement in Agriculture. Nebraska Cooperative Extension pub
no. NCR 451.
Kern, W. J., Jr. 2001. European Starling. Univ. of
Florida IFAS Extension Fact Sheet SS-WEC-118
Keys, G. C. and L. A. Dugatkin. 1990. Flock size and
position effects on vigilance, aggression and prey capture in
the European Starling. The Condor 92:151-159.
Koenig, W. D. 2003. European starlings and their
effect on native cavity-nesting birds. Conservation Biology
17:1134-1140.
Lee, C. D. 2005. Got Starlings? Bird control options
for dairies. Proc 7th Western Dairy Management Conf., Reno,
NV http://www.wdmc.org/2005/9Lee.pdf visited 8/14/07.
Lynch, J. A. and T. A. Messmer, 2000. European
starlings. Utah State University Extension Publication no
NR/WE/011.
West, M. J. and A. P. King, 2007. Mozarts starling.
http://www.starlingtalk.com/mozart1.htm visited 7/31/07.
Zimmerman, E. A. 2005. All about starlings. http://
www.sialis.org/starlingbio.htm 1/30/07.
12
AVIAN Advice Fall 2007 Vol. 9, No. 3
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by Vijay Durairaj and Dustan Clark, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science,
University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 3
Applied Broiler
Research Farm Report:
Electricity Usage Before
and After Remodel
by G. Tom Tabler
page 5
Understanding and
Control of House
Sparrows
(Passer domesticus)
by Frank T. Jones
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


NECROTIC continued on page 2
Summer 2007 Volume 9 no. 2
Necrotic Enteritis
Introduction
The disease necrotic enteritis was rst
described in chickens in England in 1961
and since that time has been reported in
the majority of countries around the world.
Necrotic enteritis has been identied in
broilers, laying hens, turkeys and quail.
Necrotic enteritis has been estimated to affect
up to 40% of the commercial broiler ocks
and is believed to cost the industry about 5
per broiler in the United States (McDevitt et
al, 2006).
Cause
Necrotic enteritis is caused by toxins
produced by Clostridium perfringens as
it grows in the intestinal tract of birds.
Clostridium perfringens is a bacterium that
grows under anaerobic conditions (in the
absence of oxygen) and produces spores
that are highly resistant to drying, heat, acid
and other harsh conditions. The spores
produced by this organism are commonly
found in water, soil, feed, manure and other
environmental sources.
Although, small numbers of Clostridium
perfringens are also commonly found in the
intestinal tract of healthy broilers, they do not
cause disease. Under normal conditions the
good bacteria in the intestinal tract keep the
Clostridium perfringens population small in
number.
However, when conditions change in
the intestinal tract, Clostridium perfringens
numbers increase, toxins are produced and the
disease appears.
While anything that causes intestinal
irritation can lead to necrotic enteritis, stress;
intestinal disease (particularly coccidiosis);
AVIAN
intestinal parasites (especially round
worms); and immune suppression by mold
toxins (mycotoxins), chicken anemia virus,
Gumboro disease or Mareks disease have all
been specically linked to the disease.
Symptoms
Necrotic enteritis is commonly seen in
2-to 5-week old broiler chickens raised on
litter and in 7-to 12-week-old turkeys. At
times, the only symptom the clinical (severe)
disease is the rapid and unexplained death of
the bird.
When symptoms such as severe
depression, decreased appetite, dark colored
diarrhea, closed eyes or rufed feathers
appear they are often short-lived because
birds die rapidly. Dead birds appear
dehydrated and seem to rot very quickly from
the inside out.
When dead birds are opened it may
appear that the bird has coccidiosis, but the
intestines are ballooned with gas, fragile and
contain a foul-smelling brown uid. Early
in the disease intestines may contain ulcers
or light yellow spots on the surface. Later in
the disease the interior surface of intestines
may contain what seems to be a tan to yellow
colored membrane that is often said to
resemble a Turkish towel.
The disease will linger in the ock for
5 to 10 days, causing 2 to 50% mortality
(Merck Veterinary Manual, 1998).
While symptoms of the clinical (severe)
form of necrotic enteritis are fairly easy to
recognize, the sub-clinical (mild) form of the
2
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
NECROTIC continued from page 1
disease is not so easily recognized. Birds with mild necrotic
enteritis may simply look like they dont feel good and/or may
gain or perform poorly (Kaldhusdal and Lovland, 2002). Yet,
scientists believe that the mild form of necrotic enteritis has
a much greater impact on ock performance and protability
than the severe form.
Prevention, Control and Treatment
Antibiotics such as bacitracin, penicillin or lincomycin
can be used to treat the necrotic enteritis, but it is often
impossible to effectively use antibiotics since the disease
progresses so rapidly and the toxins involved produce
irreversible intestinal damage. Thus, it is most often easier to
prevent necrotic enteritis rather than treat it. Unfortunately, it
is not always possible to address every situation that may lead
to the onset of the disease. Still, in view of the performance
and economic issues involved, it is important to address all the
issues possible, including: keeping bird stress to a minimum,
maintaining feed storage and delivery systems, vermin control
and coccidiosis control.
Any factor that causes stress in the bird can alter the
intestinal environment, allowing Clostridium perfringens
to grow and produce toxin. While stress can come from
innumerable sources, the proper set-up and management of
poultry house environment is the most obvious method of
controlling stress.
Since it provides the power and raw materials required
for the bird to grow, it is also important to properly handle
feed. Feed that has been allowed to become old, damp or wet
will encourage mold growth and possibly toxin (mycotoxin)
production and should not be used. Almost all mycotoxins
reduce disease immunity in the bird and certain mycotoxins
are known to irritate the intestinal tract. Even if mycotoxins
are not present, moldy feed is unpalatable and contains fewer
nutrients that fresh feed. Hence, it is important to ensure that
feed handling and storage equipment is properly maintained.
Rodents and wild birds (vermin) are often found to
transmit disease organisms and parasites. Since, such
microbes and pests can either cause disease or stress in the
ock, it is imperative that these vermin be controlled.
Intestinal damage from the disease coccidiosis can easily
allow an opening for necrotic enteritis to develop. Thus,
it is extremely important to ensure that coccidiosis does not
develop in the ock. While all poultry companies maintain
coccidiosis control programs, inadequate management
practices can threaten these programs.
Perhaps, the most important management practice
involved in the control of necrotic enteritis is the regular
collection and disposal of the dead. If the dead are not
frequently collected, the cannibalism will occur, exposing
other birds to large number of Clostridium perfringens,
spreading the disease.
References
Kaldhusdal, M. and A. Lovland. 2002. Clostridial
necrotic enteritis and cholangiohepatitis. Proc. The Elanco
Global Enteritis Symposium, July 9-11, 2002 at http://www.
poultry-health.com/fora/inthelth/pdfs/kaldhusdal02.pdf visited
5/18/07.
McDevitt, R. M., J. D. Brooker, T. Acamovic and N. H.
C. Sparks. 2006. Necrotic enteritis; a continuing challenge for
the poultry industry. Worlds Poultry Sci. J. 62:221-247.
Merck Veterinary Manual. 1998. Necrotic enteritis. http://
www.merckveterinarymanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cle=htm/
bc/201200.htm visited 5/18/07.
CHECKING THINGS OVER
- Dr. Dustan Clark, poultry
veterinarian at the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science,
does a routine check of a bird.
3
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
G. Tom Tabler, Manager, Applied Broiler Research Unit - Savoy
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Applied Broiler Research Farm
Report: Electricity Usage Before
and After Renovation
ELECTRICITY continued on page 4
Introduction
The Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF) is a 4-house commercial scale broiler farm owned
by the University of Arkansas with research capabilities that include the close monitoring of total
electricity usage and the individual electricity usage of each house. The farm was constructed in
1990 and completely renovated in early 2006, with resumption of growing broilers in April 2006.
This is the second of a planned series of before and after reports on ABRF performance in various
areas.
Electricity Usage
The ABRF has electric meters on each broiler house that allows electricity usage to be closely
monitored on the farm. Electric meters are read weekly and usage has been calculated for each of the
92 ocks of broilers raised on the farm since 1990. As expected, electricity usage is always much
greater in the summer when tunnel fans and cool cells are running much of the time as opposed to
the winter season when minimum ventilation is used. Total electricity usage by ock for the period
2001-2006 is listed in Table 1. During the period 2001-2004, the farm raised 6 ocks of broilers per
year. In general, ocks were placed in the months of January, March, May, July, September, and
November. There were no ocks placed in November 2005, January 2006, or March 2006 because
the farm was shut down for renovations.
Table 1. Electricity usage (kilowatt hours) at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (2001-6).
Flock
Placement
Month 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
5-Year
Avg. 2006
1 January 10920 9757 8672 6853 12640 9768 --
2 March 7258 9423 7570 6625 10729 8321 --
3 May 15341 9835 9900 13561 14283 12584 16070
4 July 23806 20709 14810 17042 19681 19210 23607
5 September 4326 18092 4683 17139 18464 12541 28964
6 November 6740 8633 7674 13607 -- 9164 22300
Electricity usage increased for each ock in 2006 compared to the average of the previous 5 years. This was expected
because there is no longer natural ventilation available since curtains were replaced by solid sidewalls on all 4 houses. Mechani-
cal ventilation (either sidewall or tunnel fans) is now the only method of air exchange. In addition, there is also no natural light
available after renovations. All lighting is now with articial light (light bulbs), which requires additional electricity, compared to
4
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
ELECTRICITY continued from page 3
the period before renovations when natural lighting available
during the day. We are currently investigating the use of cold
cathode lighting in one house which may have the potential
for substantial energy savings over more typical incandescent
lighting and, unlike uorescent lighting; cold cathode bulbs
are easily dimmable. These efforts will be reported at a later
date.
Even though electricity usage has increased versus before
renovations, that may not be as bad as it sounds. While the
solid sidewalls have increased electricity usage, if those same
solid sidewalls can save enough fuel (propane), the farm is
better off in the long run. When the farm was built, electric-
ity costs were roughly $0.05 per kilowatt hour and propane
cost $0.52 cents per gallon. Electricity costs are now roughly
$0.06 per kilowatt hour while propane costs are roughly
$1.35 to 1.50 per gallon. As you can see, electricity costs are
roughly the same now as when the farm was originally built in
1990, but, propane costs have roughly tripled. Therefore, the
farm can afford to use several extra kilowatt hours of electric-
ity and still be ahead if it can save on propane use.
Kilowatt hours: Total and by individual house
Figure 1 illustrates the total kilowatt hours used on the
farm from 2001 through 2006. During the 6 ocks per year in
2001 through 2004 and 5 ocks in 2005 before renovations,
the farm had never used more than 76,500 kilowatt hours in
a single year. However, in 2006, during which time only 4
ocks were grown after renovations were complete; the farm
used almost 91,000 kilowatt hours. This gure will be consid-
erable higher in the future when a full years worth of produc-
tion is calculated vs. the 8 months worth of production shown
here. Again however, it may be possible to compensate for
this greater kilowatt hour usage with increased fuel savings.
This is something we will continue to investigate.
Figure 2 indicates the kilowatt hour usage by individual
house for the period 2001 to 2006. During most years, house
1 used the most kilowatt hours. This was due (among other
things) to the stir fans and jet tubes were used to distribute hot
air off the ceiling back down toward the oor during winter
periods. Also, an experimental litter burning furnace was
installed at that house which used additional electricity that
could not be separated from house electricity. After reno-
vations, and during 2006, electricity usage was similar for
houses 2, 3, and 4. Usage was somewhat higher in house 1
due, in part, to the experimental litter burning furnace.
Aside from the experimental furnace at house 1, renova-
tions have made all 4 houses quite similar in design and (as
illustrated by Figure 2) houses were similar electricity usage
during 2006, especially in houses 2, 3, and 4. Again, only a
partial year (8 months) is included in the 2006 data. In the
future, more data collection will provide a better understand-
ing of actual yearly usage.
Summary
Electricity usage was higher after the renovations than
before. This was expected and is due, in part, to solid sidewall
construction, loss of natural daylight as a light source, and an
increase in mechanical ventilation throughout the year. How-
ever, if the solid sidewall construction and an overall tighter
house save enough on the fuel bill, the increase in electricity
usage will be more than offset by increased fuel savings be-
cause propane is much more expensive than electricity at the
present time. Data collection will continue on both propane
and electricity usage and will be disseminated to provide
producers a better before and after assessment of the value
of renovations at the ABRF.
Figure 1. Total kilowatt hours of electricty used (by year)
at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (2001-6).
Figure 2. Electricity usage by house at the ABRF (2001-6).
5
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
Frank T. Jones, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Understanding and Control
of House Sparrows
(Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow History and Invasion Tactics
In the 1800s attempts were made to introduce a number
of European avian species to the United States. Few of these
species survived, but the house sparrow (which will be re-
ferred to as a sparrow in the rest of the article) is an exception
(Van Vleck, 1994). In the 1850s the sparrow was introduced
into New York Citys Central Park to eliminate the destruc-
tion of trees by inch worms (Eno, 1996). Other introductions
were made by homesick European immigrants who wanted a
reminder of their homelands (Kern, 2001). Following intro-
duction, sparrow numbers increased rapidly, making them now
one of the most common birds in North America (Zimmerman,
2005). Sparrows are found in nearly every locale except dense
forests, alpine habitats and desert environments. Sparrow
numbers have been estimated at 150 million (Zimmerman,
2007). However, sparrow numbers have fallen from their peak
in the 1920s, when food and waste from horses furnished an
unlimited supply of food (Fitzwater, 1994a).
Nevertheless, sparrows have adapted to life in close
association with humans using following characteristics to
successfully invade the United States and other countries:
rapid reproduction; effective dispersal mechanisms; rapid,
easy establishment; rapid growth and aggressive competition
with other species (Zimmerman, 2007). One pair of spar-
rows can produce up to 20 chicks per breeding season. While
unlikely, this means that one pair could potentially increase to
1,250 birds in 5 years. Sparrows are not exposed to the rigors
and mortality associated with migration. Sparrows simply y
a few miles from the nest to take advantage of the nesting sites
and food sources available. This steady progressing has effec-
tively dispersed sparrow populations throughout the country.
House sparrows are not nicky eaters or picky about nesting
sites. They will consume virtually any food that is available
and readily build nests near other bird species. House spar-
rows also quickly build nests 8 to 30 feet from the ground and
reuse them each year. In addition, sparrows tend to feed in
small ocks to avoid predation. It takes only 25 to 30 days
from the time house sparrow eggs are laid to produce an inde-
pendent juvenile and sexual maturity comes in 6 to 9 months.
Additionally, house sparrows aggressively defend both nesting
and feeding sites, destroying eggs and injuring or killing other
competitive species. House sparrows are persistent, resource-
ful and intelligent. In fact, Fitzwater (1994b) reports that the
brain usually accounts for about 4.3% of the body weight of
sparrows, which is considerable more than those of other birds.
House Sparrow Biology
Sparrows (pictured above) are generally about 5.75
inches in total length and have brown plumage. Sexually ma-
ture males have a black striped back, gray on the crown of the
head and a characteristic black bib or stripe on their throat.
Females and young are brown with striped backs and a pale
tan eye brow or stripe over their eyes (Kern, 2001).
Sparrows tend to be home bodies, spending their entire
life 2 to 3 miles from their roosts and feeding sites (Casto,
2001). Plant materials (grain, fruit, seeds and garden plants)
make up 96% of the adult diet but young are fed insects until
they are almost grown (Fitzwater, 1994a; Kern, 2001). How-
ever, sparrows are known to eat more than 830 foods and com-
monly use the same nesting site year after year (Casto, 2001).
Nests of sparrows are usually an untidy mass of dried
grass, leaves, pine straw, string, paper and feathers, usually po-
sitioned 8-30 feet off the ground for protection from predators
(Kern, 2001; Zimmerman, 2005). Nesting sites are usually
claimed by the males in mid to late winter, prior to courtship
in late winter or early spring (Eno, 1996). Both males and
females participate in nest building, but females supply the
majority of construction activity. Nest building may begin
just a few days before the rst egg (Zimmerman, 2005). About
90% of adults stay within a radius of 1.25 mi during nesting
(Fitzwater, 1994a).
Sparrows are monogamous, but appear more closely
bonded to a nest site than a mate. Males spend 60% of their
perching time at nesting sites during breeding season. Males
with wide bib sizes mate more often than those with narrower
bibs, and aggressively defend nest sites mostly from other
male sparrows (Zimmerman, 2005).
Egg laying starts in March or April usually with 3 to 4
clutches of an average of 5 speckled white eggs. Studies have
shown that in a suburban setting 67% of house sparrow eggs
were infected with E. coli pathogenic to avian species (Pi-
nowski et al., 1994).
Eggs are incubated by both males and females for 10-16
days and the young remain in the nest about 15 days (Casto,
2001; Kern, 2001). Females take the primary responsibility
SPARROWS continued on page 6
6
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
for raising nestlings, visiting the young 15-19 times per hour,
but both parents feed young by regurgitation. Fledglings are
able to feed themselves 7-10 days after leaving the nest. After
edging, birds may wander 0.6 1.2 mi to nd new feeding
areas (Zimmerman, 2005).
Predators, disease and stress cause heavy sparrow mortal-
ity during the rst year of life and few birds survive past the
fth season, but the typical lifespan of 3 years is relatively
long in comparison to other species. However, individual
birds have been found to live up to 11 years in the wild (Casto,
2001; Fitzwater, 1994a, Zimmerman, 2007).
Concerns about House Sparrows
House sparrows are often hated by bird lovers and some
call them ying rats or weeds of the air. Bluebird and
purple martin lovers are particularly venomous toward house
sparrows because they effectively (sometimes brutally) com-
pete for nesting and feeding sites (Van Vleck, 1994).
Sparrows have also been reported to carry:
1. Bacterial diseases that can affect both humans and ani-
mals like salmonellosis (Whitney, 2004) and perhaps anthrax;
2. Mycoplasma diseases including such as Mycoplasma
gallisepticum (MG), which is pathogenic to many avian spe-
cies (including poultry);
3. Protozoan diseases such as sarcosporidiosis, and coc-
cidiosis, which affect primarily animals as well as toxoplas-
mosis, and chlamydiosis (psittacosis) which are maladies in
both humans and animals
4. Viral diseases such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine
Encephalitis (EEE), Western Equine Enchephalitis (WEE), St.
Louis Encephalitis, and Venezuelan Encephalitis which infect
humans and animals via mosquitos; Poultry diseases such as
Newcastle disease or fowl pox and TGE in swine;
5. Internal parasites such as round worms, tape worms,
gape worms; and
6. External parasites such as eas, ticks, mites (including
the northern fowl mite), bed bugs and lice.
External parasite populations are readily propagated
by sparrow populations since nests are unkempt and reused
(Kern, 2001; Fitzwater, 1994a; Zimmerman, 2005). In addi-
tion, nesting materials may cause re hazards when construct-
ed near lights or other heat sources (Kern, 2001).
Sparrow Control Methods
Although sparrows are a nuisance as well as spreading
disease organisms and parasites, their close association with
humans limits safe alternatives for control. However, control
methods can be divided into the following seven categories:
exclusion, repellants, poisons, trapping, shooting, nest destruc-
tion and predators (Fitzwater, 1994a).
Exclusion
Since sparrows are intelligent, hardy and adaptable,
total exclusion is virtually impossible. In addition, exclusion
efforts must be sustained over long periods to be effective.
Nevertheless, closing all openings of 0.75 inches or larger,
covering large openings (such as under eaves) with hardware
cloth, and attaching signs at against buildings can assist in
control of sparrows. It is also important to cover any source of
grain or food to prevent access by sparrows.
Repellants
There are two general types of sparrow repellant systems:
tactile and sound repellants. Tactile repellants are those that
are placed on roosting or nesting surfaces to discourage spar-
row activity. Unfortunately tactile repellants (such as electri-
ed wire, porcupine wire or sticky substances) are generally
more effective against pigeons than sparrows. Sound repel-
lants (such as loud noises from reworks or rearms; ultrason-
ic devices or recorded distress calls) may discourage sparrows
for a time, but usually they learn to ignore the sounds (Fitzwa-
ter, 1994a; Kern, 2001).
Poisons
Poisons used to control sparrow populations are restricted
use pesticides that are regulated by both federal and state laws.
Considerable skill is required to ensure that these poisons
do not affect humans. The use of poisons will also require
considerable study of sparrow nesting, roosting and feeding
sites and can have very serious unintended consequences.
Remember that most bird species are legally protected by state
laws, federal laws and international treaties. The person using
poisons as a control method is legally responsible for the con-
sequences (intended or not). In addition, poisons that affect
sparrows may have similar affect on poultry species and/or
could produce residues in poultry products.
Trapping
While trapping of sparrows is often more labor intensive
and expensive than other control methods, trapping can ef-
fectively reduce sparrow populations. In addition, since most
traps are live traps, if birds other than sparrows are caught,
they can be quickly released. Yet, no matter what trap is used,
the secret to trapping is to put out bait (pre-bait) about a week
before setting traps (Kern, 2001). It is also important to use
the right bait. Fitzwater (1994b) developed the data in Table
1, which show that sparrows preferentially consume white
millet, corn cracked to 1/16 to 4/16 inch in size or whole milo.
Table. 1. Preference shown by sparrows for eight candidate
bait materieals
1
Bait
Material
Materials taken in 24hrs
Grams taken Percent of total
White millet 618 26.9
Cracked corn
(1/16 to 2/16)
471 20.5
Whole Milo 435 18.9
Cracked corn
(2/16 to 4/16)
396 17.2
Cracked corn
(under 1/16)
177 7.7
Wheat 145 6.3
7
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
Bait
Material
Materials taken in 24hrs
Grams taken Percent of total
Cracked corn
(over 1/4)
32 1.4
Lab chow 26 1.1

1
Adapted from Fitzwater (1994b)
There are more types of traps available for sparrows than
for any other bird, making it impractical to attempt to describe
every model (Fitzwater, 1994a). Still there are a few general
types of traps, each of which have pluses and minuses.
Funnel or drop-in traps are the most common type of
sparrow trap and can accommodate a sizable number of birds.
Funnel traps employ a funnel or trough shaped entrance that
allows sparrows to easily pass through the large end into the
trap, but the small end inside the trap discourages exits. Fun-
nel traps can capture relatively large numbers of sparrows, but
they can also escape with relative ease. Therefore, it is impor-
tant to frequently check funnel type traps (Fitzwater, 1994a;
Kern, 2001)
Although there are numerous design variations; auto-
matic, counter balanced, or elevator traps that allow a spar-
row to enter an enclosed compartment attached to the end of
a holding cage. The sparrow enters to get the bait, which is
on a small box inside the compartment. The box is enclosed
on two sides with the entrance to the cage below. The shelf
or box is attached to the end of rod or narrow thin board that
pivots around a fulcrum in the center, similar to a see-saw. A
counter weight balances the box, and as the sparrow con-
sumes the bait, its weight causes the rod (or see-saw) to tip
downward closing off the original entrance and, when the rod
reaches the bottom, exposing the entrance to the holding cage.
The sparrow enters the holding cage and the counter weight
returns the box to its original position. Elevator traps tend
to catch fewer birds than funnel traps, but the birds that are
caught generally do not escape (Fitzwater, 1994a).
Triggered traps are snares that generally catch one spar-
row at a time and usually involve a spring operated door or
closure. Sparrows enter the trap, trigger the closing of the
door and are trapped. Obviously this type of trap catches only
one or maybe two sparrows at a time. Thus, such traps are not
suited for controlling large populations, but may be effective
against a few persistent individual birds.
Shooting with rearms
Since rie slugs can travel over a mile and penetrate tin,
drywall, plywood or other such materials, it may be wise to
use air guns, a 410 gauge shotgun with a no. 10 to 12 size shot
or a 22 rie with rat shot. Such weapons may be an effective
method of controlling a few sparrows in a relatively small
area, but are ineffective at controlling large numbers of birds.
Furthermore, such weapons can become increasingly ineffec-
tive when sparrows become wary.
Nest Destruction
Sparrow populations will continue to increase if nests are
allowed to remain. Removal of nests, eggs and young tends to
discourage birds from building. However, sparrows are persis-
tent and nest removal must be repeated every two weeks during
breeding season. Long insulated poles may be used to remove
nests from high places and destroyed to prevent reuse. In addi-
tion, nesting materials may be infested with external parasites
(especially mites) and infected with disease organisms.
Predators
Both cats and sparrows often live in symbiotic relation-
ships with humans. One farmer used scrap lumber to build cat
walks between exposed rafters where sparrows usually roosted
or nested. These makeshift walks, allowed farm cats access to
locations where sparrows usually roosted or nested and resulted
in a reduction of the resident house sparrow population by 80%
over the course of a year.
Summary
House sparrows are not native to the United States and in
most cases are not protected by federal or state laws. House
sparrows are intelligent, persistent and resourceful. However,
house sparrows can destroy insulation, cause re hazards with
nesting materials as well as spread disease and parasites. Con-
trol of house sparrows may be accomplished through exclu-
sion, repellants, poisons, trapping, shooting, nest destruction
and predators (e.g. cats). However, control efforts must be
consistent, diverse and organized. In addition, it is important to
keep in mind that control efforts should not compromise ock
performance or produce residues in poultry meat or eggs.
References
Casto, S. D. 2001. House Sparrow. The Online Handbook
of Texas. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/
HH/tbh2_print.html visited 1/30/07
Eno, S. 1996. House Sparrows. http://audubon-omaha.
org/bbbox/ban/hsbyse.htm visited 2/1/07
Fitzwater, W. D. 1994a. House Sparrows. In: Prevention
and Control of Wildlife Damage, Eds, S. E. Hygnsrom, R. M.
Timm and F. E. Larson, U of Nebraska-Lincoln 2 vol http://
www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/pdf/wildlife/HOUSE_SPAR-
ROWS.PDF visited 1/30/07
Fitzwater, W. D. 1994b. Outwitting the house sparrow
(Passer domesticus). http://wildlifedamage,unl.edu/handbook/
chapters/pdf/5gptzwater.pdf visited 1/18/07
Kern, W. H. Jr. 2001. House or English Sparrow. Univer-
sity of Florida IFAS pub no SSWEC119
Pinowski, J., M. Barkowska, A. H. Kruszewicz and A.
G. Kruszewicz. 1994. The causes of the mortality of eggs and
nestlings of Passer spp. J. Biosci. 19(4):441-451
Van Vleck, R and D. Van Vleck .1994. The house spar-
row in America. Home Ground. http://wwww.americanartifacts.
com/smma/per/spar1.htm visited 2/1/07
Whitney, H. 2004. Salmonella in Songbirds. Government
of Newfoundland and Labrador Dept of Natural Resources Pub.
AP033, July 27, 2004.
Zimmerman, E. A. 2005. House Sparrow Biology. http://
www.sialis.org/hospbio.htm visited 1/18/07
Zimmerman, E. A. 2007. House Sparrow History. http://
www.sialis.org/hosphistory.htm Visited 2/6/07
8
AVIAN Advice Summer 2007 Vol. 9, No. 2
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by Amanda Hancock, Jennifer Hughes and Susan Watkins, Center of Excellence for
Poultry Science, University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 5
Applied Broiler Re-
search Farm Report:
Propane Usage Before
and After Remodel
by G. Tom Tabler
page 7
Feasability of
On-Farm Broiler Litter
Combustion
by Thomas A. Costello
page 13
Wild Bird Control:
Why and How
by Frank T. Jones
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


WATER CLEANER continued on page 2
Spring 2007 Volume 9 no. 1
In Search of the Ideal
Water Line Cleaner
Cleaning poultry drinking water systems
can be difcult if systems are dirty or a
biolm slime has become established in the
pipes, regulators, and water lines running
from the well to the poultry houses. There
have been many incidences in which the best
daily water sanitation program was less than
successful in protecting birds from disease
challenges just because the water system was
not completely clean before bird placement.
The goal of every poultry producer should be
to provide birds with the best water supply
possible. Unfortunately if growers often use
vitamins and other water additives, it is very
possible that a biolm has become established
in the pipes and regulators in as little as two to
three days.
Biolms are composed of many types of
bacteria and other organisms that live together
in a sticky lm inside pipes, regulators, and
even the nipple drinkers. The biolm then
shields itself by secreting a thick mucous that
is not easily penetrated by cleaners such as
chlorine or acidiers such as citric acid. The
mucous can even neutralize the cleaner before
it has a chance to kill harmful organisms.
Then as the biolm grows and becomes
crowded, it releases bacteria into the water
and to the birds.
One of the most eye opening cases
that drives home the importance of good
water sanitation was a turkey barn that had
Bordetella positive poults. Bordetella is a
bacterial respiratory infection that can set
back a ock of turkeys and usually requires
antibiotic treatment for successful recovery.
AVIAN
The nipple drinker line was cut and a visual
inspection of the line indicated no slime.
The pipes looked clean. However, when the
water regulator was opened, a thick algae
growth was present on the pressure seal
and the Bordetella was found thriving there
(see picture p. 4). That is why if a producer
even suspects his water supply or drinkers
might be causing health issues in ocks, it is
important to pick the right line cleaner and
use it at an appropriate rate between ocks
when the poultry houses are empty and no
birds are present.
The biggest question is: What products
give producers the most thorough cleaning
for their water systems without damaging the
equipment? While many growers have been
trained to use products such as citric acid,
research results are now showing that when a
drinker system is dirty with bacteria, organic
acids such as citric acid could be providing
the bacteria a food supply and creating a
bacterial challenge for new chicks and poults.
If the biolm contains yeast or mold, then
lowering the pH of the water with citric acid
could actually be creating a more favorable
environment for the slime to thrive resulting
in clogged drinkers. Most molds prefer a pH
of 2 to 5.
Given the fact that many challenges
can potentially be present in poultry house
water systems, what is the best choice for
optimizing line cleaning and eliminating
2
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
WATER CLEANER continued from page 1
all growth? This was the question that led to the evaluation
of several line cleaning products. The objective of this
project was to create a microbial rich environment that could
potentially shield bacteria and other organisms from cleaners
(just like biolms do) and then determine what products were
most effective in reducing or eliminating bacteria, yeast and
mold.
Products were evaluated for their ability to kill oxygen
loving (or aerobic) bacteria, yeast and mold in the presence of
a heavy organic load. These microbes were chosen because
they are typically present in contaminated water systems. In
an attempt to simulate the slime seen in the Bordetella positive
regulator, water containing algae was used for the test. The
heavy organic load in this water simulated the challenge for
cleaning tough biolms.
The products tested included a citric acid product; CID
2000, (20 % stabilized hydrogen peroxide with acetic acid);
35% hydrogen peroxide; Poultry PronTech (quaternary
ammonium compound); Pro Clean, (50% stabilized
hydrogen peroxide); Proxy Clean, (50% stabilized hydrogen
peroxide); and 6% sodium hypochlorite or house bleach. Table
1 shows the test concentrations for each product.
Table 1. Test products
Product
Description of
Products Concentration Tested
CID 2000
20% Stabilized hy-
drogen peroxide with
acetic acid
2% Solution
Citric Acid
Feed grade citric
acid
Two 1-lb. packs to a gal.
of water makes the stock
solution, then
1-oz. to a gal. of water
Hydrogen
Peroxide
35% concentration 3% solution
Poultry Pron
Tech
0.0123 grams/50ml 100 ppm solution
Poultry Pron
Tech
0.05 grams/50 ml 400 ppm solution
Pro Clean
35% Stabilized
Hydrogen
Peroxide
3% solution
Pro Clean
35% Stabilized
Hydrogen Peroxide
0.78% solution
Proxy Clean
35% Stabilized
Hydrogen Peroxide
3% solution
Sodium
hypochlorite
or household
bleach
6% Concentrate
0.78% solution tested
created by adding 1-oz.
bleach to 128-ozs. or
1-gallon of water
Sodium
hypochlorite
or household
bleach
6% Concentrate
0.073% solution tested
this was made by adding
12-ozs. bleach added to
128-ozs. or 1-gal. of water
to create a stock solution
then 1-oz. of stock was
added to 1-gallon of
drinking water
The amount of cleaner required to give the nal
concentrations listed in Table 1 was added to each of two
small jars (duplicates) containing 50 ml of water with an
abundance of algae growth. Prior to adding the cleaners,
the water in each jar was tested for the different microbes.
Following cleaner addition the jars were held at room
temperature until they were sampled at 4 and 24 hours. The
pH of the samples was checked with a pH meter, while the
aerobic plate counts (APC), yeast and mold counts were done
using Petrilm
TM
.
The initial aerobic bacteria counts (APC) ranged from 2
million to 35 million colony forming units per milliliter (CFU/
ml) (Table 2).
Table 2. Bacteria count results of testing
different cleaning products on algae water
Product
Pre-
Treatment
Aerobic
Bacteria
(CFU/ml)
Aerobic
Bacteria 4
hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Aerobic
Bacteria 24
hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Control 10,400,000 12,750,000 24,650,000
CID 2000
2% solution
8,000,000 105 <10
Citric Acid 36,500,000 36,200,000 21,800,000
Hydrogen
Peroxide -
3% solution
5,500,000 294,000 115
Poultry
PronTech
100 ppm
13,100,000 465,000 5,382,500
Poultry
PronTech
400 ppm
6,500,000 575,000 261,500
Pro Clean
0.78% solution
24,300,000 490,000 53,800
Pro Clean
3% solution
7,700,000 82,000 <10
Proxy Clean
3% solution
2,100,000 166,500 <10
Bleach
0.073%
solution
7,600,000 166,500 1,271,000
Bleach
0.78% solution
9,700,000 109,000 138,000

Counts from untreated (control) water increased slightly at
both 4 and 24 hours, which showed that conditions favor
survival of aerobic bacteria. When the products were
compared at four hours post treatment, counts from the CID
2000 hydrogen peroxide treated water had the greatest
reduction in bacteria counts with only 105 CFU/ml remaining.
At 4 hours post treatment counts from the citric acid treated
water showed no reduction. Although all the other products
tested reduced bacteria counts, several thousand CFU/ml
survived and this level is not acceptable for drinking water
3
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
WATER CLEANER continued on page 4
Table 3. Yeast count results of testing different cleaning
products on algae water
Product
Pre-
Treatment
Yeast Levels
(CFU/ml)
Yeast Levels
4 hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Yeast Levels
24 hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Control 2,800 200 145
CID 2000
2% solution
400 <10 <10
Citric Acid 15,000 480 390
Hydrogen
Peroxide -
3% solution
700 <10 <10
Poultry
PronTech
100 ppm
1100 160 160
Poultry
PronTech
400 ppm
135 135 95
Pro Clean
0.78% solution
3500 500 30
Pro Clean
3% solution
600 <10 <10
Proxy Clean
3% solution
2,500 <10 <10
Bleach
0.073%
solution
400 65 100
Bleach
0.78% solution
400 70 120
Table 4. Mold count results of testing different cleaning
products on algae water
Product
Pre-
Treatment
Mold Levels
(CFU/ml)
Mold Levels
4 hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Mold Levels
24 hours after
adding
products
(CFU/ml)
Control 1,000 120 105
CID 2000
2% solution
200 <10 <10
Citric Acid 1,400 905 155
Hydrogen
Peroxide -
3% solution
400 <10 <10
Poultry
PronTech
100 ppm
400 30 25
Poultry
PronTech
400 ppm
900 30 25
Pro Clean
0.78% solution
100 <10 <10
Pro Clean
3% solution
600 <10 <10
Proxy Clean
3% solution
400 <10 <10
Bleach
0.073%
solution
200 <10 10
Bleach
0.78% solution
300 20 15
systems because it serves as a reservoir of bacteria to re-establish biolms. At 24 hours, no bacteria were detected in water treated
with the CID 2000, ProClean 3%, or ProxyClean 3%. The hydrogen peroxide 3% solution also had dramatic reduction
in bacteria counts at 24 hours. The bleach solutions tested showed minimal effectiveness in reducing bacterial counts, as did the
PronTech.
Yeast and mold counts from control samples decreased by about tenfold at 4 hours, but did not further decrease at 24 hours
(Tables 3 and 4). Since yeasts and mold prefer to grow in low pHs (acid conditions), these counts may reect the fact that pH
values for the water used were higher than 7 (alkaline) (Table 5).
4
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
WATER CLEANER continued from page 3
Table 5. pH results of testing different cleaning products
on algae water
Product
Pre-
Treatment
pH Levels
pH Levels 4
hours after
adding
products
pH Levels 24
hours after
adding
products
Control 7.91 8.04 8.01
CID 2000
2% solution
7.88 5.86 6.11
Citric Acid 7.81 7.49 8.08
Hydrogen
Peroxide -
3% solution
7.79 7.94 8.16
Poultry
PronTech
100 ppm
7.86 8.62 8.25
Poultry
PronTech
400 ppm
7.70 8.74 8.82
Pro Clean
0.78% solution
7.98 8.08 8.27
Pro Clean
3% solution
7.83 7.85 8.07
Proxy Clean
3% solution
7.74 7.86 7.99
Bleach
0.073%
solution
7.92 8.23 8.36
Bleach
0.78% solution
7.85 8.19 8.39

Initial yeast ranged from 135 to 15,000 CFU/ml (Table 3).
While all yeast counts except the PronTech 400 decreased at
4 hours, levels were undetectable for the 2% CID 2000, the
ProClean 3%, ProxyClean 3% and hydrogen peroxide at
both 4 and 24 hours. Interestingly, yeast counts from bleach
treated samples decreased at 4 hours, but increased slightly at
24 hours.
Mold counts from pre-treatment samples ranged from
200 to 1,400 CFU/ml (Table 4). More products showed
effectiveness in reducing mold counts than yeast counts (Table
3). Mold counts from CID 2000, both levels of ProClean,
ProxyClean, 0.073% bleach solution and 3% hydrogen
peroxide decreased to undetectable levels by 4 hours, while
counts from citric acid, PronTech and 0.78% bleach treated
samples decreased less.
The initial pH for the different dirty water solutions was
above pH neutral (7) which is not uncommon for many water
supplies (Table 5). There were no obvious trends in pH
among the treatments. The control showed a slight increase in
pH at 4 and 24 hours. The CID 2000 had a drastic reduction
in pH at 4 hours, but at 24 hours it increased. The citric acid
had an initial lowering of pH, but at 24 hours it increased.
Hydrogen peroxide increased the pH at 4 and 24 hours. Both
PronTech rates had an increase in pH at 4 and 24 hours and
this would be expected for ammonia-based products. The Pro
Clean at both rates also increased the pH at 4 and 24 hours, as
did the Proxy Clean and both bleach rates.
Conclusion
The products which showed the most effectiveness
in virtually eliminating bacteria, yeast and mold were 2%
CID 2000, 3% ProClean, 3% ProxyClean and 3%
hydrogen peroxide (35% concentrate). Citric acid had little
impact on the bacteria. The yeast and mold levels tended
to become lower no matter what the treatment but were
reduced to undetectable levels by the same products that
reduced the bacteria. It was also interesting to note that
it took up to 24 hours to have the most impact on bacteria
levels with the most effective products with the exception
of CID 2000. Knowing that mold typically prefers acidic
pH and the samples were slightly alkaline, the environment
was not very favorable for mold. The high pH PronTech
solutions were not very effective but the test was somewhat
an unfair test since low concentrations PronTech solutions
(100 and 400 ppm) were compared to 3% hydrogen peroxide
solutions. Future work will focus on stronger concentrations
of PronTech since it is a high pH product that may have
great value in high pH water. Higher concentrations of bleach
were not used since strong bleach solutions are known to be
damaging to water line equipment.
The take home message from this project is water
systems which contain a great deal of bacterial growth and
slime may very well need products at stronger concentrations
to eliminate the challenge. Otherwise, bacteria may remain in
concentrations that can return to high levels once the cleaner
is removed from the system. Weak citric acid solutions are
not good line cleaner choices for dirty systems. To achieve
3% solution concentrations, producers can mix 1.5 gallons of
product in 50 gallons of water then use a 1/4th hp submersible
pump to add the cleaner at the medicator connection. To
determine if water systems might need extra strength cleaning,
take apart a regulator. If a coating of slime is present and
performance issues have existed in previous ocks that were
not management related, then thorough water line cleaning
is recommended. A nal note, always check with your
equipment supplier prior to using any product in your drinker
system.
5
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
G. Tom Tabler, Manager, Applied Broiler Research Unit - Savoy
Department of Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Applied Broiler Research Farm
Report: Propane Usage Before
and After Renovation
1
FARM REPORT continued on page 6
Introduction
The Applied Broiler Research Farm (ABRF) is a 4-house commercial-scale broiler farm
constructed by the University of Arkansas in 1990 with the unique capability to closely monitor
gas usage. In January 2006, a complete and total renovation of the farm began. This article on gas
(propane) usage is the rst of a planned series of before and after reports on ABRF performance in
various areas.
Farm Background
Before renovations, the farm consisted of four 16-year-old 40 x 400 broiler houses that had
received only minimal improvements over the years. The houses were completely stripped down to
where only the trusses, roofs, and end walls remained. The drop ceilings also remained intact in the
two wood truss houses. Drop ceilings were installed in the two steel truss houses and enough loose
ll insulation blown into the attic to match the R-19 in the two houses that already had drop ceilings.
Curtain sides were replaced with solid sidewall construction on all houses. New feeders, new drink-
ers, new cool cell systems, crossover foggers and tunnel ventilation fans for summer cooling were
installed as well as new north sidewall fans and vent door air inlet systems for minimum ventilation.
The farm was completed re-wired and new automatic controllers, backup thermostats, and light dim-
mers were installed in each house. A gas chlorination system was installed along with an additional
pump system that injects Poultry Water Treatment (PWT; Jones-Hamilton Co.) to treat the farms
well water supply.
The farm resumed growing broilers in April 2006. Two ocks of small birds (38 days old) and
two ocks of larger birds (49 and 50 days old) were grown. One ock each was placed in April,
June, August, and October of 2006. Propane usage data and temperature data from the National
Weather Service are reported below.
Gas Bill as a Percentage of the Chicken Check
Throughout 2001, 2002 and until August of 2003 gas prices remained constant at 0.88 cents per
gal (Table 1).
Table 1. Propane costs at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (2001-2006)
April June August October
Year
Propane Cost
($/gal)
Propane Cost
($/gal)
Propane Cost
($/gal)
Propane Cost
($/gal)
2001 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88
2002 0.88 0.88 0.88 0.88
2003 0.88 0.88 0.93 0.93
2004 1.03 1.03 1.03 1.42
2005 1.19 1.19 1.19 --
2006 1.52 1.37 1.37 1.31
1
Mention of company
or trade names does not
constitute endorsement by
the University of Arkansas
Cooperative Extension
Service or Center of Excel-
lence for Poultry Science
and does not imply their
approval to the exclusion of
other companies or products
that may be suitable.
6
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
FARM REPORT continued from page 5
August and October ock prices climbed to 0.93 cents per gal. Prices continued to climb during 2004 with the price of gas for the
April, June, and August ocks at $1.03 per gal and increasing to $1.42 for the October ock. By April 2005, prices had dropped
back to $1.19 per gal and remained steady through the August 2005 ock. There was no October ock 2005 because the farm was
shut down in preparation for renovations. By April 2006, when renovations were complete and the farm came back on line, gas
prices were $1.52. Prices dropped to $1.37 for the June and August ocks and dropped yet again for the October ock to $1.31.
The price of propane and the number of days when supplemental heat was required both had an effect on the percentage of
the settlement check devoted to paying the gas bill (Table 2).
Table 2. Propane Costs and heating days at the Applied Broiler Research Farm (2001-2006)
April June August October
Year %
1
HD
2
% HD % HD % HD
2001 26 16 5 1 7 0 24 27
2002 17 20 7 0 5 0 24 24
2003 12 22 7 4 2 0 28 24
2004 41 22 7 1 8 3 30 18
2005 35 26 14 0 7 0 -- 21
2006 26 16 4 0 1 0 21 26

1
Percentage of the settlement check spent for propane

2
Days with lows below 65 degrees F (from National Weather Service)
The National Weather Service data shown suggest that outside temperatures in April and June of 2006 were warmer than most
of the previous ve years. October temperatures appeared to be slightly colder than previous years and little supplemental heat
was require in August. The June and August ocks of 2006 (after renovations) accounted for the least percentage spent on fuel of
any year during the 6-yr period. This is due, in part, to tighter houses, solid side walls, better insulation, and better control of the
ventilation system. The 0.09 /lb increase in pay per pound of salable meat is also partly responsible because the 2006 chicken
checks were larger than any of the previous years checks.
Gallons of Gas Required
Propane usage data before and after renovation by placement month are shown in Figure 1. The number of days when heat
was required (Figure 2) and the number of days when outside temperatures were at or below freezing (32F) (Figure 3) are also
shown. In all three gures the data listed as before represent an average of the previous 5 years (i.e. 2001-2005), while data
listed as after are 2006 data.
7
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
A big unknown after the renovation was how would gas consumption change compared to before the renovation. Since at
the creation of this article we have not been through the cold, winter season, peak demand usage is still unknown but that informa-
tion will eventually be available for dissemination.
Fewer gallons of propane were used in April, June and August placed ocks in 2006 than in the average previous 5 years
(Figure 1). There were fewer days in April, 2006 requiring heat (Figure 2) and fewer days with freezing temperatures (Figure
3) than in the 01-05 average, which could account for lower propane usage gures. However, temperatures were in June and
August were virtually identical when 2006 was compared with the average of the previous 5 years. Yet, as compared with the
average of the previous ve years, less propane was used in June and August of 2006. This apparent increase in energy efciency
is likely due to renovation. In October there were more days requiring heat (Figure 2) and more days with freezing temperatures
(Figure 3) in 2006 than in the average of the previous ve years. Yet the newly renovated houses only 8.5% (381 gal.) more
propane than the average of the previous ve years. These data again suggest that renovations made the houses more energy ef-
cient.
Summary
Presented is gas usage data before and after renovations at the Uni-
versity of Arkansas ABRF. Many poultry producers have recently
gone through major renovations on their farms similar to those at the
ABRF. This information, along with data currently being collected
should be of interest to producers and provide a clear before and
after assessment of gas usage and help determine the true value of
farm renovation.
References
National Weather Service Forecast Ofce. 2007. Archived Obser-
vations. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tsa/getobs.html Assessed 2/8/07
Thomas A. Costello, P.E., Biological and Agricultural
Engineering Department University of Arkansas
Feasibility of On-Farm Broiler
Litter Combustion
Introduction
Poultry litter is a resource that many growers have consistently used to fertilize pastures.
However, poultry growers in sensitive watersheds are searching for alternatives to conventional land
application. Litter can be burned in a furnace and the heat can be used for space-heating the broiler
houses and might offer an alternative to land application. Propane or natural gas saved by utilizing
the heat from combustion of litter might provide an economic incentive to justify the investment in
the furnace system. However, it is important to examine the facts before investing in an on-farm lit-
ter burning furnace.
Therefore, we decided to test a litter burning furnace. The purpose of this test was to determine
if on-farm litter burning is feasible. An additional objective was to aid growers in making decisions
about furnaces by providing details on thermal performance (i.e., the rate of heat output and the ef-
ciency of the furnace), bulk material ow (i.e., daily and annual amounts of litter needed and ash
FEASIBILITY continued on page 8
8
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
FEASIBILITY continued from page 7
produced), economic implications, management requirements
and environmental repercussions. This article provides a
summary of the results from the demonstration.
Furnace System Description
A broiler litter-red furnace prototype, fabricated by
Lynndale Systems, Inc., Harrison, Arkansas, was used in
the test. The furnace was installed at House 1, UA Applied
Broiler Research Farm (ABRF), near Savoy, Arkansas. The
furnace used a direct combustion process with fan-forced
delivery of combustion air. House air was drawn through air
lters into the furnace and through an air-to-air heat exchang-
er. This arrangement was designed to extract energy from the
hot exhaust gases and to transfer the energy to the air stream
which was directed back into the house. Six, 18-inch high
velocity stirring fans were used to promote distribution of the
heated air longitudinally within the house.
Automatic control of the furnace components was ac-
complished using an electronic data logger (Campbell Scien-
tic, model 21X, Logan, Utah). Whenever the house thermo-
stat called for heat, a linear actuator moved a apper valve to
direct the heated air into the house (and exhausted the heated
air when the thermostat was satised).
The broiler litter used as fuel in the test was taken from
the Savoy farm during an annual cleanout in spring, 2005.
It was stored for over a year in a bunker (covered pile on a
concrete pad) adjacent to House 1. During the furnace test, lit-
ter was removed from the pile using the front-end loader on a
tractor as needed and placed in a large hopper that could hold
about 1.5 front-end loader buckets. A chain conveyor moved
the litter from the outside hopper to a small surge tank above
the furnace. As the furnace consumed fuel, it was metered
into the combustion chamber.
Ash accumulated in an ash bin which was cleaned out
manually every 1-3 days of operation. After removal, the ash
was stored in covered plastic bins.
Testing:
The furnace system was operated during 2 grow-outs
of birds from August 1, 2006 to November 24, 2006. The
furnace supplied heat, as needed, to House 1 (a solid-side wall,
tunnel ventilated house) at the ABRF. Measurements of fuel
use, ash accumulation and heat extracted were obtained using
digital scales, thermocouple probes and electronic data col-
lection. The data were analyzed to document furnace perfor-
mance and to provide a basis for assessing the feasibility of
the system.
The data in Table 1 were from the second growout of
the demonstration when the furnace prototype was operated
automatically. In the table, the column labeled Heat Ex-
tracted represents the total amount of heat generated from
the litter burned on that day, while the column labeled Heat
Delivered represents the amount of heat actually delivered
into the chicken house. Due to mild weather, the broiler house
thermostat did not call for heat in the latter part of the growout
when the birds were large. On these days, the furnace was of-
ten operated with the heat exhausted outside the house. Peak
Output is the maximum amount of heat generated per hour
on that day. The data under Cumulative Litter Consumed
and Cumulative Ash Produced represent running totals of the
mass of litter burned and ash produced during the test.
9
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
FEASIBILITY continued on page 10
Table 1. Performance of furnace during the second ock of the test
Date
Time of
Operation
(h)
Heat Extracted
(btu)
Heat Delivered
(btu)
Peak Output
(btu/hr)
Cumulative
Litter Consumed
(lb)
Cumalitve Ash
Produced
(lb)
10/07/2006 6.0 30,797 6060 18,780 0 0
10/09/2006 9.2 276,753 211,156 61,980 607 0
10/10/2006 0.9 12,674 12,409 22,140 607 133
10/11/2006 4.0 99,093 95,790 57,000 977 133
10/13/2006 10.0 359,814 244,809 87,060 1,584 133
10/14/2006 10.7 362,926 309,754 78,360 1,840 133
10/16/2006 5.6 247,771 194,230 93,000 2,736 133
10/17/2006 6.9 229,482 8,360 60,300 2,809 463
10/19/2006 5.7 99,093 95,790 77,340 3,416 463
10/23/2006 6.9 218,327 218,317 62,040 4,023 463
10/24/2006 10.5 270,928 270,655 61,860 4,630 725
10/25/2006 10.5 157,227 157,191 77,400 5,237 725
10/26/2006 13.4 198,783 198,717 45,120 5,237 725
10/31/2006 17.7 919,988 0 70,860 6,451 840
11/01/2006 16.3 651,106 0 62,580 7,058 980
11/02/2006 6.5 90,585 0 34,980 7,665 980
11/03 - 04/2006 33.7 1,201,344 964,070 84,000 10,093 1,480
11/09/2006 14.9 835,880 0 92,400 11,307 1,480
11/10/2006 12.8 836,822 0 87,840 12,521 1,797
11/13/2006 14.8 863,452 0 81,600 13,735 1,797
11/14/2006 10.7 48,298 0 84,300 14,949 2,034
11/15/2006 6.9 309,073 0 69,780 15,556 2,034
11/16/2006 12.4 818,563 0 90,360 16,770 2,203
11/17/2006 7.4 335,977 0 80,820 17,377 2,203
11/18/2006 4.1 115,449 0 64,080 17,377 2,424
11/20/2006 11.8 713,613 0 78,000 18,591 2,424
11/21/2006 18.8 1,073,949 0 82,500 20,412 2,758
11/22/2006 10.4 428,683 0 84,120 21,019 2,880
TOTAL 299 12,243,450 2,987,308

Over the 7 week period, the furnace was operated about 300
hours and produced over 12 million btu of heat (equivalent to
about 133 gallons of propane). Approximately 10 tons of litter
was combusted, producing an accumulated ash mass of about
1.4 tons (3 cubic yards). The average litter feed-rate was 70
lb/hour and the peak heat output was 93,000 btu/h. The fur-
nace system efciency (assuming litter has an energy content
of about 4500 btu/lb) was 13%.
Properties of Litter and Ash:
Samples of litter and ash were collected and analyzed.
The properties are summarized in Table 2 (right).
Table 2. Lab analysis results for litter and ash samples
Constituent
Litter Ash
Concentration (%, as-is basis, by weight)
Moisture 15.2 2.7
Ash 21.0 89.2
Carbon 31.9 4.2
Hydrogen 5.7 0.6
Nitrogen 4.0 0.6
Sulfur 0.6 1.7
Oxygen 40.5 18.0
Phosphorus 3.1 9.7
Potassium 3.7 10.9
Energy (btu/lb) 5500 360
10
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
FEASIBILITY continued from page 9
The energy content listed is for completely dried litter.
Net energy values would be reduced to account for moisture
normally present in litter. These test results for litter energy
are consistent with other data which suggests a general net
energy for broiler litter of about 4500 btu/lb. Litter quality
will affect net energy. Wetter litter will have lower net energy
content. Although we have not measured it, we can presume
that litter that has not been stored for a long storage period
would have higher energy content.
The fact that the ash includes 4% carbon indicates that
either the litter was not completely combusted or that some
unburned fuel sifted into the ash pan. Design improvements
could be targeted to capture this energy to improve furnace
system efciency.
Since the process of burning removes organic matter
(carbon), the ash tends to accumulate and concentrate the min-
eral, non-volatile litter constituents. Thus, we would expect
ash would contain higher concentrations of minerals compared
to the original litter. The elevated phosphorus (P) content
has both pros and cons. Litter derived P that remains in the
ash is one reason that farmers in sensitive watersheds should
probably not apply ash as a soil amendment unless soil tests
indicate that the receiving crop does indeed need supplemental
P. Therefore, most growers will be looking for an off-farm,
out-of-watershed market for the ash. The elevated P content
would make the material more attractive as a fertilizer to po-
tential buyers outside the region.
Emissions and Air Quality Impacts:
Emissions out of the stack have important implications.
Emissions of certain gases provide an indication of the extent
of combustion. Other gases may contribute to air pollution.
Thus, the quality of the stack gases needs to be checked so
that we can insure that we are simply trading water pollution
problems for air pollution problems. In addition, emissions
problems might lead to regulation of such furnaces in the
future.
The contents of the exhaust stack were spot checked pe-
riodically during the test. A portable combustion analyzer was
used to probe the gas and measure its constituents. The results
are listed in Table 3 below.
Table 3. Emissions test results
Consitutent concentrations in Stack Gases
Emissions
Test Date
Oxygen
(%)
Carbon Monoxide
(ppm)
Nitrous Oxide
(ppm)
8/15/2006 14.4 4967 101
8/29/2006 17.4 1523 51
9/26/2006 16.5 5833 79
10/23/2006 15.9 7106 70
10/31/2006 16.8 4397 86
11/10/2006 14.8 7095 99
11/20/2006 14.1 7742 88
The measured levels of carbon monoxide (CO) were exces-
sive. This gas is an intermediate combustion product that
contains a lot of energy. Its presence at these concentrations
represents lost heat and incomplete combustion. The potential
exists to improve combustion in subsequent furnace designs so
that CO levels are reduced and more energy (improved system
efciency) is extracted.
Levels of nitrous oxide (NO) were not excessive.
Emissions of NOx from other sources (such as automobiles)
contribute to air pollution in many urban areas. Changes to
furnace design, particularly those that may lead to more com-
plete combustion, could inadvertently increase NO emissions.
So, this gas should continue to be monitored in tests following
any combustion design changes.
The laboratory analysis of the litter indicates that it is
composed of approximately 21% ash (inert minerals that
cannot be combusted). In our testing, we were only able to
recover about 12% of the litter weight as ash. The difference
may be caused by very small particles of ash being exhausted
up the stack (particulate emissions). Particulate emissions
were not measured in this project. Further study is needed to
see if particulate emissions represent a signicant transport
process that might carry litter constituents (such as minerals or
trace metals) from the furnace to surrounding land.
Management Requirements:
During the second ock, when automatic controls were
used, the furnace operation required one full-time operator.
The operator was needed since the test had special monitoring/
measurement requirements. While some mechanical failures
did occur which interrupted the operation of the furnace, these
problems should be xed before a commercial system is on
the market.
In routine operation, growers would not need the sophis-
ticated monitoring equipment used in the test. Growers would
probably need to add litter to the hopper approximately 2-4
loads per day, depending upon the heat demand (how cold it
is outside and how big are the birds). While at the furnace to
load litter, the farmer would likely check furnace operation
and verify that all was well. This should take about 15-30
minutes of labor per day. Manual unloading of ash should
take about 30 minutes every 1-3 days. However, a commer-
cial furnace may include automatic ash handling.
Economic Feasibility
The demonstration was successful in showing the techni-
cal feasibility of burning 100% litter in a direct-combustion
furnace on the farm. Yet, the total heat delivery rate and sys-
tem efciency were lower than we had hoped. Modications
to the design of the furnace we tested might result in improved
performance, increasing peak heat output and efciency.
We can make some estimates as to the needed furnace
performance that will result in a system that will pay for itself.
Lets say that a grower decides to purchase a litter furnace and
expects the furnace to eliminate about 80% of the annual fuel
(e.g., propane) use for space heating. What furnace heat rate
11
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
would meet this 80% requirement? The data in Table 4 below are based upon gas usage from the ABRF over 15 ocks and show
that a furnace heat rate of 175,000 btu/h would meet about 40% of the annual load operating on its own and about 80% of the an-
nual load when supplemented with existing propane heaters. So, if the target is 80% fuel savings, then the furnace needs to meet
a 175,000 btu/h specication.

Table 4. Cumulative heat load and annual propane use offset by furnaces of various heat ratings

Heat Rate Capacity
(btu/h)
Cumulative Heat
Load
(%)
Annual Propane
Offset
(%)
60,000 4.6 38
75,000 7.9 45
100,000 15.2 57
125,000 23.9 66
150,000 33.2 74
175,000 42.5 80
200,000 51.4 85
250,000 66.6 91
300,000 78.1 95
350,000 86.1 97
400,000 91.4 99
500,000 97.0 100
600,000 99.0 100
The prototype furnace we tested only had a peak heat output of 93,000 btu/h. An increase is needed to be able supply
enough heat to meet the targeted fuel savings. A furnace can generate more heat either by (a) burning fuel at a faster rate, or (b)
extracting more heat from each pound of fuel (that is, a better efciency). Table 5 below shows how projected furnace output
increases with increases in fuel feed-rates and furnace efciencies. To get to 175,000 btu/h, a furnace could be designed to burn
100 lb/h with an improved 40% efciency. Actually, both of these goals should be attainable in a commercial furnace.
Table 5. Furnace heat delivery rate as a function of litter input (or feed-rate) and system efciency.
Assumes litter energy of 4500 btu/lb
System
Efciency
Peak Litter Input Rate (lb/h)
50 75 100 125 150 175 200
Heat Rate Delivered (btu/h)
10% 22,500 33,750 45,000 56,250 67,500 78,750 90,000
20% 45,000 67,500 90,000 112,500 135,000 157,500 180,000
30% 67,500 101,250 135,000 168,750 202,500 236,250 270,000
40% 90,000 135,000 180,000 225,000 270,000 315,000 360,000
50% 112,500 168,750 225,000 281,250 337,500 393,750 450,000
60% 135,000 202,500 270,000 337,500 405,000 472,500 540,000
70% 157,500 236,250 315,000 393,750 472,500 551,250 630,000
80% 180,000 270,000 360,000 450,000 540,000 630,000 720,000
90% 202,500 303,750 405,000 506,250 607,500 708,750 810,000
95% 213,750 320,625 427,500 534,375 641,250 748,125 855,000
Assuming then, that a commercial furnace is available that puts out 175,000 btu/h and can reduce conventional fuel costs by 80%,
what are the economic ramications? A typical broiler house in northwest Arkansas requires about 5000 gallons of propane per
FEASIBILITY continued on page 12
12
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
FEASIBILITY continued from page 11
year for space heating. An 80% reduction in propane consumption would represent a substantial dollar amount. Depending upon
the price you are paying for propane, these savings could provide a net cash ow that could be invested in the litter red furnace.
The data in Table 6 below shows the total present value of projected fuel savings over a 7 year period. For example, if pro-
pane costs $1.20 per gallon and the furnace is capable of offsetting 80% of propane use, then the total present value of those fuel
savings is $24,000, based on an interest rate of 8.5% and a 7 year planning horizon. Under this scenario, the grower could afford
to invest (or borrow) as much as $24,000 for the furnace and expect the fuel savings to pay the note.
Table 6. Total present value (8.5% interest) of fuel savings occurring over a period of 7 years, as a function of propane costs and
percentage of annual heat load offset by the furnace
Propane Costs
Offset
(%)
Propane Cost ($/gallon)
$0.90 $1.00 $1.10 $1.20 $1.30 $1.40 $1.50
Present Value of Projected Fuel Savings over the Period
10 2,303 2,559 2,815 3,071 3,327 3,583 3,839
20 4,607 5,119 5,630 6,142 6,654 7,166 7,678
30 6,910 7,678 8,446 9,213 9,981 10,749 11,517
40 9,213 10,237 11,261 12,284 13,308 14,332 15,356
50 11,517 12,796 14,076 15,356 16,635 17,915 19,194
60 13,820 15,356 16,891 18,427 19,962 21,498 23,033
70 16,123 17,915 19,706 21,498 23,289 25,081 26,872
80 18,427 20,474 22,521 24,569 26,616 28,664 30,711
90 20,730 23,033 25,337 27,640 29,943 32,247 34,550
95 21,882 24,313 26,744 29,176 31,607 34,038 36,469
Clearly there are potential scenarios that provide economic feasibility for litter red furnaces. The grower will, however, need to
make sure that the purchase/installation costs do not exceed the fuel savings potential of the furnace during a reasonable payback
period. Growers will need to inspect the manufacturers specications for the furnace heat rate capacity, fuel feed-rate and ef-
ciency to see if propane savings will meet expectations.
Fuel and Ash Handling Projections:
For a grower interested in a litter-red furnace, an ad-
ditional question may be How much litter and ash will I need
to handle? If we assume a litter-red furnace has a 40%
efciency rate and our target is a reduction of propane usage
by 80%, then about 100 tons of litter would need to be stored
for fuel. This amount of litter is about the amount of litter
produced by a 40 x 400 ft house annually. However, less stor-
age capacity would be needed if litter cleanouts occur more
frequently than once per year.
To store 100 tons of litter, a grower could build a low-
cost temporary storage adjacent to the poultry house and
furnace. A pile that is 20 ft wide at the bottom, would need to
be approximately 80 ft long to store 100 tons. A heavy duty
plastic tarp would be required to keep rain off the litter during
storage (see Avian Advice 2(1):12-15). Remember that litter
should not be stored at depths more than 5 ft to avoid sponta-
neous combustion in the pile.
We estimate that burning 100 tons of litter per year would
produce about 12 tons of ash. Ash has a density of approxi-
mately 45 lb/ft3, which means that about 20 cubic yards of
ash would need to be marketed or disposed of each year. The
grower would need enough ash storage capacity to handle ash
generated. The costs to transport ash should be much less
than for transporting litter itself. The mass reduction is 8:1
and the volume reduction is 10:1 for the ash produced from
burning litter. However, the consideration of what to do with
ash should be determined prior to beginning furnace operation.
Potential markets for litter ash include its use as an additive in
concrete, and for use in fertilizer manufacture.
Conclusions:
An existing litter-red furnace prototype is capable of
burning broiler litter at a rate of nearly 1 ton per day (peak).
This technology is a potential alternate use for poultry manure.
In sensitive watersheds, its use could shunt many tons of litter
from land application to on-farm combustion. As a BMP, it
has the potential to decrease the movement of phosphorus and
other nutrients from upland areas to surface waters.
System performance of the tested prototype would need
to be improved in order to make the system economically
feasible. Simple design improvements, if implemented by the
manufacturer, could increase system efciency to 40% and
increase fuel feed-rate to 100 lb per hour. Such improvements
would mean that the furnace would likely reduce costs for
propane (or natural gas) for space-heating by approximately
80% annually. Fuel savings of this magnitude are signicant.
13
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
Depending upon the growers other costs and required return on investment, these savings may provide sufcient net cash
ow to pay-off the investment in the furnace system.
Ash markets need to be further explored. Signicant quantities of ash will be produced by the litter-red furnace. Ash
should not be land applied in sensitive watersheds. Air quality impacts should continue to be assessed. Particulate and NO emis-
sions are of concern. Any subsequent testing on private farms should include emission monitoring.
Acknowledgment
This project was funded by the US EPA through the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission with matching funds provided
by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
The author would like to thank Tom Tabler, Mareus Lopez, Willie Dillahunty, Larry Roe, Jim Smith, Rusty Tate, Nathan
Helms, Phillip Costello and many other UA students and employees who helped conduct the project. Appreciation also to Lynn-
dale Systems, particularly, Bob Dodson and Jim Raley for their hard work and dedication.

Reference
Costello, T. A. 2000. Low-cost, temporary poultry litter storage. Avian Advice 2(1):12-15. University of Arkansas Coop-
erative Extension Service, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science.
Frank Jones, Associate Director - Extension
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Wild Bird Control:Why and How
Introduction
Wild birds can be a nagging problem on any poultry farm. Wild birds can create a mess with
their droppings, consume feed, contaminate feed and damage insulation (Berry, 2003). Wild birds
have also been shown to carry Newcastle disease, coccidiosis, Salmonella, fowl pox, West Nile
Virus, fowl cholera, Mycoplasma galisepticum (MG), round worms, tape worms, Northern Fowl
Mites and several other maladies affecting poultry (McLean, 1994). Clearly, wild birds are
undesirable in or around poultry houses. However, before beginning any effort to control wild birds,
it is important to understand effective approaches and the legal limits.
Controlling wild birds legally
It may be tempting to take what appears to be the quickest, easiest way to eliminate wild birds
(i.e. shoot them, trap them, or poison them). Yet, this approach carries some heavy legal penalties
(USFWS, 1992).
All wild birds (except pigeons, house sparrows and starlings) are protected by federal and state
laws. You may NOT trap, kill or possess protected species without federal and state permits (US-
FWS, 2002). Furthermore, regulatory ofcials are SERIOUS about enforcing these laws.
One Georgia cattle company took the direct approach and spread poison corn around a pond
on their property to kill nuisance birds. The tainted corn resulted in the death of over 3,000 birds of
various species. The cattle company paid nes totaling over $265,000. In addition, individuals in-
volved in the incident paid $15,000 each, served 60 days in home connement, performed 160 hours
of community service and served one year of supervised release (USEPA, 2005). In short, direct
approaches may be hazardous in many ways!
WILD BIRDS continued on page 14
All wild birds
(except pigeons,
house sparrows
and starlings)
are protected by
federal and
state laws.

You may NOT
trap, kill or
possess protected
species without
federal and state
permits
14
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
WILD BIRDS continued from page 13
The good news is that many wild bird problems in or around poultry houses are caused by
pigeons, house sparrows or starlings, NONE of which are covered by these regulations. Yet
it is important to remember that poultry producers are involved in FOOD production and any
approach used on poultry farms has the potential to harm ock performance as well as produce
residues in meat or eggs.
General Wild Bird Control Methods
Remember that effective control of wild birds is an art, not a science. One shot, or one
size ts all approaches are generally not effective. What eliminates a bird problem on one farm
may not work at all on another. In addition, since wild birds survive by adapting to each situa-
tion, dont be surprised if your control efforts are only successful for a short time. The secret to
solving bird problems is to consistently address the problem and to vary control tactics (US-
FWS, 1992). Wild bird control methods may be divided into general categories: active control
methods and passive control methods. While active methods are designed to reduce or disperse
large populations quickly and passive methods provide long-term management potential, a com-
bination of methods is usually most effective.
Active control methods
Active control methods are those methods that result in reduction or dispersal of the wild
bird populations. Effective, active control methods may be divided into ve broad classica-
tions: frightening, poisoning, trapping, shooting, and nest destruction (Booth, 1994.
While it is illegal to harm or capture protected bird species, it is not illegal to frighten
them. Frightening devices such as bird distress calls, pyrotechnics, ashing lights, whirling
shiny items, balloons, hawk or owl gures and a variety of other methods can effectively reduce
bird concentrations in a given area. However, it is important not to get in a routine, success-
ful operations depend on timing, persistence, organization and diversity in device used (Berry,
2003; Booth, 1994).
Although effective poisons for nuisance bird species exist, most of these toxicants are
restricted use materials and can be toxic to humans. In addition, it is important to remember
that use of these poisons means you are liable for the death of any birds consuming the poisons.
Therefore, is very important to use poisons prudently and according to label directions.
There are numerous traps and trap designs available from a variety of sources. Most de-
signs are live traps, which allow the user to free everything other than house sparrows, pigeons
and starlings. When using traps, it is important to feed birds with the bait for a few days (pre-
bait) prior to starting and to check traps often (Booth, 1994).
Shooting is not an effective means of destroying a large number of birds. Yet shooting
can be an effective method of eliminating a few individual house sparrows, pigeons or starlings
within a relatively small area. However, choosing the right weapon and location for shooting is
obviously important (Booth, 1994, Byler, 2002).
Nest destruction can be an extremely effective method of reducing wild bird numbers.
However, nests are often constructed in locations that are high above the ground to avoid preda-
tors, so nest destruction efforts can become very involved. In addition, nest destruction should
be approached with caution since nest materials often contain many thousands of insects (espe-
cially mites) and possibly disease causing bacteria or viruses. It is important to avoid spreading
these vermin and microbes to you or your ock (Booth, 1994). It is also important to quickly
destroy nesting materials following removal to prevent reuse of the materials by other birds.
Passive Control Methods
To survive, all wild animals (including birds) need the following four essential factors:
space, food, shelter and water. Effective long-term control of wild birds involves limiting ac-
cess to as many of these essential factors as possible (Bryan and Pease, 1991).
Space allows wild birds to rest, roost and relax while on the farm. Most birds prefer space
that is high and protected from predators such as cats. Use of roosting spots should be discour-
aged by use of netting, sticky repellants, or Porcupine wires (Booth, 1994)
Since pigeons, house sparrows and starlings can feed on a wide variety of materials, it is
nearly impossible to completely eliminate food sources on poultry farms. However, eliminate
Wild bird control
methods may be divided
into general categories:
active control methods
and passive control
methods. While active
methods are designed to
reduce or disperse large
populations quickly and
passive methods provide
long-term management
potential, a combination of
methods is usually most
effective.
15
AVIAN Advice Spring 2007 Vol. 9, No. 1
access to as many food sources as possible. Clean up spilled grain or feed. Reduce conditions that
lead to multiplication of insects. Avoid planting trees that produce fruits that birds may eat near
poultry houses (Bryan and Pease, 1991).
Trees also provide shelter for wild birds. In addition, wild birds will nest in the eaves or other
cavities in poultry houses if given the chance. It is important to remove existing nesting materials
and to cover or plug holes that allow wild birds access into poultry houses.
Water is essential for the survival of all animals. Although it is virtually impossible to limit the
access of wild birds to every water source, it is important to ensure that areas around poultry houses
are well drained. Standing water can encourage not only wild birds, but insect populations that
could provide food or spread diseases (like mosquitoes).
Summary
Since wild birds have been shown to carry numerous diseases, internal parasites and external
parasites, control is necessary. However, all avian species except house sparrows, pigeons and
starlings are protected by state and federal migratory bird regulations. House sparrows, pigeons and
starlings may be controlled by active or passive control methods. Active methods are designed to
reduce large populations quickly, while passive methods provide long-term management potential.
References
Berry, J. G. 2003. Wild bird control in the poultry house. Oklahoma State University Coopera-
tive Extension Fact Sheet F-8209.
Booth, T. W. 1994. Bird dispersal techniques. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/pdf/wildlife/
BIRD_DISPERSAL.PDF Visited 2/9/07
Bryan, G and J. Pease. 1991. Managing Iowa wildlife. Iowa State University Extension pub.
no. Pm-1302d
Byler, L. I. 2002. Nuisance birds: New and established control methods for PA. Herd Health
Memo December, 2002. Cooperative Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn. State Uni-
versity, University Park, PA
McLean, R. G. 1994. Wildlife diseases and humans. In: Prevention and Control of Wildlife
Damage, Eds, S. E. Hygnsrom, R. M. Timm and F. E. Larson, U of Nebraska-Lincoln 2 vol http://
www.ces.ncsu.edu/nreos/wild/pdf/wildlife/DAM_MAN.PDF visited 2/9/07
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1992. Backyard Bird Problems. http://library.fws.gov/Bird_
Publications/prob.html visited 2/9/07
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. A guide to the laws and treaties of the United States
protecting migratory birds. http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/intrnltr/treatlaw.html visited 2/9/07
U. S. EPA. 2005. Georgia cattle company, owner and farm manager sentenced
for causing birds kill. EPA Newsroom http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/
8b32b843b17f37d88525701800558fac/fa7a5d75038404ef8525702e006a21d1!OpenDocument
visited 2/9/07
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G. Tom Tabler, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 3
Clean Water Lines for
Flock Health
by Susan Watkins
page 5
Poultry Producers at
Environmental
Crossroads
by G. Tom Tabler
page 8
Ammonia Emissions
Attracting Signicant
Attention
by G. Tom Tabler
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


TREES continued on page 2
Winter 2006 Volume 8 no. 2
Decorative trees and
shrubs could supplement
farm income
and protect the environment
Introduction
Producers sometimes consider land taken
out of production for windbreak establishment
nonproductive because it doesnt provide
direct income. Growing income-generating
plants in the windbreak might change that
view. Decorative branches from woody
perennial shrubs are becoming extremely
popular for use by the orist industry in
oral arrangements. Trends in oral design
have increased the demand for branches
from a number of shrubs with decorative
owers and fruits, as well as branch form and
color. Perhaps producers could screen their
operation from public view, reduce movement
of odors, dust and noise off-site, and provide
extra income all at the same time.
Windbreaks and Production Facilities
Without wind management, air
movement causes odors emitted from
livestock facilities and manure storage areas
tend to travel along the ground as a plume.
A properly designed windbreak will slow
odor movement from livestock facilities.
Windbreaks also create an obstacle for fresh,
outside air masses forcing them up and over
the tree row to create a moderate, evenly
distributed, gentle airow through the trees.
The slow air movement past production
facilities tends to dilute and reduce the
AVIAN
movement of odor, dust and noise offsite.
Ideally about 60 percent of the wind should
be deected up and over the windbreak
while 40 percent should pass through the
canopy of the trees (Missouri NRCS, 2004).
While windbreaks are less effective at odor
reduction when wind is minimal, the visual
screening remains a benet.
Although the idea of placing vegetative
windbreaks around agricultural buildings
and farm elds is not new, additional
benets from farm windbreaks continue
to be discovered. Windbreaks alone will
not prevent odor problems associated
with intensive livestock production,
but may provide farmers with a tool to
improve their image with surrounding
communities. Missouri NRCS (2004)
reports that windbreaks can reduce the
effects of livestock odor and improve visual
perception of production buildings in the
following ways:
1. Dilution and dispersion of gases
and odors by a mixing effect created by
windbreaks.
2. Deposition of odorous dusts and
aerosols on leaves, needles and branches of
plants on the inside of windbreaks.
2
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
TREES continued from page 1
3. Collection and storage within tree wood of the
chemical constituents of odor pollution.
4. Containment of odor at the source.
5. Aesthetic appearance:
- Trees create a visual barrier to livestock facilities
- Trees can make cropped elds and pastures more
visually pleasing
- Trees represent an environmental statement to
neighbors that the producer is taking the initiative to address
nuisance problems.
- Using Trees and Floral Shrubs in Arkansas Windbreaks
The U.S. public is increasingly concerned about the
interaction of agricultural activities with the environment,
rural communities, consumer health, worker safety, and ethics
(NRC, 1996). Many problems the general public associates
with poultry production (air quality, water quality or litter
management) are cause for concern among Arkansas poultry
producers. Given these circumstances, screening farming
operations from public view should certainly be given
consideration by producers.
At least one row of an evergreen variety should be
considered in the windbreak for year round poultry house
screening. However, additional rows of decorative woody
orals might also be planted. Decorative woody orals
are specialty forest products that might also be considered
as income producers and to help recoup some of the
establishment costs. Essentially, decorative woody orals
are any plant species that has a colorful or unusually shaped
stem that could become a decorative product. Josiah (2002)
indicated that orists pay wholesalers $0.60-$0.80 per 4-
5 stem of corkscrew willow (Salix matsudana) or pussy
willow (Salix caprea), with larger stems bringing more.
Holly (Ilex spp.) and owering branches of apple (Malus
spp.), cherry (Prunus spp.), pear (Pyrus spp.) as wells as
other spring owering trees or shrubs might command even
higher prices. A survey of wholesale and retail orists in
Nebraska (a relatively less populated state) indicated a
market of approximately 225,000 woody stems sold annually
(Lambe and Josiah, 2001). There is also the possibility that
the neighbors who bought the small tract of land next door
to build a new house might follow the leader and plant their
own oral windbreak, further screening nearby agricultural
operations.
Poultry producers are accustomed to the long hours
and hard work it takes to be successful; however, marketing
decorative woody orals (DWF) presents a new challenge.
Timing of harvest, perishability of product, labor availability,
wildlife pressure, insects and disease, year-to-year production
variability, and lack of formalized subsidy or crop insurance
programs all require planning and management. Most DWF
markets are niche in nature, successfully addressing these
markets will require producers to spend time to understanding
these markets and promoting their product. Josiah (2001a)
recommends lining up markets before production investments
are made since smaller niche markets may be easily
overwhelmed by excessive supply and prices can be volatile
depending on product supply and quality. Essential questions
to ask to understand potential customers include (Josiah,
2001b):
To whom are we marketing?
To whom are we not marketing?
What are they like?
What do they like?
What are their current wants and needs?
What are their perceptions?
Do/Can our products meet their expectations?
Armed with this information, chances are you can better
identify areas in which you can successfully compete (e.g.,
timing, quality, freshness, new products, lower transport costs,
etc).
Unfortunately, there is limited information available
about this type enterprise and little money to support broader
research, development, and transfer of knowledge. This would
seem to provide an opportunity for researchers, Cooperative
Extension and others to begin to document information on
prices and production and provide it to the public, particularly
agricultural producers and acreage owners, in a useful format
(Josiah, 2002).
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is studying 45
species or cultivars of trees and shrubs adapted to the
Midwest and Great Plains that produce commercially valuable
non-timber forest products (Rixstine, 2003). Products
from the plantings are harvested as they mature, permitting
opportunities to evaluate plant response to harvesting and a
better understanding of market characteristics such as quality
criteria, demand, pricing, seasonality, market location and
capacity. Harvests of a number of the decorative orals began
just two years after planting, whereas timber-type species
may take 50-80 years to mature. Three years after planting
in the Nebraska trial, the most productive species and one of
the species with the greatest demand (scarlet curls willow)
produced gross income of nearly $5.00/linear foot of planting
along the row with plants spaced at 5 feet apart within the
row (Josiah et al., 2004). Nebraska researchers estimate
that, once established, they could supplement a familys
annual income by $5,000 to $15,000, if they are willing to
do a months work of hand-harvesting in late fall and early
winter, and then market the fresh product to wholesale or
retail orists (Rixstine, 2003). For such an undertaking to
work in Arkansas, species or cultivars adapted to the Arkansas
climate would have to be used and researchers and Extension
personnel with proper expertise would need to assist
producers.
Summary
Windbreaks are an option that many poultry producers
should consider, especially those with operations along and
near roadways in clear public view. Windbreaks can screen
poultry houses and improve visual perception of farming
operations. Dust, noise and odors leaving an operation may
also be reduced. A new twist on windbreak plantings is to
3
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
WATER LINES continued on page 4
Susan Watkins
Department of Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Providing a clean, safe and sanitized water supply is crucial in assuring ocks perform
their best. However, before implementing a daily water sanitation program, it is important to
thoroughly clean as much of the water distribution system as possible. Line cleaning is necessary
before providing birds with sanitized drinking water because even low levels of sanitizer placed
in dirty water lines can result in the biolm sloughing off, which clogs drinkers so that water is
restricted to the birds. Another impact of adding sanitizers to water intended for bird consumption
is that the sanitizer can actually react with the biolm and result in off tastes that back birds off
water. Effectively cleaning the water system (including the drinker lines) helps remove biolm and
scale build-up that can act as a food source and hiding place for harmful pathogens such as E. coli,
Pseudomonas or even Salmonella. Many disease causing organisms like Salmonella can live for
weeks in water line biolm resulting in a continuous source of contamination. In addition, proper
line cleaning can help prevent calcium deposits or scale build-up which can reduce pipe volume
by as much as 70-80%. Yet the use of cleaning products present some dangers since, many of the
popular water additive products such as acids and performance enhancers can create conditions
favorable for the growth of yeasts and molds, if they are present. Yeasts and molds can actually
thrive in low pH water resulting in a gooey slime that will clog drinkers and generally create disaster
in water systems. The bottom line is water systems must be properly cleaned between ocks.
Clean water lines for ock health
incorporate decorative woody orals or other non-timber
forest products that may generate supplemental income in a
relatively short period after establishment. This could prove
benecial to poultry producers from both an environmental
and economic standpoint.
References
Josiah, S. J. 2001a. Productive conservation: Growing
specialty forest products in agroforestry plantings. School
of Natural Resource Sciences and Cooperative Extension,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 4 pages.
Josiah, S.J. 2001b. Marketing specialty forest products.
School of Natural Resource Sciences and Cooperative
Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 4 pages.
Josiah, S. J. 2002. Non-timber forest products in
the Midwest and Great Plains. University of Nebraska/
Cooperative Extension Service/ Kimmel Education and
Research Center.
Josiah, S. J., R. St-Pierre, H. Brott, and J. Brandle. 2004.
Productive conservation: Diversifying farm enterprises by
producing specialty woody products in agroforestry systems.
J. Sustainable Agri. 23(3):93-108.
Lambe, D., and S. J. Josiah. 2001. Woody decorative
oral markets in Nebraska. Final Report. School of Natural
Resource Sciences, University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
NAC. 2003. Working trees for agriculture. USDA National
Agroforestry Center (NAC), East Campus-University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.
NAC. ND. Working trees for carbon: Windbreaks in
the U.S. USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC), East
Campus-UNL, Lincoln, NE.
NRC.1996. Colleges of agriculture at the land grant
universities: Public service and public policy. Committee
on the future of the colleges of agriculture in the land grant
university system. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
NRCS, Missouri. Using windbreaks to reduce odors associated
with livestock production facilities. Windbreak/shelterbelt-
odor control. Conservation practice information sheet
(IS-MO380).
Rixstine, B. 2003.Woody shrubs valued for outdoor
conservation, indoor decoration. Connect 3(1):1, February.
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension.
Providing a
clean, safe and
sanitized water
supply is crucial
in assuring
flocks perform
at their best.
4
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
WATER LINES continued from page 3
Where to Start
To assure lines are effectively cleaned, the rst step is
answer the following series of questions.
1. What is the water source?
Untreated well water (i.e. water that is not treated with
any type of daily sanitizer product) is the most vulnerable to
the formation of slime or biolm in the drinker lines. While
most municipal or rural water supplies contain a minimum of
0.2 ppm free chlorine which greatly reduces bacteria growth,
poultry drinking water is handled differently (slow ow and
warmed during brooding) from the water supply that goes to
a home. Thus, it is unwise to assume that cleaning of drinker
lines is not needed.
2. What is the mineral content of the water supply?
The minerals calcium and magnesium are the sources
of scale, a hard white build-up. If the water supply contains
more than 60 ppm of either or both these minerals and the
water pH is above 7 then chances are good that there is
scale in the water system that will have to be removed with
an acid cleaner designed for nipple drinker systems. Other
common mineral contaminants are iron, manganese and
sulfur. Iron results in a rusty brown to red colored residue,
while manganese and sulfur can form black colored residues.
Natural sulfur in the water should have a smell similar to a
match head. If the water smells like rotten eggs, then the
culprit is hydrogen sulde. Hydrogen sulde is a by-product
of sulfur loving bacteria and the lines will need to be cleaned
with a strong sanitizer. It might even be necessary to shock
chlorinate the well. If the lters at the beginning of the water
lines are rusty or black colored, then a strong acid cleaner
should be used after the sanitizer ush.
3. What products have been used in the water system?
If additives such as vitamins, electrolytes, sugar based
products, mineral based performance enhancers or weak
concentrations of water acidiers have been used frequently,
then chances are a biolm is present. Once a biolm is
established in a water system, it makes the system 10-1000
times harder to clean. It is important to play it safe and use
strong sanitizer cleaners.
4. Have there been health issues ock after ock such as E.
coli, necrotic enteritis or respiratory challenges that do not
respond to good management, clean-out or down-time?
The culprit for these problems may be hiding and
thriving in the water supply, particularly the water regulators
and drinker lines. Cleaning with a strong sanitizer is denitely
an option that might help.
Choosing a Product
After identifying the type of cleaning that will be most
benecial, the next step is to choose a product that will not
damage the equipment. Currently there are several acid
products that can be used for scale removal. Check with
your local animal health product supplier for options. Just
remember that in order for the product to be effective in
removing scale, it needs to drop the water pH below 6. While
a strong bleach solution might be effective in removing
biolm, the potential damage it can do to the regulators and
nipple drinkers makes this a poor option and the same is true
for many cleaners that might otherwise be good poultry barn
disinfectants. Iodine is not very effective against biolms so
it makes a poor choice. Currently there are several sanitizer
products available for cleaning drinker systems, but some of
the most effective products which are not damaging to the
drinker systems are the concentrated, stabilized hydrogen
peroxides. The active ingredients in these products are
different from over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide because
the stabilizer keeps the sanitizer from converting to water
and oxygen before it nishes the cleaning job. There are also
several chlorine dioxide products available, but they are most
effective if an acidier is present which may require dual
injectors or a way to safely mix the products prior to injection.
A third product used by the industry is household ammonia. A
quick test on algae showed that running one ounce of ammonia
in every gallon of water was not nearly as effective as a 3%
ammonia solution. However it is strongly recommended that
the equipment manufacturer be consulted before using this.
The most important fact to remember is biolms or established
growth of bacteria, molds and fungus in water systems can
only be removed with cleaners that contain sanitizers. It also
should be a product and concentration that will not damage
the equipment. Pay close attention to any product safety
recommendations and follow them accordingly.
Cleaning the system
After the birds are removed from the house, it is time
to clean the system. First ush the lines with water. Use a
high pressure ush if available. This will remove any loose
sediment from the lines. Also make sure the standpipes are
working properly to assure any air build-up that may occur
during the cleaning process will be released from the lines.
Next, determine how the cleaner will be injected. If
a medicator is used, it may not provide the concentration of
cleaner necessary, therefore use the strongest product available
to overcome the dilute injection rate of the medicator. A very
effective alternative is mixing the cleaner in a 55 gallon barrel
or 100 gallon stock tank and then using a sump pump to charge
the product either into individual lines or through the water tap
where the medicator attaches to the water line.
A 400 foot house will require approximately 60 gallons
of water to clean the lines and a 500 foot house needs
approximately 75-80 gallons of water. A third option is
pumping the cleaner from the well room through an injector
or medicator. This is a good idea because it cleans the water
lines going to the poultry house, which can be a source of
contamination. This can be a bad idea if the distribution lines
are very dirty since it will send the lth into the poultry house
water lines. Use this option only if there is a faucet in the
poultry barn that can be used to ush the water lines before
water reaches the nipple drinker lines. In a 400 foot poultry
house it takes approximately 7 gallons of water per line. So
eight 180 foot lines will require approximately 56 gallons of
5
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
prepared cleaning solution. Use a broom to sweep the nipple drinkers in order to get the cleaning product down into the drinkers.
Once the drinker lines are lled with the cleaning solution, let it stand as long as possible with 72 hours being ideal. However
check with the product manufacturer to assure this will not damage the equipment. After the lines are cleaned, if mineral build-up
is an issue, then re-clean the lines with the acid cleaner.
Keeping the System Clean
Cleaning the water lines between ocks is only half the battle. Even with a thorough cleaning, if a signicant number of
bacteria, fungi or yeasts are still present, then the biolm has the potential to return completely in 2-3 days. Therefore the last step
is to establish a daily water sanitation program. This will benet both the birds and the water system.
G. Tom Tabler, Manager, Applied Broiler Research Unit - Savoy
Department of Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Poultry producers at
environmental crossroads
Introduction
While poultry producers have always realized that they are part of a larger production system,
animal agriculture today is much different than in the past. Fifty years ago few worried much about
food safety, economies of scale, consumer buying habits, international markets, environmental
regulations, or the overall structure of various segments of the livestock industry. Today, producers
must be concerned with all these factors as well as the day-to-day management of their operations.
Producers are under heavy pressure from numerous fronts to minimize the impacts of their
operations on the environment.
CROSSROADS continued on page 6
6
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
CROSSROADS continued from page 5
The 2002 agricultural census indicated the percentage
of farms with livestock has dropped signicantly in the past
50 years (NASS, 2002). Farms keeping poultry have dropped
from 78 to 4.6%. Fewer and larger livestock farms, coupled
with an increasing number of rural residents without livestock,
presents signicant challenges to the quality of life for both
farm and rural non-farm neighbors (Hogberg et al., 2005).
Neighbors often have little tolerance for what once was just
part of doing business in raising poultry, cattle, hogs or other
livestock species. Dramatic changes in livestock production
have forced many producers to consider getting out of the
business.
Changing Structure of Animal Agriculture
Cowling and Galloway (2001) reported that during the
last several decades, three enormous changes in the structure
and organization of animal agriculture have occurred:

1) Intensication development of increasingly large
conned animal feeding operations in which hundreds or
thousands of like animals are reared in feed lots or enclosed
housing units.
2) Decoupling physical separation of the land area
where the feed grains or other forage products are produced
from the site where the food animals are fed and reared.
3) Transport huge increases in the distance of transport
of both feed materials and marketable meat, eggs, milk, dairy,
and sh products.
These trends, like almost everything else in the business
world today, are driven by economic efciency. However,
such economic efciency is often made possible by increased
use of energy (particularly fossil fuels) and frequently leads to
nutrient-use inefciencies with largely unforeseen detrimental
environmental consequences (Cowling and Galloway, 2001).
This point is driven home almost daily as producers and
integrators are portrayed as the bad guys, rather than the
ones who supply food for the grocery store shelves.
Today, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
account for more than 40 percent of world meat production,
up from 30 percent in 1990. For the poultry sector alone,
global poultry population has grown from 4.2 billion birds in
1961 to 17.8 billion birds in 2005 (Hegg, 2006). In the U.S.,
many specialized, large poultry operations (4 to 10-house
farms or larger) may lack adequate land base for appropriate
litter or manure application. In the near future, this may
mean a change in the structure of livestock production and/or
forced adoption alternative technologies to ensure that litter is
managed to meet water and air quality standards.
The demand for agricultural operations to comply with
air pollution regulations is often perceived by producers as
inappropriate or unfair; threatening the economic viability of
rural residents, small communities and regional economies,
and perhaps the overall production of food by the U.S. (Aneja
et al., 2006). Poultry producers struggle daily with trying to
manage litter and manure generated on their operations in
such a way as to meet both air and water quality standards
that may not agree with or compliment one another. How
productive and/or efcient is it to address a water quality issue
that has, as a consequence, a negative effect on air quality?
Programs that do not jointly address air and water quality
issues may be too costly to implement for both producers and
society. Unfortunately, the current scientic knowledge about
nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, sulfur, and particulate
matter emissions from intensively managed agriculture is
insufcient and the ultimate fate of these compounds from an
air quality standpoint is directly comparable to the situation
in the 1980s with regard to agricultural non-point sources
of nutrient contamination of water. There is just enough
information for researchers and policy makers to recognize
a serious problem, but not enough information for them to
understand the extent of the problem or to make scientically
credible recommendations about potential solutions (Aneja et
al., 2006). The situation was made even tougher recently by
a nal rule from the EPA released Sept. 21, 2006 that places
agricultural dust in the same category as coarse particulate
matter found in urban areas and holds it to the same standard.
The limit of 150 micrograms per cubic meter during a 24-hour
period will be extremely difcult to meet in rural areas that
often are naturally dusty (Anonymous, 2006).
Challenges and Opportunities
The major challenge affecting animal production in
the future will likely be environmental. How do producers
manage waste materials in response to ever increasing
regulatory and public pressure? Unfortunately, in spite of
major changes in animal agriculture, few incentives for
recycling nutrients in animal waste have surfaced. As a result,
often times valuable nutrients in animal waste have been
spread to excess on land near where the waste was generated.
Society should today view animal waste, as it once did, as
a valuable resource to be conserved, not as a waste disposal
problem to be eliminated by the cheapest method available.
This will require some innovative thinking, but we are
certainly capable of that. Additional challenges include better
informing the general public about the complexity of modern-
day animal agriculture as well as creating better dialogue
between producers and their non-farm neighbors. This is
where extension personnel at the local and state level may be
of valuable assistance to producers, community leaders, and
politicians.
Fortunately, economically viable technologies are being
developed for conservation and protable reuse of nitrogen,
phosphorus, carbon and other valuable nutrients in animal
wastes (Cowling and Galloway, 2001). Animal wastes are of
three general types:
1) Animal manures,
2) Waste streams from processing plants that include,
blood, bones, feathers, offal and other un- or under-
used portions of harvested animals, and
3) Animal carcasses.
7
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
Opportunities exist because the nutrients from all of these
waste streams can be recovered and reused. Value-added end
products could be produced by converting nutrients in animal
wastes into saleable energy, electricity, fertilizer, or feed
materials for livestock (Shefeld, 2000; Cowling et al., 2001).
The most serious obstacles to overcoming the consequences
of intensication, decoupling and transport in the food animal
industry are (Cowling and Galloway, 2001):
1) Distances over which feed grains are transported
before delivery to animal rearing facilities sometimes in
another state or country,
2) Reluctance or doubt among farmers, integrators
and others about the technical and/or economic feasibility
of alternative systems for nutrient management, animal
production, or waste utilization,
3) Lack of convenient processes for combining manure-
based fertilizer products with synthetic chemical fertilizer in
intensively managed cropping systems.
Forces of Change
The Farm Foundation (2006) has identied nine forces
of change affecting environmental issues related to animal
agriculture in North America. Each will have important
implications for the industry during the next decade.
1) Farm concentration and specialization
2) Uncertainty about human health connections
3) Advances in animal operations technologies
4) Environmental activism and information technologies
5) Litigation
6) Changing perception of agriculture
7) Changing measurement technologies
8) Resource constraints
9) Uncertainty about evolution of Kyoto Treaty
Implementation
Poultry producers and integrators are at a crossroads. All
livestock producers should closely monitor any talk and events
related to environmental and waste management issues. Some
producers have closed their operations or sold out and more
may follow to avoid entanglements with neighbors or possible
litigation. Unfortunately for those who choose to remain in
business, additional regulations will likely increase costs of
production, reduce economic opportunities and increase the
difculty of remaining a viable farming operation. This is
particularly true in traditional poultry producing regions like
Arkansas which, in some localized areas, already have large
nutrient surpluses and transporting poultry litter out of the
region is expensive. Stricter regulations and the likelihood
of litigation may be seen by integrators as an unfriendly or
unstable business climate, perhaps forcing the relocation of
facilities to more friendly business climates. Such a relocation
would be detrimental for producers, consumers and ultimately,
entire communities as well.
Summary
Intensication, decoupling and transport have greatly
reshaped the face of animal agriculture over the last several
decades. With these changes have come economic efciencies
along with recently recognized nutrient-use inefciencies as
well as some detrimental environmental consequences. The
most serious challenge facing poultry producers in the future
may be environmental how to best manage litter, manure,
dust and odors in response to increasing regulations and
continued public pressure. Poultry producers should monitor
the situation closely and may likely see costs of production
increase as new regulations are handed down. Many
producers will likely face difcult decisions as to whether or
not to continue poultry farming.
References
Aneja, V. P, W. H. Schlesinger, D. Niyogi, G. Jennings,
W. Gilliam, R. E. Knighton, C. S. Duke, J. Blunden, and
S. Krishnan. 2006. Emerging national research needs for
agricultural air quality. EOS. Vol. 87, No. 3, Jan 17.
Anonymous. 2006. EPA says dont stir the dust. Beef
Business Bulletin. 30(1):1. Oct 12.
Cowling, E. B., D. Botts, K. A. Cochran, S. J. Levitas,
J. Rudek, and W. W. Heck. 2001. Concept Paper: A strategy to
facilitate the transition of the North Carolina swine industry
to an economically and environmentally sustainable system of
waste management. North Carolina State University, Raleigh,
NC.
Cowling, E. B., and J. N. Galloway. 2001. Challenges
and opportunities facing animal agriculture: Optimizing
nutrient management in the atmosphere and biosphere of
the Earth. Symp. Animal Production and the Environment:
Challenges and Solutions. ASAS Annual Meeting,
Indianapolis, IN. July 24-28.
Farm Foundation. 2006. Future of Animal Agriculture in
North America, Environmental Chapter. 1211 W. 22nd Street,
Suite 216, Oak Brook, IL.
Hegg, R. 2006. The future of animal agriculture and
the environment. The John M. Airy Beef Cattle Symposium:
Visions for Animal Agriculture and the Environment. January
2006. Kansas City, MO.
Hogberg, S. L. Fales, F. L. Kirschenmann, M.
S. Honeyman, J. A. Miranowski, and P. Lasley. 2005.
Interrelationships of animal agriculture, the environment, and
rural communities. J. Anim. Sci. 83(E. Suppl):E13-E17.
NASS. 2002. Census of Agriculture. Natl. Agric. Stat. Serv.,
USDA, Washington, DC.
Shefeld, J. 2000. Evaluation of comprehensive
approaches needed to improve the handling of farm animal
manure and benet the environment and the farming industry.
Joint Institute for Energy and Environment. University of
Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.
8
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
G. Tom Tabler
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Ammonia emissions attracting
signicant attention
Introduction
Farmers in all segments of animal agriculture of United States are under pressure to
minimize the impact of their farming operations on the environment. Even though most
environmental concerns during the past two decades have focused on water quality issues,
air quality has recently attracted signicant attention, especially ammonia emissions from
poultry housing. While agricultural emissions have historically been ignored by United States
regulations, recent regulations may signal a change.
Understanding Particulate Matter
We all know about particulate matter in the air, except that we call it dust, smoke, smog or
haze. Since dust particles tend to settle out on calm days, while smoke, smog or haze particles
remain suspended, it should also be apparent that air contains particles of different sizes.
Particles (also called particulate matter or PM) are classied by the approximate diameter of the
particles present. There are over 25,000 micrometers in an inch and the diameter of a human
hair is usually 50 to 75 micrometers. The size of the particles in air is abbreviated using the
particle size (in micrometers) as a subscript. For instance, PM2.5 shows that particles of 2.5
micrometers or smaller are involved.
Particles between 2.5 and 10 micrometers (called coarse particles) are generated from
the soil, factories, roads, row-crop farming operations or rock crushing operations. Smaller
particles (PM2.5 or smaller) arise from automobile exhaust, power plants, wood burning,
industrial processes, diesel powered vehicles, organic compounds, ammonia emissions, brush
res or volcanic eruptions. Coarse particles may stay suspended in air for a few minutes or
hours and travel up to 30 miles, while ne particles can stay in the air for days or weeks and
may travel several hundred miles. When animals or humans breathe air containing particulate
matter, ne particles penetrate deeper into the lungs than coarser particles and can cause
coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and lung damage (EPA, 2006).
New Air Quality Standards
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were issued by the EPA in 1997. The
NAAQS were developed for six pollutants that the EPA considered common throughout the
United States:
1) Carbon monoxide (CO)
2) Lead (Pb)
3) Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
4) Ozone (O3)
5) Particulate matter (PM)
6) Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
These pollutants were chosen based on two criteria: the protection of public health; and the
protection of public welfare, such as damage to animals, crops, vegetation and buildings or
decreased visibility (Mukhtar and Auvermann, 2006).
Since only small amounts of these pollutants are generally emitted directly, these
standards would initially appear to have little to do with poultry houses. However, research has
Farmers in all
segments of animal
agriculture of United
States are under
pressure to minimize
the impact of their
farming operations on
the environment.
9
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
shown that ammonia can combine in the air with nitrogen or sulfur oxides to form very small
particles (PM2.5s) of ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate.
The reaction of ammonia in the atmosphere to form PM2.5s means that the NAAQS
regulations aimed at reducing PM2.5 emissions will likely require reductions in ammonia
emissions from animal agriculture operations (Gay and Knowlton, 2005).
Ammonia Emissions
Ammonia can travel as far as air can go in 5 or 6 days (Knowlton, 2000). Particle
(PM2.5) formation can prolong existence of emissions in the atmosphere and therefore
inuences the geographic distribution of acidic depositions (Sommer and Hutchings, 2001).
This means that ammonia lost from Arkansas poultry farms may be affecting air and water
quality in the Midwest or East. Midwestern agricultural practices have, for years, been
blamed for eutrophication in the Gulf of Mexico. Problems in the Chesapeake Bay are likely
associated, in part, with ammonia deposition from upwind agricultural areas such as Ohio and
North Carolina (Gay and Knowlton, 2005).
Dramatic increases in air concentration of ammonia in areas of intensive agriculture have
been reported, and estimates indicate that animal agriculture accounts for 50 to 85% of total
ammonia volatilization. The loss of gaseous ammonia has direct implications on the nitrogen
content and the fertilizer value of animal manure. In addition, a recent study by the National
Research Council (NRC, 2003) identied ammonia emissions as a major air quality concern
at regional, national, and global levels. It is, therefore, important and in producers own best
interest that animal agriculture takes the ammonia emissions issue seriously. Figure 1 lists
estimates of ammonia emissions from man-made sources in the U.S. during 1994. Note that
poultry was responsible for almost 27% of total ammonia emissions estimates.
Producers are aware from their own experience and estimates conrm that ammonia
emissions will change with the seasons, the geographic region, production techniques, manure
management practices, the number of animals present and type of animals produced (EPA,
AMMONIA continued on page 10
Figure 1. Estimates of ammonia emissions from man-made sources in the
U.S. in 1994 (Battye et al., 1994).
10
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
2004). In general, however, the greatest ammonia losses are associated with land application of
manure (35%-45%) and housing (30%-35%; Gay and Knowlton, 2005).
Ammonia Source
Poultry producers deal with ammonia on a daily basis and some may wonder about the
source of ammonia. The ammonia is not directly produced or excreted by the birds, but is a
common by-product of poultry wastes. Birds excrete waste containing unused feed nitrogen
in the form of uric acid. Ammonia is formed through the microbial breakdown of uric acid.
Conditions that favor microbial growth will result in increased ammonia production. These
conditions include warm temperatures, moisture, pH in the neutral range or slightly higher (7.0
8.5) and the presence of organic matter factors normally present in abundance in poultry
waste handling systems (Carey, ND).
What to Do
The frequent and total removal of litter and manure from poultry houses would reduce
the ammonia emissions concern. Yet, in most cases, due to the cost of cleanout and replacement
bedding, this is not a viable option for most producers that may only clean out once a year or
less.
The most appropriate strategy to control ammonia is to reduce ammonia volatilization. A
number of compounds are available for use by poultry producers to reduce the pH of poultry
litter to promote formation of NH4+ ions that will bind to other compounds and thus reduce
the amount of volatile ammonia (Carey, ND). However, since manure, which neutralizes these
acidifying agents, is constantly produced, these compounds provide pH control for only a short
time.
Perhaps the simplest thing most poultry producers can do to minimize ammonia emissions
is to control litter moisture. The more moisture there is in the litter, the more potential
for ammonia emissions from that litter. Ferguson et al. (1998) conrmed the relationship
between higher litter moisture and increased litter ammonia. Increases in litter moisture from
approximately 56% to 60% resulted in an increase in litter ammonia release. Keeping the litter
dry depends, in part, on how well drinker management is maintained. Closely monitor the
drinker height and regulator pressure. Promptly address leaking nipples or lines. Remove wet
litter from the house if a major leak or spill occurs.
Also, know what is in the water the birds are drinking. If you dont know, have the
water tested to determine its quality. While often overlooked, water quality has a major impact
on ock health and performance as well as litter conditions. Ventilation is also critical to
maintaining proper litter moisture. Humidity levels must be maintained below 70% to prevent
caking. If you do not currently do so, consider using litter amendments to lower the pH early
in the life of the ock. This will decrease ammonia emissions and allow you to ventilate for
moisture removal instead of ammonia removal which should allow a decrease in fan run time,
thereby saving fuel. It will take an integrated approach to reduce ammonia emissions from
animal agriculture. Keep in mind there is no one product or management practice that will solve
all the problems.
Summary
Meeting new air quality standards and complying with future regulations has the potential
to affect practically every farm in America and perhaps put some out of business. Controlling
ammonia emissions from poultry and livestock facilities will be a daunting task in the future for
livestock producers. Producers will have to use an integrated approach that attacks the problem
from several different angles. There are products available to help control litter pH early in a
ock. Excellent house management will be required to keep litter moisture at optimum levels.
Producers, not politicians, will ultimately have to solve the air quality concerns associated
with livestock production. Increased producer involvement is needed at all levels local,
county, state and national if we are to have workable programs that keep farms viable while
AMMONIA continued from page 9
11
AVIAN Advice Winter 2006 Vol. 8, No. 2
beneting the environment, instead of unrealistic expectations that cannot be met.
References
Battye, R., W. Battye, C. Overcash, and S. Fudge. 1994. Development and selection of
ammonia emission factors. EPA/600/R-94/190. Final report prepared for U.S. EPA, Ofce of
Research and Development. USEPA Contract No. 68-D3-0034, Work Assignment 0-3.
Carey, J. B. No Date. Mitigation strategies for ammonia management. Available at:
http://gallus.tamu.edu/Faculty/MitigationStrategiesforAmmoniaManagementProceedingsPaper.
Accessed October 12, 2006.
EPA. 2004. National emission inventory Ammonia emissions from animal husbandry.
Available at: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/ap42/ch09/related/nh3inventorydraft_jan2004.pdf
October 12, 2006.
EPA. 2006. Laboratory and eld operations PM2.5. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/
region4/sesd/pm25/p2.htm#2 11/16/06
Ferguson, N. S., R. S. Gates, J. L. Taraba, A. H. Cantor, A. J. Pescatore, M. L. Straw, M.
J. Ford, and D. J. Burnham. 1998. The effect of dietary protein and phosphorus on ammonia
concentration and litter composition in broilers, Poult. Sci. 77:1085-1093.
Gay, S. W., and K. F. Knowlton. 2005. Ammonia emissions and animal agriculture.
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Biological Systems Engineering, Publ. No. 442-110. Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Knowlton, K. 2000. Ammonia emissions: the next regulatory hurdle. The Jersey Journal,
October 2000, 47:56-57.
Mukhtar, S., and B. W. Auvermann. 2006. Air quality standards and nuisance issues
for animal agriculture. Texas Cooperative Extension Service, Publ. No. E-401. Texas A&M
University System, College Station, TX.
NRC. 2003. Air Emissions from Animal Feeding Operations. The National Academies
Press. Washington, DC.
Sommer, S. G., and N. J. Hutchings. 2001. Ammonia emission from eld applied manure
and its reduction invited paper. European Journal of Agronomy 15:1-15.


UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G. Tom Tabler, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 3
On-Farm Egg-Holding
Temperatures for
Commercial Broiler
Breeders
by Savannah Henderson,
Doug E. Yoho and R.
Keith Bramwell
page 6
Factors Affecting Turkey
Flock Performance
by G. Tom Tabler
page 8
Farm Animal Welfare
Issues Affect Poultry
Producers
by G. Tom Tabler
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


ODOR continued on page 2
Summer 2006 Volume 8 no. 1
Odor - An Emerging
Concern for Producers
Introduction
Agricultural odors are an unavoidable
part of livestock production and are emitted
from every poultry operation. These odors
along with the growth of the poultry industry
have sparked debate, concern and action
in many U.S. communities. Air and water
quality have become major issues, along
with social and economic concerns. These
concerns stem from the fact that the difference
between the city and the country is
becoming increasingly difcult to distinguish.
Today, a rural family is not necessarily an
agricultural family. The gap is wide between
an agricultural family that understands that
odors are a part of production agriculture
and a rural family that recently moved
from the city with little or no tolerance for
agricultural odors. Therefore, it is important
that poultry producers have a basic knowledge
of odor control strategies and do their best to
accommodate non-farming neighbors.
Odor Causes
Some odors are generated by the poultry
or livestock themselves, and some by the feed,
but the most objectionable odors arise from
manure and manure decomposition. More
than 200 odor-generating compounds have
been identied from microbial decomposition
of manure (Pfost et al., 1999). This means
that the intensity of the odor depends
upon microbial growth and that growth
rate will vary with moisture content, pH,
temperature, oxygen concentration, and other
environmental factors. This is illustrated by
the fact that, as temperatures decrease with
onset of cooler, autumn conditions, microbial
activity slows, which is why odors are
generally less noticeable in the cooler months.
Yet odors vary greatly, and the offensiveness
of each odor is dependent upon the person(s)
smelling the odor.
Poultry and livestock odors originate
from three primary sites or activities: 1)
livestock facilities and the housed livestock
within, 2) manure storage facilities, and
3) land application of manure. While land
applying (spreading) poultry litter is a
common practice in many areas, be aware that
most odor complaints are associated with land
application of manure, not storage facilities
or housing. As rural areas continue to ll
with an increasing exodus from the cities,
litter application will become an even greater
concern. Expect additional legal involvement
and plan ahead for increased regulation of
land application of poultry litter generated by
your operation.
A serious detrimental component of odor
is dust, which can be carried long distances on
air currents. Dust particles act as a transport
mechanism for odor. Land applying poultry
litter often creates signicant quantities of
dust, which may travel as far as several miles
or as little as several feet. Wind direction
and speed are constantly changing, which can
greatly affect dust and odor patterns making it
difcult to predict the impact odors and dust
will have on residents in areas surrounding a
livestock enterprise.
AVIAN
It is important that
poultry producers
have a basic
knowledge of odor
control strategies
and do their best to
accommodate non-
farming neighbors.
2
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
ODOR continued from page 1
Understanding Odor
Several different criteria may be used to evaluate odors.
Familiarity with these parameters will help producers better
understand odor source and interpret odor data. Odors
are most commonly evaluated in terms of concentration
(threshold), intensity, persistence (Table 1). These three
variables are often used to provide regulatory and scientic
personnel with some measurement of odor potency and how
long the odor is likely to remain. Hedonic tone and character
are more subjective measurements that are not typically used
for regulatory purposes (Shefeld and Bottcher, 2000).
The amount of odor emitted from a particular farming
operation is a function of animal species, housing types,
manure storage and handling methods, size of the odor
sources, and the implementation of odor control strategies
(Nicolai and Pohl, 2005). A variety of strategies and
innovative technologies are available for odor control. Some
work better for liquid-type wastes (lagoons) while others are
equally effective for both liquid and dry manure situations.
Technologies that capture and treat odors include manure
storage covers, organic mats, and biolters. Technologies
capable of dispersing or masking odors include vegetative
windbreaks, windbreak walls, proper site selection, adequate
setback distances and deodorant and masking agents.
However, before adopting any method, producers should
consider applicability, effectiveness, costs, and labor or
management requirements of all available technologies.

Be Proactive
Most people today are generations removed from
the farm and have little or no association to agriculture.
Therefore, to most of the general public, this lack of
association means that in their thinking agriculture continues
to decline in importance. Their only relationship to the
poultry industry may be to complain about dust, odors,
noise, or someone spreading litter, which leaves a negative
impression of poultry farming. Producers should be aware of
that perception is reality for many people, particularly folks
with no understanding of modern agriculture. In addition,
producers should understand that those peoples perception
has a large inuence on their opinions and actions. This
is especially true with regard to the appearance of poultry
production facilities. Visual perception has a huge inuence
on how much or how little people will accept before a
complaint occurs. Well-maintained production units usually
are not perceived to smell as bad as units that look uncared-for
and run-down. Production sites that appear to be overgrown
with weeds and that has junk scattered everywhere are more
likely to generate a complaint than sites that are nicely
landscaped with regularly mown lawns and an attractive
appearance.
Livestock farmers in the U.S. are under increasing
pressure to reduce odor emissions from their property
and must become more proactive in addressing the issue.
However, the current nancial environment dictates that
farmers identify control strategies that can be implemented
with minimal cost. For example, the planting of trees around
farmland or buildings has been identied as a potentially
effective, low-cost measure to enhance ammonia recapture at
the farm level and reduce long-range atmospheric transport
(Theobald et al., 2001).
Properly planted and well-maintained windbreaks can
serve a number of functions. Windbreaks that shield poultry
houses from the view of passers-by may decrease the chance
of odor complaints since people who cannot see the source of
an odor, they are less likely to: 1) notice the odor in the rst
place and 2) complain about it. Windbreaks cause the air to
be lifted up and over the windbreak, which causes mixing of
fresh air with odorous air, thus diluting the odor effect. Well
laid-out and landscaped windbreaks also increase property
values. In addition, planting trees and shrubs is perceived in a
positive manner and demonstrates a producers commitment to
protecting our environment.
Many nuisance complaints occur shortly after litter has
been land applied. Producers should carefully select the time
when litter will be spread. Let neighbors know when you plan
to spread litter. Keep an open line of communication with
anyone who may be affected by the spreading of litter from
your operation. Avoid weekends and holidays, pay attention
to wind direction, and once started, nish as soon as possible
so that you limit the generation of dust and odor. Spread litter
during the morning as much as possible because as air warms
it will rise, which lifts odors upward for mixing and dilution
with fresh air as well as drying litter. While your cooperative
public attitude will have little effect on the actual odor, it may
be very important in avoiding complaints against your farming
operation. Neighbors are less likely to complain if they
know you are aware and attempting to address their concerns.
Always be courteous when dealing with neighbors, even if you
may be unable to comply with all their wishes. In short, be a
good neighbor.
Summary
Given the continuing urbanization of rural areas and
the level of livestock intensication in the U.S., it appears
likely that complaints associated with agricultural odors will
increase. Increased regulations have drastically changed
livestock production practices in many parts of Europe and
could do so in this country as well. Poultry producers need to
understand the causes of odors and apply basic odor control
principles in their daily management routines. Odor control
need not be difcult or expensive and, in fact, can start with
something as simple as running an attractive operation,
keeping the grass and weeds cut, projecting a positive image,
and being a good neighbor. Address the potential concerns
of your neighbors before they escalate into complaints, or
restrictive regulations that may determine whether or not you
are allowed to remain in business. The continued viability of
poultry production in some areas is increasingly dependent
upon a communitys willingness to accept the industry as a
responsible corporate citizen.
3
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
References
Nicolai, R., and S. Pohl. 2005. Understanding livestock odors. Cooperative Extension Service Fact Sheet FS 925-A. South
Dakota State University, Brookings, SD.
Pfost, D. L., C. D. Fulhage, and J. A. Hoehne. 1999. Odors from livestock operations: Causes and possible cures. Outreach
and Extension Pub. # G 1884. University of Missouri-Columbia.
Shefeld, R., and R. Bottcher. 2000. Understanding livestock odors. Cooperative Extension Service Pub. # AG-589. North
Carolina State University.
Theobald, M. R., C. Milford, K. J. Hargreaves, L. J. Sheppard, E. Nemitz, Y. S. Tang, V. R. Phillips, R. Sneath, L.
McCartney, F. J. Harvey, I. D. Leith, J. N. Cape, D. Fowler, and M. A. Sutton. 2001. Potential for ammonia recapture by farm
woodlands: design and application of a new experimental facility. In: Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy
Production and Environmental Protection: Proceedings of the 2nd International Nitrogen Conference on Science and Policy. The
Scientic World 1(S2):791-801.

Table 1. Description of odor parameters.

Odor parameter Description
Threshold Minimum detectable concentration
Intensity Strength of odor
Persistence Rate of change
Hedonic Tone Degree of acceptability or offensiveness
Character What the odor smells like
Source: (Shefeld and Bottcher, 2000)
TEMPERATURES continued on page 4
Savannah Henderson, Doug E. Yoho and R. Keith Bramwell
Department of Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Introduction
Although there have been great improvements in the breeder house, egg transportation and the
hatchery, on-farm hatching egg storage has been largely ignored. The lack of improvement might be
traced to a lack of information about the optimum environment to maintain viability of hatching eggs
stored at the farm level.
Meeting chick placement needs and ensuring the full utilization of incubation equipment have
made hatching egg storage inevitable in the commercial broiler industry. While hatching eggs are
stored both on-farm and at the hatchery and egg storage data is available at the hatchery level, little
if any research aimed at evaluating on-farm hatching egg storage is available..
Hatching-eggs are commonly held at the farm level for three or four days because hatcheries
generally make two egg pickups at each farm per week. Eggs are stored at the hatchery for periods
ranging from less than a day to a week or longer so that an adequate numbers of eggs can be set
to meet chick demand. Length of egg-storage, hen age, egg-storage temperature, and humidity are
all pre-incubation storage conditions that affect both hatchability and economic returns nearly as
On-Farm Egg-Holding Temperatures for
Commercial Broiler Breeders
4
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
TEMPERATURES continued from page 3
much as incubation conditions. However, as a general rule,
hatchery conditions for egg storage are given much more
attention than are on-farm egg storage conditions. The less
than ideal maintenance of on-farm egg storage rooms often
reects this lack of attention.
Current Situation
The embryo in each fertile egg laid has grown 20,000
to 40,000 cells while in the oviduct and represents an already
started embryo. Following collection at the broiler breeder
farm, hatching-eggs are placed in on-farm coolers to reduce
the internal egg temperature, arresting further embryonic
development, while maintaining embryo viability. The
temperature at which embryonic development is virtually
stopped is known as the physiological zero, but there is
disagreement as to actual temperature at which this occurs.
Repeated research done in our lab has found that temperatures
of 75F or below halts embryo development for up to 96 hours
of storage.
While some poultry companies are recommending
on-farm egg storage temperatures as low as 63F, the most
commonly implemented an on-farm egg
storage temperature is 68F, regardless of
ock age. However, this popular industry
recommendation is based on data that were
originally generated in 1902 and the genetics
of both broiler breeders and their offspring
have progressed dramatically since that point
in time. Although management practices
and equipment continue to evolve around
the increasingly improved broiler of today,
on-farm egg storage has remained largely
unchanged.
As broiler breeder age increases, the
hatchability typically decreases. While
alterations in egg storage conditions might
improve hatchability, altering storage
conditions at the hatchery for each specic
ock is not practical. However, altering
egg storage conditions at the farm level may
help to achieve improved embryo viability
and hatchability. Furthermore, the changes
in physical integrity (e.g. shell thickness,
albumen quality and size) of the egg as ock age advances,
makes it seem logical to investigate ock age as it relates
to egg storage temperature. Therefore, the objective of this
study was to determine if on-farm egg-storage temperatures
would improve hatchability obtained from commercial broiler
breeder ocks in four age groups.
Materials and Methods
Hatching-eggs were obtained from four commercial
parent-stock broiler breeder ocks representing four ages (25
to 30, 35 to 40, 45 to 50, or 55 to 60 wk of age). Fourteen
hundred forty (1440) eggs were collected from each ock
on four occasions. Hatching eggs were collected from each
breeder farm on day of lay. Eggs were not placed in the
existing on-farm egg cooler. Eggs were transported to an
experimental egg storage facility and 288 eggs were randomly
assigned to storage chambers set to one of ve temperatures
(60F, 65F, 70F, 75F, and 80F). To ensure conditions
were maintained correctly during storage, each chamber was
equipped with a data logger, which recorded temperature every
minute during the holding period. Two trays of 144 eggs were
stored at each temperature for 3 days before being placed
directly onto the commercial egg transport truck.
At the hatchery eggs were held at 68F prior to normal
incubation and hatching procedures. Hatchability was
determined for each treatment group. Unhatched eggs from
each treatment group were subjected to a complete hatch-
residue breakout analysis.
Results
The data in Table 1 indicate that eggs from 25 to 30-
week-old ocks stored at 60F had 2.93% higher hatch of
fertiles than did those stored at 70F. However, no signicant
differences were observed in hatchability. Clearly additional
investigation is warranted here.
The optimum on-farm egg storage temperature for eggs
from 35 to 40-week-old ocks was 70F (Table 2). These
ndings support much earlier research that indicated for
maximum hatch of fertiles, eggs should be stored at or below
70F. The hatch of fertile for eggs stored at 70F was 2.56%,
1.80%, 0.21%, and 3.19 % greater than those for eggs stored
at 60F, 65F, 75F and 80F, respectively. For 35 to 40 week-
old ocks, an on-farm egg storage of 70F was found superior
to other temperatures with respect to both hatchability and
hatch of fertiles.
Similar results were found in eggs from 45 to 50-week-
old broiler breeder ocks (Table 3). For 45 to 50 week old
breeder ocks, hatch of fertiles obtained from the 70F storage
temperature was 6.68%, 4.85%, 8.38%, and 7.00% higher
Table 3. Hatchability and hatch of fertiles from 25 to 30 week old ocks
Storage Temperature Hatch of Fertile Hatchability
(%) (%)

60F 85.31
a
83.77

65F 84.47
ab
83.59

70F 82.38
b
81.16

75F 84.51
ab
83.25

80F 84.53
ab
82.64

a,b
Values within columns with different superscripts are signicantly different (P<0.05).
5
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
TEMPERATURE continued on page 6
than eggs stored at temperatures of 60F,
65F, 75F, and 80F, respectively. Percent
hatchability was also highest when eggs
were stored at 70F.
Hatchability and hatch of fertiles
was the highest when eggs from 55 to
60-week-old ocks were stored at 75F
(Table 4). Hatch of fertiles for the eggs
held at 75F was 3.19%, 5.17%, 5.00%,
and 4.48% higher than those stored at
60F, 65F, 70F and 80F, respectively.
The requirement of a higher on-farm egg
storage temperature for older hens was not
an expected result. The initial hypothesis
was that hatching eggs from older hens
might require cooler storage temperatures
in order to maintain the structure and
composition of the egg albumen and yolk
contents. However, these data suggest that
eggs from older hens reach physiological
zero at a higher temperature than eggs from younger ocks. In addition, higher storage temperatures for eggs from older ocks
mi
changes.
As previously mentioned, a complete egg breakout analysis was performed on all unhatched eggs. However, no signicant
differences were found between any of the on-farm egg storage groups. Thus, the improvements in hatch reported previously
were the result of across the board
improvements in embryo livability.
However, conditions during the research
project exposed all eggs to increased
handling and transportation conditions.
These unusual conditions likely had an
affect on overall hatchability and hatch of
fertile for all treatment groups, producing
hatch or hatch of fertile values which were
lower than would typically be seen under
industry conditions.
Although hatchability problems can
certainly be traced to poor fertility, when
fertility remains high, care for hatching
eggs can have a tremendous positive effect
on the overall hatchability. Current industry
on-farm egg storage recommendations
vary from 63F to 68F. The data
presented here suggest that hatchability
of eggs from prime age ocks (36 to 49
weeks) is improved by an on-farm eggs
storage temperature of 70F. In addition, the data suggest that eggs from older ocks (>55 wks) will hatch better when stored
in the on-farm storage coolers at 75F. Apparently, hatching eggs from older hens are less viable and more susceptible to stress
and therefore more liable to have increased incidences of early embryo mortality. Additionally, these warmer on-farm storage
temperatures did not adversely affect the hatch prole. While there was a slight increase in early hatched chicks from eggs held
at warmer temperatures it was not signicant. Further research is under way to investigate in greater detail the affects of elevated
on-farm egg storage on chick quality.
Table 2. Hatchability and hatch of fertiles from 35 to 40 week old ocks
Storage Temperature Hatch of Fertile Hatchability
(%) (%)

60F 87.36
ab
85.94
ab

65F 88.12
ab
85.68
ab

70F 89.92
a
88.19
a

75F 88.71
ab
86.63
ab

80F 85.73
c
84.03
b

a,b
Values within columns with different superscripts are signicantly different (P<0.05).
Table 3. Hatchability and hatch of fertiles from 45 to 50 week old ocks
Storage Temperature Hatch of Fertile Hatchability
(%) (%)

60F 78.13
b
76.91
ab

65F 79.96
b
78.21
b

70F 84.81
a
83.42
a

75F 76.43
c
74.57
c

80F 77.81
bc
76.04
bc

a,b,c
Values within columns with different superscripts are signicantly different (P<0.05).
6
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
G. Tom Tabler
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Factors Affecting Turkey
Flock Performance
Introduction
In recent years, genetics and nutritional programs have contributed greatly to the commercial
turkeys performance potential. However, turkeys raised on contract farms are subjected to
many more challenges than birds selected back on the pedigree farm as parent stock. In addition,
there is increasing concern from the general public over modern-day genetic programs (articial
insemination vs. natural mating), nutritional programs (feed ingredients, antibiotic use, and BSE
fears), and grow-out environments (connement buildings vs. free range). These concerns are
making their way to fast-food and supermarket chains, food retailers and others who are demanding
changes in the way turkeys are produced in the U.S. Animal welfare issues will require additional
attention in the future. Lets look at some of the factors that can have a major impact on the
performance of turkey ocks.
TEMPERATURE continued from page 5
Conclusion and Summary
Meeting chick placement needs and ensuring the full utilization of incubation equipment have made hatching egg storage
inevitable in the commercial broiler industry. Although hatchability problems can certainly be traced to poor fertility, when
fertility remains high, care for hatching eggs can have a tremendous positive effect on the overall hatchability. While alterations
in egg storage conditions might improve hatchability, altering storage conditions at the hatchery for each specic ock is not
practical. However, altering egg storage
conditions at the farm level may help to
achieve improved embryo viability and
hatchability. Although poultry companies
recommending on-farm egg storage
temperatures between 63F and 68F,
regardless of ock age, previous research
has been shown that a temperature of 75F
halted embryo development for up to 96
hours. The data presented here suggest
that hatching eggs from young ocks (25
to 30 weeks) should be stored on-farm
at 68F. Eggs from ocks in prime age
ocks (35 to 50 weeks) should be stored at
70F on-farm and eggs from older ocks
(>55 weeks) should be stored at 75F.
Research presented here would suggest
that higher egg storage temperatures could
produce an increase in hatch of between
2 and 5% over cooler on farm egg storage
room temperatures.
Table 4. Hatchability and hatch of fertiles from 55 to 60 week old ocks
Storage Temperature Hatch of Fertile Hatchability
(%) (%)

60F 73.33
ab
71.63
ab

65F 71.35
b
68.40
b

70F 71.52
b
68.40
b

75F 76.52
a
73.52
a

80F 72.04
b
69.79
ab

a,b
Values within columns with different superscripts are signicantly different (P<0.05).
7
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
Locomotion
A turkeys ability to walk freely and painlessly is
critical to performance. Without adequate bone development
and locomotion capabilities, turkeys will be unable to reach
their full genetic potential. Some bones in turkeys have been
reported to grow an average of 1.9 millimeters a day during
the rst 10 weeks of the birds life (Monk, 1998). Factors
which impede this growth or make walking painful (leg
deformities, swollen hocks, infected or ulcerated footpads)
will result in turkeys making fewer trips to feeders and
drinkers, thereby reducing feed and water intake and adversely
affecting growth. Reduced feed and water intake will also
likely lead to higher mortality rates, increased number of cull
birds, and a higher condemnation percentage at the plant.
Management plays a key role in bone development. If
poults are stressed from excessively hot or cold temperatures
during brooding, cell growth in the bones can be greatly
affected, leading to bone deformation and later leg weakness
(Monk, 1998). Poults must be allowed to move unimpeded
within the brooder ring from the outside edge to the heat
source in order to nd the ideal comfort zone. This will
require proper placement of feeders and drinkers within the
ring. Do not block access to heat source or outside edge of
ring and do not place feeders or drinkers too close to the heat
source, as poults will not consume feed or water that is too hot
(Tabler, 2004).
Poor environmental conditions are a concern throughout
the life of a ock, not just at brooding. If overall house
conditions are not acceptable to the bird, feed and water
consumption will decrease. Be aware that whenever a whole
house of turkeys is just sitting (not eating or drinking) during
the day, something is wrong. Some birds should be on the
move at all times throughout the day. Ideal bird activity
is when groups of birds can be seen standing and slowly
maneuvering their way across the house to feeders and
drinkers (Wojcinski, ND). Wet litter must be avoided, as this
may lead to foot pad lesions, which provide opportunities for
bacterial infection (Monk, 1998).
Litter Management
Most producers realize that wet litter leads to ammonia
production and subsequent respiratory or leg quality problems.
However, producers may not realize that typical poultry litter
contains 1 billion viable microorganisms per gram (Rehbeger,
ND). These microorganisms come from several sources with
the primary source being the gastrointestinal tract of the birds
themselves (Rehbeger, ND). Litter management involves
reducing the multiplication of microorganisms to protect foot
pads, control diseases and enhance the house environment.
Knowing how to prevent wet litter may help reduce or
eliminate these problems. Some of the common causes of wet
litter are:
Inadequate litter depth make sure depth is adequate at
start of the ock (follow integrator guidelines)
Unsuitable ventilation rate an inadequate air exchange
rate allows humidity levels to rise, increasing the
likelihood of wet litter
Inappropriate temperature cool temperatures mean
elevated humidity levels, which leads to wet litter.
Recognize that supplemental heat will be needed at times
(particularly when birds are young) to keep the litter
dry. Increasing air temperature by 20F will double the
moisture holding capacity of the air
Improper drinker management height, line pressure,
spillage, and wastage all impact litter condition

Keep in mind the age of the ock when implementing
a litter management strategy. Recall that young turkeys (less
than 10 weeks) produce less body heat than older birds (13
weeks or older). This means (obviously) that during cooler
temperatures additional heat must be added to maintain an
ideal growth environment. Although fuel is expensive, the
addition of extra heat not only warms the birds, it increases
the capacity of the air to remove moisture. If no supplemental
heat is added to turkeys 10 weeks old or less, the capacity of
the air will be inadequate to remove the moisture exhaled and
excreted by the birds. In contrast, in turkeys of 13 weeks or
older, the heat produced by the bird is adequate to remove the
excess moisture. Thus, properly maintaining temperatures and
adequately ventilating are critical to good air quality in the
turkey house. Good air quality is important 24 hours per day
throughout the ock, not just when someone is working in the
house or on days the service tech visits the farm.
Water
Like other livestock, water intake in turkeys is directly
related to feed intake and therefore growth and performance.
Water consumption of turkeys at the start of the growing
period is around 2.5 times greater than feed consumption and
around 2 times higher in the mid growing phase (Wojcinski,
ND). It is essential to have water meters and keep daily
records of water consumption. This is the only way producers
will know if consumption is normal for ock age and season
of year. Excessive or irregular changes in water consumption
can alert producers to potential problems with either ock
health status or malfunction of the feed and/or water system.
As with bone development, if ock health is compromised,
turkeys will never reach their genetic potential and
performance will be disappointing. Even one compromised
bird may contribute towards a deteriorating environment
starting a long series of events that ultimately result in
disappointing ock performance (Fernandez, 1998).
Not only is an adequate supply of water necessary,
it must be high quality water if turkeys are to achieve high
quality performance. Treating water lines during cleanout,
sanitizing watering equipment during house preparation, and
maintaining the correct amount of sanitizer present in the
drinker throughout the ock are vital to providing quality
drinking water. For example, Bordetella (which causes turkey
coryza) has been isolated from the inside of nipple drinkers
and from the rubber seal in the water line regulator in houses
with Bordetella positive turkey ocks (Watkins, 2002).
Chlorine levels in the last drinker should be checked weekly
PERFORMANCE continued on page 8
8
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
G. Tom Tabler
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
to ensure proper amount is being delivered. Also, water should be sampled regularly for mineral and bacterial levels. Producers
must know how much water turkeys are consuming and whats in the water, otherwise it is impossible to know if the water supply
is adversely affecting ock performance.
Summary
Locomotion is essential to the birds ability to obtain feed and water. Litter management also plays a key role in how

Availability of a plentiful and high quality water supply is a necessity for ock performance. Water meters are valuable tools
for tracking consumption and alerting producers to possible ock health or other serious problems. While modern, commercial
turkeys can obtain remarkable performance, it is the concern and management skills of individual turkey producers at the farm
level that ultimately determines whether potential becomes reality at ock harvest.
References
Fernandez, D. 1998. Reducing pathogen load optimizes turkeys production performance. The Feather File. Cuddy Farms.
Monk, J. 1998. Nutritional, management factors can interfere with development. The Feather File. Cuddy Farms.
Rehbeger, T. No Date. Controlling litter microorganisms. Watt Publishing e-digest 2(6). 7 pages. Visited June, 2002.
Tabler, G. T. 2004. Strategies for successful turkey production. Avian Advice 6(2):9-11.
Watkins, S. E. 2002. The campaign for quality drinking water continues. Avian Advice 4(3):7-9.
Wojcinski, H. No Date. Grow-out management. Watt Publishing e-digest 2(6). 4 pages. Visited June, 2002.
PERFORMANCE continued from page 7
Farm Animal Welfare Issues
Affect Poultry Producers
Introduction
Livestock production practices have evolved at a rapid pace over the past 30 years. So
much so that few people today are aware of current on-farm management practices. This fact
is emphasized by evidence that many students enrolled in college animal science courses today
are largely unaware of common practices associated with modern animal agriculture (Heleski,
2004). It can no longer be assumed that animal and poultry science students enter college with
practical, on-farm experience. If these students are largely unaware of production practices, its
a safe bet the general public knows practically nothing about animal agriculture and modern-
day production practices. Perhaps this should not be surprising given the fact that 98% of the
U.S. population does not farm. Parents can no longer teach their kids livestock management
practices because most parents are too far removed from the farm themselves. However, even
though they may know little about livestock production, most of that 98% expects farm animals
to be humanely treated. The following paragraphs offer information on welfare issues affecting
the poultry industry and its producers.
Livestock production
practices have evolved
at a rapid pace over
the past 30 years...
few people (outside
the industry) today
are aware of current
on-farm management
practices.
9
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
5
Five Freedoms
The Farm Animal Welfare Councils so-called ve freedoms (FARC, 1992) provide a
framework for assessing farm animal welfare. These freedoms include:
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to
maintain full health and vigor.
2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter
and a comfortable resting place.
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
4. Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufcient space, proper facilities and
company of the animals own kind.
5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid
mental suffering.
Unfortunately, common husbandry practices which improve some aspects of animal
welfare may diminish others (Anonymous, ND). For example, caging laying hens certainly
restricts their freedom of movement but, every bird receives clean, fresh water and a
nutritionally well balanced diet. In addition, raised cages also allow wastes to fall through,
maintaining cleanliness for both birds and eggs. However, welfare questions still remain: e.g.,
just how important is it to a hen to build a nest or scratch for bugs in the barnyard (Anonymous,
ND).
The poultry industry must constantly assess the situation and enhance animal welfare
in a manner the public will accept. If production practices cannot pass the test of public
acceptance, modern-day consumers have no problem changing their buying habits, leaving
animal agriculture searching for answers. A good rst step is a heightened awareness within
the industry and among producers about animal welfare concerns and problems. Production
advantages associated with improved welfare need to be emphasized by researchers to the
industry (Mench and Duncan, 1998). Good management will minimize most welfare problems.
Therefore, researchers must communicate current knowledge to industry personnel and contract
producers in areas such as improved production methods, changing rules and regulations, and
animal welfare audits and facility inspections. Poultry producers are referred to an excellent
article by Watkins (2003) concerning what to expect and how to prepare for an animal welfare
audit at your farm.
Additional Efforts Needed
Practical methods for improving poultry welfare are already available, particularly in
the areas of catching, handling and slaughter (Mench and Duncan, 1998). Today, however,
economics drive everything and research is needed to provide information from the public
on what they will accept (and pay for) before the poultry industry can justify making costly
sweeping changes to current production practices.
Despite potential for immediate improvement in some areas, Mench and Duncan (1998)
listed a number of areas requiring additional efforts by the poultry industry. These include:
Equipment design for new facilities
Gas stunning methods that are effective and considered safe
Less stressful methods to induce molting that ensure a complete molt
Identication and breeding of stocks that do not require beak trimming
Workable alternative production systems for laying hens
Changing physiology and needs of broilers as a result of selection
Mechanization of handling and loading of broilers
Development of a use for spent hens; improved methods of on-farm disposal to ensure a
humane death
Identication of human factors responsible for welfare problems
PERFORMANCE continued on page 10
FREEDOMS
10
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
Broken bones in hens; causes, economic effects, methods to decrease breakage, including
dietary modications at end-of-lay
Effect of journey times and crate densities on broiler welfare during transport
Improved house design to facilitate handling and catching
Welfare effects of practices like toe-trimming and the use of NozBonz to prevent broiler
breeder males from using the female feeders
Perch design for layers and broilers
Quality of house environment in relation to seasonal environmental extremes
Establishing a common set of standards for animal welfare in the poultry industry is made more
difcult because facilities, management, and personal opinions differ between various poultry
producing regions of the country and even within regions. For all its similarities, the U.S.
poultry industry is not as uniform as it may rst appear.
Animal Care
Each state in the U.S. has laws prohibiting cruelty to animals although few relate to
livestock production. On U.S. farms, there are presently no laws or regulations that require farm
animal care assurances, and voluntary programs of farm animal
care are not widely used (McGlone, 2002). However, an
increasing number of very large and inuential companies are
developing and implementing animal welfare programs which
will greatly affect how animals are produced on the farm in
the future. Consumers of livestock products expect producers
to treat animals humanely and with respect. Retailers of farm
livestock products know their markets depend on customers
condence that farm animals are treated humanely. As a
result, more and more retailers are demanding that suppliers be
able to document humane animal treatment. Suppliers in the
beef, pork, and poultry industries must develop animal welfare
programs that satisfy their retail clients if they expect to keep
those clients. For contract poultry producers, this likely means
some form of veriable, on-farm inspection that documents
proper welfare procedures.
McGlone (2002) has suggested training and certication
programs for farm animal care are needed to satisfy 1) the
public, 2) consumers, 3) food retailers and 4) the government. With regards to farm animals in a
commercial farm setting, it was proposed such programs should contain the following features:
Tailored to the individual farm
Information about humane care including husbandry, handling, and use of information
services to remain up-to-date
In-service education and training
Formal or on-the-job training opportunities
Information about a broad range of areas including husbandry, behavior, nutrition,
environmental physiology, veterinary clinical, diagnostic medicine, agricultural
engineering, and instrumentation.
Such a program would present an opportunity for the poultry industry to work hand-in-hand
with researchers and extension personnel to develop animal welfare criteria that would satisfy
the non-farm population yet, are realistic and workable enough to implement and still allow
producers and their farming operations to remain viable.
At its heart, animal welfare depends on the producers values and attitudes. It is an issue
that has, for the most part, fallen under industry self regulation rather than government control.
That could change, however, if the industry fails to address the issue head on and in a timely
ANIMAL WELFARE continued from page 9
11
AVIAN Advice Summer 2006 Vol. 8, No. 1
manner. Social pressure is driving the poultry industry to scrutinize its production practices.
Customers, consumer groups, animal rights activists, and others are calling for action right now.
The industry has little choice but to develop animal welfare criteria that customers accept and
that producers will have to incorporate, including on-farm inspections. Even though some may
not favor such inspections, they are quickly becoming part of the cost of doing business today.
Not all producers will agree that such a plan is necessary, but it is better to police ourselves now
than to be policed later by the courts and the government for failing to act soon enough. Animal
welfare should not be looked upon by producers as being anti-livestock or anti-production
agriculture. Rather, animal welfare should have the overall goal of maintaining the long-term
sustainability of livestock production for current and future generations of producers.
Summary
Farm animal welfare is a major issue for the poultry industry and poultry producers.
Even though few people outside agriculture understand current production practices, increasing
numbers are demanding animal welfare assurances for the products they purchase. Major
retailers, under pressure from customers, consumer groups, animal rights activists and others,
are confronting the industry on issues involving cage space, withholding feed, forced molting,
stocking densities, slaughter practices and catching, handling and transport of birds. The
industry must address these concerns or risk alienating clients and customers. One likely
outcome that will affect poultry producers is the animal welfare audit system (including on-
farm inspections). Producers should prepare for such inspections and take steps to document
their management program. This includes simple things like keeping mortality charts up to date
on a daily basis and having a phone list of who to call if something goes wrong (feed system,
well pump, generator, electrical power, fuel supplier, natural disaster, etc.). This may seem
redundant and unnecessary now, but in the near future, this type information will likely have to
be documented to comply with animal welfare guidelines.
References
Anonymous. No Date. Agriculture and animal care. Kansas State University. Available at:
http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/NEAreaOfce/animalcare.htm. Accessed December 8, 2005.
Farm Animal Welfare Council (FARC). 1992. FARC updates the ve freedoms. Vet. Rec.
131:357.
Heleski, C. R. 2004. Attitudes toward farm animal welfare. Ph.D. Dissertation. Michigan
State University. East Lansing, MI.
McGlone, J. J. 2002. Symposia paper: Training and certication of farm animal care in
teaching and research institutions. Prof. Anim. Sci. 18:7-12. March.
Mench, J. A., and I. J. H. Duncan. 1998. Poultry welfare in North America: Opportunities
and challenges. Poult. Sci.77:1763-1765.
Watkins, S. 2003. Animal welfare audits: What to expect and how to be prepared. Avian
Advice 5(4):6-8.

POULTRY SCIENCE YOUTH CONFERENCE
UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS CAMPUS JULY 11-14, 2006
Do you have a son or daughter interested in the poultry industry? Would you
like for them to nd out more about the outstanding career opportunities for students
majoring in poultry science? Are they a junior or senior in high school?
E-mail Gary Davis (gddavis@uark.edu), undergraduate recruiter in the
Department of Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas to nd out more! You may
also call him at 479-575-7526. This is a great hands-on workshop exposing students to
what life is like on the UofA campus. (Space is limited, cost is $50).
UA Poultry Science
Extension Faculty
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by F.D. Clark, DVM, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian
. . . helping ensure the efficient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Windbreaks for
Arkansas Poultry Farms
by G. Tom Tabler
page 8
Is Mold Growth Hurting
Your Performance
by Frank T. Jones
page 11
Coming Events
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice
AVIAN
Cooperative Extension Service
ANATOMY continued on page 2
Winter 2005 Volume 7, Number 1
Normal Birds - A Review
of Avian Anatomy
A necropsy is the examination of a bird
externally and internally to determine the
cause of death. The method for doing a
necropsy varies and depends somewhat on the
bird involved, the preference of the individual
performing the necropsy, the disease(s)
suspected, and where the necropsy is being
done. Regardless of the method; the most
important point to remember is to systemati-
cally evaluate each organ and organ system
for changes associated with disease. Since
only a few diseases cause very specific
lesions in the organs; it is very important to be
familiar with the normal external and
internal anatomy. Usually a necropsy starts
with a detailed examination of the external
anatomy of the bird.
External Anatomy
Feathers and Skin
Feathers cover the majority of the skin
and are arranged in feather tracts rather than
randomly distributed. The feathers should be
clean at the point of attachment to the skin
and the edges of the feathers should be
smooth with no clear areas present in the
barbs.
The skin of a chicken and/or turkey is
thin and semi-transparent over most of the
body. The muscles, veins, and fat deposits can
be observed through the skin in most birds.
The muscles appear as dark areas; whereas,
fat is yellow. The skin on the face and bottom
of the foot is thickened and is normally white
or yellow in color. The comb, wattles, and
car lobes are usually bright red in color in
commercial layers and broiler breeders. It is
normal for market and breeder turkeys to
develop red or bluish skin on the head and
neck. Normal commercial layers and breeder
hens may have a reddish yellow skin on the
comb, ear lobe, or other facial structures (this
is especially true if they are beginning to
come into production or are out of
production).
The lower legs are covered with scales
which are yellow to white in coloration. The
thickened skin on the bottom of the foot
(footpad) is usually a pale yellow-tan or
yellow-white color (the scales of the leg arc
similarly colored). Chicks and poults have
yellow colored leg scales. Adult broilers and
commercial layers can have yellow or white
leg scales. Turkey leg scales are white to light
tan colored. The leg coloration will change in
hens from yellow to white and vice versa as
they go into or out of egg production.
The skin, leg, and feather coloration of
many of the varieties of chickens, ducks, and
turkeys kept as backyard, hobby, pet, or
exhibition flocks may vary from those listed.
The best source for individual breed
differences is the book The American
Standard of Perfection, which is published
by the American Poultry Association or the
American Bantam Standard.
Ears, Eyes, Nostrils and Beak
The ear in a bird is covered with fine
feathers and is a small opening located on the
side of the head. The eye should be a bright
2 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
ANATOMY continued from page 1
yellow-orange in color and free of discharges. The eyes should
be clear with dark black pupils surrounded by a colored iris.
The color of the iris varies with the breed and age of the bird,
but in general is steel-grey in chicks and poults. In adult
broilers, layers, and broiler breeders the iris is yellow-orange;
but brown in adult turkeys. The nostrils are slit like openings
on top of the beak and at the base of the beak. They are
surrounded by tan-yellow fleshy skin called the cere. The beak
is a yellow-horn to white-horn color in the normal bird and has
a smooth surface with the end of the beak pointed or blunted
in a beak-trimmed bird. Again, colors other than those listed
may be normal for many of the varieties of chickens, ducks,
and turkeys kept as backyard, hobby, pet, or exhibition flocks.
As before, the best source for these breed differences is the
The American Standard of Perfection or the American
Bantam Standard book.
Internal Anatomy
Once the external anatomy has been evaluated the
internal anatomy of the bird is examined. The skin should be
removed and the bird opened to expose internal organs. The
procedure of initially opening the bird to evaluate the internal
organs may vary depending on the personal preference of the
individual performing the necropsy. However, regardless of
the procedure, it is important to evaluate all organs present
systematically and thoroughly.
The first organs that come into view when the skin of a
chicken or turkey is removed for necropsy are the muscles,
sternal bursa, and bone (keel). The breast muscles are a grey-
white in color normal poultry. The point of the keel is white
and the edge of the bone is straight. The sternal bursa is a
white sac-like structure that is located on the sternum and
contains a small amount of clear fluid. If the leg muscles are
observed they are a darker grey-white color and the sciatic
nerve (located between the leg muscles) is a glistening white
with cross striations.
Thoracic (Chest) and Abdominal Anatomy
After the sternum and breast muscles are removed the
internal organs are evaluated, The heart is a triangular shaped
organ (the base of which is toward the head of the bird) that is
surrounded by a clear sac (pericardial sac). The heart is grey-
white in color and has a band of yellow fat near the base.
Internally, the heart is the same color with clear membranous
valves between heart chambers. The left ventricle (lower left
chamber) of the heart is thicker than the right ventricle. The
heart is almost completely surrounded by the lobes of the
liver.
The liver is the largest internal organ, is firm, and has
prominent sharply defined edges. The color of the liver varies
with diet. Baby chicks and poults tend to have a liver that is
yellow in color due to yolk absorption. Adult birds can have a
yellow-tan liver if on a high fat diet and the organ may be soft.
The adult bird usually has a dark red to red brown colored
liver.
The avian gallbladder is attached to the liver lobe and can be
easily examined by moving the liver to one side. This sack-
like structure is greenish-black in color due to the bile present
in it.
The trachea and syrinx (voice box) are visible at the base
of the heart. These structures are white with the trachea a
round tube like structure that divides into smaller left and right
bronchi. The syrinx is a flattened area of the trachea that is at
the end of the trachea before it dividing into bronchi. The
bronchi are identical to the trachea in color and shape but are
of a smaller diameter. However, a better examination of the
trachea is done in the neck of the bird. The aorta is also visible
at the base of the heart and is the artery that connects to the
hearts left ventricle. This tubular structure is thick walled and
pink white to red-white in color. The aorta and smaller
connecting arteries are better examined after the organs in the
thorax and abdomen are removed. The fat pad that covers the
organs must be cut or torn to reveal the gizzard (ventriculus)
and the stomach (proventriculus) to the birds right side. The
spleen is readily visible at the junction of the stomach and
gizzard after they are exposed. This lymphoid organ is oval or
elliptical in shape and dark red to purple in coloration. The
spleen in an adult bird is approximately one inch long.
The air sacs on the left are also readily visible after the
stomach and gizzard are set aside. These clear membranes are
attached to the lungs and increase the respiratory capacity of
the bird. Female birds that are in production may have yellow
fat deposits on the air sacs. The air sacs on the birds right side
should also be examined; it is usually necessary to move the
liver, stomach, and gizzard to the birds left side to examine
them adequately.
Avian lungs are closely adhered to the ribs and are an
orange-red or pink-red color. The lungs can be removed for a
close examination of the ribs. The ribs, as with all avian
bones, are smooth thin walled and white. Immediately below
the lungs are the kidneys, adrenal glands, and gonadal tissues
(testes or orvaries). The kidneys are firmly embedded in
gizzard
(ventriculus)
stomach
(proventriculus)
duodenal loop
cecae
cloaca
3
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
depressions in the bone (synsacrum) and have three distinct
lobes (cranial, middle, and caudal). The bird has two kidneys,
a left and right, and these organs are dark red to dark brown
with a fine reticulated patient visible. A small, white tube (the
ureter) connects each kidney to the cloaca. The adrenal glands
are small tan triangular shaped glands located at the section of
the kidney near the lung. Gonadal tissue is also located near
the kidney. The male has two testes, one on either side of the
midline. These organs are bean shaped or elliptical shaped and
tan. Two small white coiled tubules connect the testes to the
cloaca. In the female only the left ovary and oviduct are
generally present near the left kidney. In an immature female
the ovary is roughly triangular in shape or shaped like an
inverted L. It is white to light yellow in color and may have a
granular or gritty appearing surface. The developed oviduct is
a large grey-white tubular organ that has distinct longitudinal
structures. The oviduct connects the ovary to the cloaca and
adds egg components such as albumen, shell membranes and
shells as it transports the follicle (yolk) to the surface.
Located near these organs and near the midline is the
descending aorta. This thick walled artery is a continuation of
the aorta as it leaves the heart. It is from this major artery that
numerous smaller arteries arise to supply blood to the internal
organs. The aorta is pink-white to red-white in color.
The digestive tract should be examined next. The
stomach (proventriculus) is a spindle shaped organ that has the
gizzard (ventriculus) attached to it. The stomach is grey in
color and internally the lining in glistening grey-white with
small papillae (gland openings) present. The gizzard is a round
dark brown to dark red organ attached to the gizzard.
Internally, the gizzard (ventriculus) has a koilin lining which
is yellow to yellow-green in color.
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestines.
It is loop shaped and surrounds the pancreas. The pancreas is a
white-tan fleshy organ. The duodenum, like all of the small
intestines is a tan-grey to white-grey tube which has a fine
textured lining similar to the surface of a towel. The jejunum
and ilium are the next two sections of the small intestines.
Two sack-like structures are attached to the small intestines at
the junction of the large intestines and ileum. These structures
are the cecae which are thin walled with small thick areas in
the wall (cecal tonsils) at the points of attachment to the small
intestines. Cecal contents are dark green or dark brown. The
large intestine (which is very short) lies between the ileum to
the opening to the surface called the cloaca. The cloaca is
similar in color to the small intestines but is of larger diameter.
Feces in the large intestine and cloaca is generally drier and
green to brown feces in color. The ileum contains a more
liquid feces of similar color. White pasty urates are often
present in the cloaca. The bursa of Fabricius is a round tan-
white lymphoid organ which is organ located behind (dorsal)
the cloaca.
Most blood vessels are examined along with the organs
such as checking the large vessels coming to or leaving the
heart when the base of the heart and syrinx are examined.
Blood vessels vary in size depending on the organ supplied.
Arteries are thicker walled than veins, and are a pink white to
red white in color. Veins are thin walled, tend to flatten out
when touched and are a dark blue in color due to the blood in
them.
Neck Region
The mouth and neck of the bird should also be examined.
A cut is made at the corner of the mouth and extended down
the neck, thus exposing the structures for closer examination.
In the mouth of the bird the tongue can be examined. This
triangular shaped organ is dull grey-white and has a few
bumps (papillae) on the surface. Directly behind the back of
the tongue (and connected to it) is the glottis. The glottis is the
opening of the trachea. It is white in color and has two folds
(left and right) which come together to close the opening when
the bird swallows. The oropharynx is the region at the back of
the mouth and is a glistening grey-white color. Located on the
roof of the mouth is the cleft opening called the choana. This
structure should be clean with a small amount of clear mucous
usually present in the cleft. The choana is also grey-white in
color and numerous conical papillae are around the cleft.
The esophagus should be opening and examined. It too is
grey-white in color and has a smooth surface. There is an
organ at the base of the esophagus called the crop. The crop is
a pouch of the esophagus and as such is the color and texture
of the esophagus. The trachea is also present in the neck. This
white tubular structure has rings of cartilage visible from the
outside. Inside the trachea is a small amount of clear mucous
and the lining is a glistening clear white.
The remaining most obvious organ in the neck is the
thymus. This organ is multi-lobed and tan in color. Often
yellow fat is intermixed with the lobes. This organ 15 located
near the base of the neck and crop.
The beak should be removed to expose the nasal cavity.
There are scroll like structures in the nasal cavity which are a
tan-white in color. There is also a small amount of clear
mucous on these scrolls.
ANATOMY continued on page 4
4 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
R. Keith Bramwell Extension Reproductive Physiologist
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
ANATOMY continued from page 3
G. Tom Tabler, Applied Broiler Research Farm Manager
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Windbreaks for Arkansas
Poultry Farms
Windbreaks are
barriers that have
been used for
centuries to reduce
and redirect wind.
Another area to examine is the breast musculature. The superficial breast muscle should be cut into to check the deep breast
muscle (supracoracoideus muscle). This deep muscle is the same color as the superficial breast muscle.
The joints of the leg are also cut into and examined. All joints in the leg should contain a clear fluid. The cartilage in the leg
joints can also be examined at this time. Cartilage is a bright white to grey- white in color and has a smooth surface. The ends of
the leg bones are usually cut to examine the bone marrow, and check for cartilage plugs. If a cartilage plug is present in the end of
the tibiotarsal bone it appears as a triangular shaped plug that is white to grey-white in color. Bone marrow is red in color and soft
in texture.
The structures and organs discussed are those examined on a routine field necropsy. Naturally, any area that looks
abnormal is more closely examined.
Introduction
Windbreaks are barriers that have been used for centuries to reduce and redirect wind. They
were first used in the mid-1400s when the Scottish Parliament urged the planting of tree belts to
protect agricultural production (Droze, 1977). Windbreaks are common in regions like the Western,
North Central, and Great Plains of the United States where there is minimal forest cover, strong
winds, large amounts of snow, and extreme temperature fluctuations. However, since windbreaks
have also been used for privacy screens, dust control, odor control and noise reduction, the Arkansas
poultry industry should give them serious consideration. The ever-increasing non-farm population
influx into rural, poultry producing areas of the state is adding to the number of complaints and
lawsuits between non-farm and farm segments of the population. Windbreaks have the potential to
address some of these problems and could improve property values. In addition, planting trees and
shrubs is seen as environmentally friendly; therefore, windbreaks around poultry houses could
further demonstrate a producers commitment to a safe, healthy environment now and in the future.
5
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Windbreak Benefits
Well-designed windbreaks can cut energy costs of a typical farm or ranch home as much as 20
to 40 percent (Wight et al., 1991). Individual savings depend on the local site, climate conditions,
and building construction quality, as well as the design and construction of the windbreak. Since
windbreaks reduce the force of the wind blowing against the buildings and, in turn, the amount of
cold air entering the building, unprotected poultry houses, with poorly fitting doors, numerous
cracks or gaps and poor-quality curtains could probably benefit greatly from a well-designed
windbreak. A moderately dense windbreak will reduce a 20 mph wind to approximately 5 mph out
to a distance of five times the effective height of the windbreak. Table 1 lists wind reductions at
various distances upwind and downwind of windbreaks.
Table 1. Wind speed reductions at various distances windward and leeward of windbreaks
with different densities in Midwestern United States
1,2
Percent of open wind speed at various distances
Type of windbreak Optical density Windward Leeward
(Upwind) (Downwind)
-25H -3H -1H 5H 10H 15H 20H 25H 30H
Single row deciduous 25-30 100 97 85 50 65 80 85 95 100
Single row conifer 40-60 100 96 84 30 50 60 75 85 95
Multi-row conifer 60-80 100 91 75 25 35 65 85 90 95
Solid wall 100 100 95 70 25 70 90 95 100 100
1
Reductions are expressed as percent of open wind speed where open wind speed is assumed to be less than 10 meters
per second and distance from windbreak is exressed in terms of windbreak height. (H).
2
Adapted from Brandle et al. (2004).
Many poultry producers also raise beef cattle. When windbreaks are used to protect cattle fed
in open pastures or lots mortality is reduced, feed efficiency is improved and weight losses are
reduced by as much as 50 percent. Studies in Iowa over a five year period showed that sheltered
cattle gained an average of 80 pounds more per year and on average consumed 129 pounds less feed
per hundredweight of gain than those not sheltered (Slusher and Wallace, 1997).
Farmstead windbreaks can also screen undesirable sights, sounds, smells and dust and thus
improve living conditions for neighbors, particularly on the downwind side. The plants within the
windbreak will absorb some odors while others may be masked by the more desirable smells of
aromatic leaves or flowering shrubs that may make up the windbreak. Windbreaks can also reduce
noise by deflecting sound off branches and tree trunks or by absorbing sound with leaves, needles,
twigs, and smaller branches. For poultry producers this could mean a reduction in noise from tunnel
ventilation fans that may, during summer, run 24 hours a day for weeks. In addition, to some
degree, undesirable noises may be masked by the more desirable sounds of singing birds attracted by
the windbreak and the rustling of leaves. For maximum effectiveness, tree and shrub belts should be
tall, dense and located closer to the noise source than to the area protected (Slusher and Wallace,
1997). Poultry farms are a common sight along many roadways in western Arkansas. Screening
these with windbreaks would remove them from the publics eye while also beautifying your
farming operation and displaying your concern for the environment.
In temperate regions windbreaks can be a major component of successful agricultural systems.
However, to be successful, windbreak integration requires a thorough understanding of the
agricultural system involved, a basic understanding of how windbreaks work and a working
knowledge local conditions.
WINDBREAKS continued on page 6
6 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued from page 5
Height, Length and Structure of Windbreaks
Windbreak height is the most important factor determining the distance downwind protected by a windbreak. For
maximum efficiency, the uninterrupted length of the windbreak should be at least 10 times its height (Brandle et al., 2002).
Windbreaks usually require at least two kinds of trees with different growth characteristics to provide foliage density at various
heights over a period of years (Slusher and Wallace, 1997). Table 2 lists trees and shrubs that have been used in Missouri
windbreaks; many of these same species would work well in Arkansas windbreaks as well. Conifer species, such as cedar and
pine, and shrubs with multiple stems tend to provide better year-round density, while taller hardwood species, such as ash, oak, or
hackberry, generally are used to provide greater height.
Table 2. Trees and shrubs used in Missouri windbreaks
1
Est. Height Est. Height
Soil (feet) Soil (feet)
Species Tolerences after 20 years Species Tolerances after 20 years
American holly 1,2 <26 Hackberry all 16-25
American plum all 15 Highbush cranberry 1,3 <10
American sycamore all 26-35 Kentucky coffee tree all 16-25
Amur maple 1,2 <16 Loblolly pine 1,3 26-35
Amur privet all 10 Ninebark 1,3 <8
Arborvitae (hardy strain) 1,3 15-20 Nothern red oak 1 26-35
Autumn olive 1,2 <16 Norway spruce all 26-35
Bald cypress 1,3 16-25 Osage orange all 16-26
Basswood 1 26 Pecan 1,3 26-35
Black Cherry 1 16-25 Persimmon all <26
Blackhaw 1,2 <16 Pin oak 1,3 26-35
Black locust 1,2 26-35 Redbud 1,2 <16
Black walnut 1 26-35 Red maple all >35
Black willow 1,3 25 Red mulberry all <26
Bur oak all 16-25 River birch 1,3 26-35
Catalpa 1 26-35 Sassafras 1 >26
Chinese elm 1,2 26-35 Shagbark hickory 1,2 >16
Chinkapin oak 1,2 16-25 Shingle oak all 26-35
Common lilac all <16 Shortleaf pine 1,2 26-35
Cutleaf staghorn sumac 1,2 <8 Silky dogwood all <8
Deciduous holly 3 <16 Silver maple 1,3 >35
Eastern cottonwood all >35 Smooth sumac all <8
Eastern redcedar all 16-25 Spirea all >8
Eastern white pine 1 26-35 Sweetgum 1,3 26-35
European alder 1,3 26 Thornless honeylocust all 26-35
Flowering dogwood 1,2 <26 White oak 1,2 16-25
Forsythia all <16 Wild plum all 15-18
Green ash all 26-35 Yellow poplar 1 >35
Key: Soil tolerances
1= deep or moderately deep, well-drained or moderately well-drained soils
2= shallow, dry soils
3= poorly to very poorly drained wet sites
All= all of the above sites
Symbol for heights < = less than; > = more than
1
Adapted from Slusher and Wallace (1997).
7
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued on page 8
The amount of wind speed reduction that occurs is determined by the structure of the trees involved. As wind flows
through a windbreak, the trunk, branches and leaves absorb some of the momentum of the wind and the roughness of the tree
surfaces further slows wind speed. However, density should be adjusted to meet particular objectives. In general, windbreaks
with higher densities (multiple rows) are used to protect wildlife, farmsteads, or homesites, while windbreaks with lower densities
are used to protect crop fields. Windbreak density is the ratio of the solid portion of the windbreak to the total area of the
windbreak. A windbreak density of 40 to 60 percent provides maximum downwind protection in addition to providing
tremendous soil erosion control (Brandle et al., 2002).
The prevailing winds in winter are from the north and northwest in Arkansas, so protective windbreaks should be located
along the north and west sides of your farmstead. However, windbreaks used for visual screening and dust, odor and noise
control near tunnel fans can be placed where needed with proper planning. Windbreaks with both deciduous and evergreen
species must have adequate space. If evergreen and deciduous trees are planted as close as 6 to 8 feet apart, the deciduous trees
will soon overshadow the evergreens. When this happens, the growth of the evergreens will be stunted, their form will be ruined
and their effectiveness greatly reduced. There must be at least 15 to 20 feet of space between rows of evergreen and deciduous
species (Slusher and Wallace, 1997).
Considerations and Tree Spacing
Slusher and Wallace (1997) suggest keeping the following considerations in mind as you plan your windbreak;
Locate the windbreak where it will be most effective.
Design the windbreak to fit the available space and to meet the purpose of the planting. Design must allow for proper
spacing (see below) for tree growth and for use of maintenance equipment.
Select tree and shrub species that are well adapted to your soil and climate conditions. Order trees early.
Properly prepare the planting sight and fence areas accessible to livestock.
Arrange for necessary planting labor and equipment.
Provide care and protection for young seedlings.
Provide proper management practices after windbreak establishment.
When planning the spacing of trees the probable size of the crowns after the trees reach 20 to 30 years of age should be
considered. Although a wider spacing means that it will take longer for trees to form an effective wind barrier, the delay in
windbreak effectiveness will be more than offset by the increased tree growth rate. In addition, trees that have adequate growing
space will live longer, retain their lower limbs better and produce more foliage. Furthermore, the reduced windbreak
effectiveness produced by wider spacing can be overcome by staggering the trees in adjacent rows. Rows should be spaced
from 15 to 30 feet from each other, depending on the types of trees or shrubs in the adjacent row. Slusher and Wallace (1997)
recommend the following spacing for various trees and shrubs:
Space 10 to 12 feet between shrub rows.
Space 15 to 20 feet between shrub and tree rows.
Space 15 to 20 feet between medium and tall tree rows.
Space 20 feet between tall evergreen rows.
Space a minimum of 20 feet between tall evergreen and tall deciduous tree rows.
Remember that spacing must allow for proper use of suitable maintenance equipment. Between trees in a row:
Allow 4 to 6 feet for deciduous shrubs.
Allow 10 to 16 feet between medium-sized evergreens.
Allow 12 to 20 feet between deciduous trees.
Allow 10 to 16 feet between tall evergreen trees.
Summary
Winds of change are sweeping across the American agricultural landscape. The general public is no longer as tolerant of
agricultural practices as they once were. In addition, agricultural producers are a small minority of the population and must
therefore utilize strategies that allow production to increase, while at the same time, living in harmony with their neighbors and,
in turn, minimizing complaints or lawsuits from the non-farm population. One such strategy for Arkansas poultry producers is
the use of windbreaks. Windbreaks are an old technology used to reduce wind speed but they also have the potential to visually
screen poultry houses from public view, disperse odors, dust and noise before these pollutants have a chance to affect the
8 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued from page 7
Is Mold Growth Hurting
Your Performance?
neighbors. Also, in todays environmentally conscious society, planting trees is good thing to do and may reflect positively on
agricultural producers who otherwise might be viewed unfavorably by much of the non-farm population. Be aware that
constructing a successful windbreak is no small undertaking so do your homework before grabbing your shovel. Contact your
local Extension office, Arkansas Forestry Commission, NRCS office, or local landscape nursery for assistance with planning and
constructing a windbreak that will meet the needs of your particular farming operation.
References
Brandle, J. R., X. Zhou, and L. Hodges. 2002. How windbreaks work. University of Nebraska Extension EC 02-1763-X.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Brandle, J. R., L. Hodges, and X. H. Zhou. 2004. Windbreaks in North American agricultural systems. Agroforestry Systems
61:65-78.
Droze, W. H. 1977. Trees, Prairies, and People: A History of Tree Planting in the Plains States. USDA Forest Service and Texas
Womens University Press, Denton, TX. 313 pp.
Slusher, J. P., and D. Wallace. 1997. Planning tree windbreaks in Missouri. MU Guide G5900. University Extension. University
of Missouri-Columbia.
Wight, B., T. K. Boes, and J. R. Brandle. 1991. Windbreaks for rural living. University of Nebraska Extension EC 91-1767-X.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Frank T. Jones, Cooperative Extension Section Leader
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
When molds
grow in feeds,
they use up
nutrients and
vitamins that
the birds
should be
getting.
Introduction
Unexplainable poor performance can occur from time to time. While production problems can
originate from innumerable sources, some common situations should not be overlooked. When
management factors are good and birds still perform poorly, it may be time to take a closer look
at the feed bins and pans to determine if mold growth is the source of the problem.
What Can Happen
Over 20 years ago a survey was conducted with five North Carolina broiler companies. Six
broiler farms were selected from each company for a total of thirty farms. Farms that
participated in the study were chosen based on the productivity indicated by the previous years
records. Two farms from each company were classified as above average in productivity, two
were average in productivity and two classified as poor. Schedules were arranged so that chicks
arrived at each farm within a few days of each other and were caught at the end of the flock
within a few days of each other. One flock was surveyed and feed samples were collected
weekly from the feeder pans on each farm. Table 1 contains data collected from this study.
9
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Table 1. Molds, Aflatoxin and Broiler Production
Productivity No. of Age Wt. Feed Mold Aflatoxin
Classification farms (Days) (lbs.) Conv (Count/g) (ppb)
Above Average 10 52.6 3.88 2.13 8,000 6.13
Average 10 51.9 3.83 2.15 35,000 6.49
Below Average 10 52.8 3.79 2.16 43,000 13.99
From Jones et al. 1982.
It should be obvious from the weights and feed conversions in Table 1 that these data are over 20 years old! However,
please note that as farm productivity gets progressively poorer, weights are lighter and feed conversion worsens. While we all
realize that there are many factors that affect performance, these data suggest that molds and aflatoxin are related to performance.
Since farms in the study were on the same placement and catch schedule, they likely got feed at about the same time.
Consequently, it seems logical to assume that when feeds arrived on each farm, they contained about the same number of molds.
Yet, mold counts from farms with below average productivity are seven times higher than those from farms that were above
average in productivity.
What Happens When Molds Grow in Feeds
Molds can grow on almost anything. As they grow, nutrients are destroyed and toxin are released. When molds grow in
feeds they use up nutrients and vitamins that the birds should be getting. The data in Figure 1 illustrate how mold growth can
destroy protein, fats and thiamin in grain. Molds can produce toxic substances call mycotoxins (such as aflatoxin). There are
over 250 known mycotoxins produced by many different mold strains. When birds are exposed to high levels of mycotoxins they
can cause gut irritation or digestive system problems, skeletal or leg problems, nervous system symptoms and impaired immunity.
However, in most field cases birds are exposed to low levels of mycotoxins, which produce non-descript symptoms. Birds may
just not seem right, but show no major signs.
MOLD continued on page 10
10 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
MOLD continued from page 9
How can mold growth happen in feeds?
Molds can be found virtually anywhere in the natural environment. It is common for pelleted feeds to contain hundreds of
mold spores per gram. Molds will grow whenever conditions are right for their growth. The lack of moisture is most often what
prevents molds from growing in feeds. While the overall conditions in the feed handling system and poultry house may not
promote mold growth, molds will tend to grow in very small areas where conditions are right for growth.
A general depiction of mold metabolism can be seen in Figure 2. It is not necessary to thoroughly understand mold
metabolism. However, it is important to realize that as molds grow they produce their own moisture. This metabolic moisture
means that the process of mold growth can feed on itself and get faster as it gets going. This moisture also means that the higher
the mold count the greater the potential for mold growth.
Figure 2. Mold Metabolism
C
6
H
12
O
6
+ 6O
2
6CO
2
+ 6H
2
O
How to Control Mold Growth
There are three primary factors that control mold growth. These factors are related to each other and each must be
addressed. Control of mold growth in feeds can be accomplished by keeping moisture low, maintaining feed fresh, and keeping
equipment clean.
>
11
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Coming Events:
Moisture Control
Moisture is the single most important factor in determining if and how rapidly molds will grow in feeds. Moisture in feeds
comes from the environment in which the feed is stored or handled. To control mold growth, begin by controlling the obvious
sources of moisture in the feed handling and storage equipment. These sources may include leaks in feed storage tanks, augers,
and roofs. However, it is important to realize that feed moisture changes in relation to the environment. Since birds add moisture
to their environment by respiration and defecation, the air in houses can be very humid. Feed that was initially very low in
moisture content will gain moisture when placed in a humid environment. This means that it is crucial to provide adequate
ventilation for control of humidity in the house.
Keeping Feed Fresh
Time is required for both mold growth and mycotoxin production to occur. It is therefore important to have feeds delivered
often so that it will be fresh as possible when consumed. Feeds should generally be consumed within 10 days of delivery. It is
equally important to manage the feed delivery system to ensure that feeds are uniform in freshness. Field surveys have shown that
poultry farms producing birds with the poorest performance were those with the most feed in their feeder pans. On these farms,
the feeds contained the greatest amount of moisture and had the highest number of molds. If the feeder system is allowed to keep
the feed pans full at all times, the feed in the pans will be significantly older than that in the storage tank. Birds will tend to eat
primarily the feed in the top layer. The feed at the bottom of the pans will age, providing greater opportunities for molds to grow
and may hurt performance. To prevent this problem, the feeder system should be turned off weekly. The birds will then be forced
to clean up all of the feed in the feeders before it becomes excessively old. A similar principle applies to feed storage tanks. The
feed next to the wall is last to exit the tank and therefore stays in the tank the longest. The feed in contact with the wall is also the
only portion of the feed that changes appreciably in temperature. These factors make feed in contact with the wall susceptible to
moisture migration and mold growth. It is best to completely empty and clean one tank when the new delivery is in the other tank.
Equipment Cleanliness
If feed is delivered to farms where old feed is lodged or caked in the feed storage or delivery systems, this old feed is often
very moldy and may seed the fresher feed it contacts, increasing the chances of mold growth and mycotoxin formation. To
address this problem, caked, moldy feed should be scraped or brushed off and leaky spots should be sealed. When bins are
extremely caked with feed, it may be necessary to sand blast the bin. Feeder pans should be disassembled and areas that contain
caked moldy feed should be brushed to bare metal or plastic. It is important to remember to avoid the use of water in cleaning
since moisture encourages mold growth.
Summary
Molds are present everywhere in nature and grow readily in feeds if conditions are right. When molds grow on feeds they
destroy nutrients that are meant for our birds and they may produce mycotoxins that also hurt performance. To control mold
growth in feeds, protect feeds from moisture, ensure that feeds are fresh and keep equipment clean.
References
Jones, F. T., W. M. Hagler and P. B. Hamilton. 1982. Association of low levels of aflatoxin in feed with productivity losses in
commercial broiler operations. Poultry Science 61:861-868.
Tindall, W. 1983. Molds and feeding livestock. Animal Nutrition and Health, July-August, p 5.
International Poultry Exposition, January 26-28, 2005, Georgia World Congress
Center, Atlanta, GA, U. S. Poultry and Egg Association (770) 493-9401
International Poultry Short Course, February 21-25, 2005. University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, AR, Dr. Frank Jones (479) 575-5443
Poultry Symposium, April 25-27, 2005, Springdale, AR, The Poultry Federation
(501) 375-8131
UA Poultry Science
Extension Specialists
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received his
B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received both his
M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay, which is still
in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry. He then spent one
year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1996, Bramwell returned
to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr. Bramwell joined the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main
areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management and physiological) that influence fertility and
embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then practiced
in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary School at Davis.
After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark was director of the Utah
State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry Science faculty at the University
of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible
for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efficient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center of
Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D. from
Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality assurance
for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He was an Assistant
Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the
University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food safety. Dr. Marcy
does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and microbiology for
processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She
served as a quality control supervisor and field service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became an
Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has worked to
identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter treatments for
improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed ingredients on the
performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has major
responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to become
aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile annual
figures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State Fair.
Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-671-2189, FAX: 501-671-2185, E-mail: jwooley@uaex.edu
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by Jana Cornelison, Melony Wilson and Susan Watkins, Cooperative Extension Service
. . . helping ensure the efcient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Two New Programs:
Premises Identication
and the National Animal
Identication System
by F. Dustan Clark
page 6
What are
Bacteriophages?
by Frank T. Jones, Lisa
Bielke and Jack Higgins
page 8
Bacteriophage: A
Replacement for
Antibiotics?
by William E. Huff
page 10
Evaluation of LItter
Treatments on
Salmonella Recovery
in Poultry Litter
by J.B. Payne and
Susan E. Watkins

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice

Cooperative Extension Service


EFFECTS continued on page 2
Spring 2005 Volume 7 no. 2
Effects of Water Acidication
on Turkey Performance
Introduction
Acidication of the drinking water has
become very popular in the broiler industry
as a tool for improving bird performance.
However, little is known about the exact
effects of water acidication on weight gains,
feed conversion efciency and livability
for turkey production. In addition, little
documentation exists which compares
different drinking water pH adjustment
products for turkeys. Therefore a trial was
conducted to determine how turkeys respond
to different products used to adjust the
drinking water pH.
Materials and Methods
Nine hundred and sixty turkey hen
poults (day-old) were randomly placed in
48 oor pens to give 20 birds/pen and six
replications per treatment. Each pen was
equipped with one hanging tube feeder
and a water plasson. Each pen had its own
water supply via a 5 gallon sealed bucket.
Plassons were cleaned every day and water
usage was measured for the rst 28 days.
This measurement involved accounting for
the water added to each pen as well as the
water removed each time the plassons were
cleaned. Seven treatments were compared
to a control (Fayetteville city water). The
treatments (outlined in Table 1) included PWT
(Jones-Hamilton Co., Walbridge, OH) added
to the control water to an adjusted pH of 4
and 6, I.D. Russell Citric Acid (Alpharma,
Fort Lee, NJ) added to the water to adjust the
pH to 4 and 6, Dri Vinegar (BVS, (Willmar,
MN)) added to the water to adjust the pH to
6, Acid Sol (BVS, Willmar, MN)) added to
the water to adjust the pH to 6 and Ema-Sol
(Alpharma, Fort Lee, NJ) added to the water
to adjust the pH to 4. Each solution was
prepared in a 50 gallon container and then
dispersed to the corresponding replicate pens.
Each container was lled with Fayetteville
city water and allowed to sit over night to
allow residual chlorine to dissipate. Prior to
the preparation of each solution a hand-held
pH meter was rst standardized using pH
4, 7 and 10 buffer solutions. The pH was
continuously checked as each solution was
slowly mixed to the desired pH. To enhance
the dissolving of the dry products, PWT and
citric acid, concentrated stock solutions of
each was prepared in room temperature water.
This concentrated solution was slowly stirred
into the appropriate treatment container until
the desired pH was achieved. Fresh solutions
were made at lease twice weekly and more
frequently during the last four weeks of the
trial. The pH was veried and recorded, as
each batch was prepared. All water and
feed added to the pens was weighed. Birds
received a commercial diet regime supplied
by Cargill. Diets were changed every two
weeks.
The birds were group weighed by pen at
day 1 and then individually weighed on days
14, 28, 42, 56, 70 and 84. Feed consumption
was measured for each period. Pens were
checked twice daily for mortality. The
weight of all dead and cull birds was recorded
for use in determining an adjusted feed
AVIAN
2
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
EFFECTS continued from page 1
conversion rate. At week six and twelve, one bird per pen was
weighed and sacriced by suffocation with carbon dioxide.
The pH of the crop and gizzard was measured by emptying
approximately 20 grams if the contents and blending with an
equal amount of distilled, de-ionized water.
Results were analyzed using the GLM procedure of
SAS. Pens served as the experimental unit. The mortality
percentage data was transformed using square root
transformation to normalize the distribution. All means which
were statistically signicant at the P<. 05 level were separated
using the repeated t-test. The feed-conversion rates were
calculated as cumulative values. The mortality was calculated
for each weigh period.
Table 1. Water Treatments
Treatment Treatment Water
Number pH
1 Control 8
2 PWT 6
3 PWT 4
4 Citric Acid 6
5 Citric Acid 4
6 Dri Vinegar 6
7 Acid Sol 6
8 Ema-Sol 4 then 6
Treatments 1 through 7 were started at day of age. Each bucket of solution
was monitored for solubility on a daily basis. Treatment 8 was pH 4 for days
0-14, then adjusted to pH 6 through the remainder of the trial.
Results
The average body weights of the hens are shown in
Table 2. At day 14 the hens receiving the Acid Sol were
signicantly heavier and the hens receiving the Ema-Sol
adjusted to a pH of 4 were signicantly lighter than all of the
birds receiving the other treatments and the control water. At
this time the decision was made to raise the Ema-Sol treatment
pH to 6. By day 28 there were no signicant differences in
body weight and this trend remained throughout the remainder
of the trial. Though not signicant, the hens receiving the
Ema-Sol water lagged behind slightly in weight through day
56 but by day 70 the Ema-Sol birds had similar body weights
to the other treatments. Again while not signicant, it is
interesting to note that the birds receiving the PWT 4, Citric
acid 4 or Dri Vinegar 6 treatments had the highest numerical
body weights at day 84. No statistical differences were seen
for feed conversions for any of the periods measured (Table
3). Birds receiving the Ema-Sol treatment had a signicantly
higher mortality rate for the rst fourteen days. However,
overall mortality remained very low and after fourteen days
there were no additional losses of Ema-Sol birds until day 56
(Table 4).
Water usage was measured through day 28. However,
since the drinkers were plasson and were cleaned daily, this
measurement can only be considered an estimation of water
usage (Table 5). For the rst fourteen days water usage for the
Ema-Sol birds signicantly lagged behind all other treatments.
This trend continued through day 28 and even after raising the
Ema-Sol treatment pH to 6 the birds receiving this treatment
still lagged slightly behind in consumption. At the time that
the pH of the gizzard and crop contents were to be measured,
only a small amount of dry material was found in these organs,
so an equal weight of distilled de-ionized water (pH 6.68) was
added to each sample (Table 6.). While this addition probably
inuence nal pH, the same amount of water added to each
Table 2. Impact of Drinking Water Acidication on Average Hen Weight.
Treatment Name 14 Days (lbs) 28 Days 42 Days 56 Days 70 Days 84 Days
Control 0.819b 2.009 4.883 8.581 12.394 16.361
PWT 6 0.828b 2.009 4.872 8.553 12.445 16.355
PWT 4 0.825b 2.004 4.859 8.577 12.469 16.456
Citric Acid 6 0.826b 2.018 4.894 8.572 12.366 16.333
Citric Acid 4 0.819b 2.018 4.861 8.513 12.440 16.507
Dri Vinegar 6 0.810b 1.991 4.830 8.443 12.187 16.498
Acid Sol 6 0.859a 2.062 4.954 8.714 12.520 16.449
Ema-Sol 0.775c 1.984 4.799 8.566 12.504 16.434
SEM 0.006 0.019 0.041 0.072 0.092 0.132
P Value .0001 .2549 .3096 .3622 .2573 .2534

Table 3. Impact of Drinking Water Acidication on Average Hen Feed Conversion
Treatment Name 14 Days 28 Days 42 Days 56 Days 70 Days 84 Days
Control 1.086 1.414 1.492 1.588 1.793 1.985
PWT 6 1.098 1.467 1.528 1.607 1.778 1.969
PWT 4 1.075 1.389 1.497 1.576 1.769 1.971
Citric Acid 6 1.090 1.428 1.489 1.595 1.795 2.013
Citric Acid 4 1.080 1.389 1.485 1.585 1.792 1.966
Dri Vinegar 6 1.101 1.465 1.517 1.613 1.803 1.987
Acid Sol 6 1.101 1.454 1.532 1.610 1.780 1.995
Ema-Sol 1.107 1.415 1.546 1.642 1.795 1.988
SEM 0.016 0.024 0.022 0.016 0.020 0.020
P Value .8486 .1493 .3396 .1833 .9455 .9061
Feed conversion totals are cumulative
3
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
sample so that the effect would be the same across all treatments. As seen in the broiler trial, the pH of the gizzard was in the 3 to
low 4 range while the crop pH was higher but did not necessarily reect the pH of the water treatments.
Conclusion
The results of this trial indicate that lowering the pH of the drinking water with PWT, citric acid, Dri vinegar, Acid Sol and
Ema-Sol resulted in turkey hen performance similar to the birds receiving the control water. Starting the poults on Ema-Sol
adjusted to a pH of 4 resulted in a signicantly higher mortality and reduced weights through day 14. The pH of the Ema-
Sol treatment was then raised to 6 for the remainder of the trial and the birds had nal weights statistically similar to the birds
receiving the other treatments.
Table 4. Impact of Drinking Water Acidication on Average Hen Mortality
Treatment 0-14 Days 14-28 Days 28-42 Days 42-56 Days 56-70 Days 70-84 Days
Name (%) (%) (%) (%) (%) (%)

Control 0.88b 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.00
PWT 6 0.00b 0.88 0.87 0.00 0.00 0.30
PWT 4 0.00b 0.88 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.00
Citric Acid 6 0.92b 0.88 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.00
Citric Acid 4 0.88b 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.83
Dri Vinegar 6 1.85b 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Acid Sol 6 0.00b 0.00 0.88 0.00 0.01 0.83
Ema-Sol 9.83a 0.00 0.88 0.00 0.83 0.98
SEM 1.58 0.589 0.41 . 0.29 0.54
P Value .0012 .7746 .5489 . .4456 .6581
Mortality totals are cumulative
Table 5. Impact of Drinking Water Acidication on Average Water Usage
Treatment Days 0 - 14 Day 14-28 Day 0 - 28
Usage (kg) Usage (kg) Usage (kg)

Control 1.85a 1.82 3.67a
PWT 6 1.92a 1.95 3.87a
PWT 4 1.99a 2.04 4.04a
Citric Acid 6 1.85a 1.61 3.46a
Citric Acid 4 1.83a 1.60 3.43a
Dri Vinegar 6 1.53a 1.86 3.39a
Acid Sol 6 1.95a 1.84 3.79a
Ema-Sol 0.96b 1.44 2.41b
SEM .184 .13 .180
P Value .0055 .0572 .0001
Table 6. Impact of Drinking Water Acidication on Crop and Gizzard pH
Treatment Day 42 Day 42 Day 84 Day 84
Name Crop pH Gizzard pH Crop pH Gizzard pH
Control 5.79 3.87 5.35 3.41
PWT 6 5.56 3.84 5.58 3.18
PWT 4 5.86 3.71 6.18 3.56
Citric Acid 6 5.89 3.82 5.83 3.24
Citric Acid 4 5.87 3.85 6.10 3.25
Dri Vinegar 6 5.95 3.65 5.65 3.20
Avid Sol 6 6.05 4.13 6.24 3.33
Ema-Sol 5.78 3.78 6.12 3.61
SEM .19 .16 .25 .17
P Value .7411 .6234 .1366 .5177
4
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
F. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Veterinarian
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Two New Programs: Premises
Identication and the National
Animal Identication System
...knowing where
animals are
located is a
key component
of accurately
tracking animal
movement in the
case of a disease
investigation
Introduction
The last 10 years has seen an increase in the number of disease outbreaks around the world. In
the United States there have been several foreign animal disease outbreaks in the last 4 years (Low
Pathogenic Avian Inuenza - Virginia. 2000, Exotic Newcastle-California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas
2003-04, High Pathogenic Avian Inuenza-Texas 2003 and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy-
USA and Canada 2003). These outbreaks have caused tremendous interest in developing a method
to quickly identify animals for the purposes of protecting animal
health and easily tracking animals. Many countries (Australia,
Canada, and the European Union to name a few) have some
system of animal identication already in place. The United
States Department of Agriculture has made the development
of a National Animal Identication System (NAIS) a top
priority to respond to the national and international concerns
regarding protecting animal health and quickly identifying and
tracking animals. The rst step toward this system is a premises
identication/registration program.
Premises Identication
The National Premises Identication System (NPIS) is
the rst step towards a National Animal Identication System
(NAIS) and will be established before animals can be tracked.
The registration of premises and thus knowing where animals
are located is a key component of accurately tracking animal movement in the case of a disease
investigation. The premises involved in the commerce of livestock and poultry will be identied
with a unique identication number assigned by the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) who will closely working with
state and/or tribal agencies/authorities involved with animal health. A premise is dened as any
geographically unique location that is associated with the commerce, movement or commingling
of poultry and/or livestock. This denition will thus include farms, ranches, livestock auctions,
feedlots, county or state fairs, and livestock and/or poultry exhibits. There are three components
of the NPIS. The premises number allocator will be how a unique number is assigned by USDA
to a premise. Each premise must have a valid address and/or a veriable description of the
location where animals are commingled or have some association with the animal industry (such
as a veterinary clinic or diagnostic laboratory). Only one number will be allocated to a premise
regardless of the number of species associated with the premise. The premise number allocator will
be maintained at the national level only. The premise registration system is the second component
and is a database program for storing the information necessary for the premise. Since the
information stored is unique to a premise this allows animal health ofcials to rapidly contact the
appropriate owner or supervisor of the premise in the event of a disease investigation. The plan is
to maintain the data for 20 years and it will include the date the premise was initiated or deactivated
so the appropriate people can be contacted for a specic time frame if needed. The state and/or
tribal animal health agencies/authorities are responsible for handling and maintaining the premise
5
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
registration under their jurisdiction. A standardized registration
system is to be provided to them by APHIS for use if desired
or they can use a system developed by them or some other
party. The third component of the system is the national
premise information repository. This is a very important
component of the system and contains data forwarded from
the premise registration system. This repository will be a
centralized system maintained by USDA/APHIS and will
contain data that is necessary to support the NAIS such as
the unique numbers to be assigned to animals at a specic
premise.
The numbers assigned for premise identication will be
of two types, both of which will consist of sever alphanumeric
characters (7 letter/number combinations). One number is a
unique national number that will be assigned to any location
or premise that is involved in livestock and/or poultry
agriculture. This number will be permanently assigned by the
state or tribal registration system to the premise. The number
does not change if the property is sold. The second type of
number is a unique number that is assigned to entities that
do not manage or hold livestock or poultry (such as animal
identication services, veterinarians, or breed registries), but
are still involved in the NAIS. Once premises are identied,
animal identication will be the second step of the NAIS.
Animal Identication
The goal of the NAIS is to be able to identify any animal
or premise that has had contact with a disease of concern
(foreign or domestic) within 48 hours after discovery of the
disease. This can be done with identication of the premise
and animal or animal group. The rst phase of the NAIS is to
uniquely identify a premise; when this is complete the second
phase is to uniquely identify an animal or animal/poultry
group or lot associated with the premise. This will be done via
a unique number for each animal. A 15 character number will
be used for individual animals. A 13 character number may be
an option for those species such as poultry and pigs that move
as one group in the chain of production. The exact technology
for uniquely identifying an animal does not exist as a one size
ts all. The technology that works best for one specie may
not work well for others. Because of this the USDA focus is
on the design of the data system as to what information should
be collected and when it should be reported with the belief that
once the system is designed the most appropriate technology
for the system needs will be market determined.
When development is complete the NAIS will be a
standardized system of animal identication that will allow
rapid tracing in the event of a disease concern (foreign or
domestic). The system will allow identication of cattle,
bison, deer, elk, llamas, alpacas, goats, horse, sheep, pigs, and
poultry. Participation in the program will be voluntary while it
is under development. But USDA will continue to assess the
program while it is developed and tested to see if parts or all
of it should be mandatory. Currently, there is no timeframe for
the system to be in place. However, USDA is now moving the
program forward using a phase approach with the rst priority
being the premise identication. Once premises are identied,
animal identication systems will be tested. Naturally, there
has been concern about condentiality issues. The information
contained in the system (premise and animal identication)
will be accessible by federal, state, and tribal authorities when
needed for administration of animal health programs. The need
to access data is an important part of conducting an animal
health and disease control program designed to prevent disease
spread and to protect the public health. USDA/APHIS is very
concerned about condentiality issues and as such is exploring
effective means of collecting data and options for protecting
the data from public access. The national repository will only
contain information as it relates to the purpose of tracking
animals and diseases.
What Can Producers Do Now
Livestock and poultry producers should check with their
state or tribal animal health authorities about the availability of
the program in their area. In Arkansas the Arkansas Livestock
and Poultry Commission (ALPC) is the agency responsible
for animal health concerns. If the premise registration system
is operational in their area, a producer can obtain a unique
identication number for their premise. The information
needed for a number will include: name, address, and phone
number of person in charge of the location, contact name, and
type of premise. Once the premise is registered a producer
may participate in the animal identication program if it is
available in the state or tribal reservation. Currently, there has
been no dened budget for the program by USDA. The intent
of USDA is to minimize cost as possible; however, some
expenses may be associated with the program. The decision
for costs for registering a premise are in the jurisdiction of the
state or tribe.
Summary
Disease outbreaks can be costly. Time is valuable when
it comes to controlling disease outbreaks. Preventing death
losses, market loss, and reducing treatment costs depends on
prompt disease diagnosis and rapid identication of exposed
animals. Changing markets, trade issues, disease outbreaks,
and ease of worldwide travel necessitate the need for a method
to identify and track animals as quickly as possible. These two
programs will allow the animal industries of the USA to be
able to do just that. Additional information about the programs
can be obtained from the University of Arkansas, Division
of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, your county
agent, the listed references, or the NAIS website (http://www.
aphis.gov/lpa/issues/nais/nais.html)
References
Premises Identication. The First Step Towards a
National Animal Identication Program. Program Aid No.
1800. United States Department of Agriculture. Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service.
The National Animal identication System (NAIS).
Why Animal Identication? Why Now? What First. Program
Aid No. 1797. United States Department of Agriculture.
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
6
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
Frank T. Jones, Lisa Bielke and Jack Higgins
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
What are Bacteriophages?
Introduction
Dont let the big word (bacteriophage) scare you. Bacteriophages (sometimes called phages)
are viruses that infect bacteria. The word phage means to eat, so the literal meaning of the word
bacteriophage is bacteria eater (Anonmyous3, ND). It may seem strange that creatures as small as
bacteria could be infected with a virus, but bacteriophages are about 40 times smaller than bacteria
(Anonmyous1, ND) and have apparently been around about as long as bacteria have. This article will
provide an outline of how bacteriophages function and their possible benets.
Bacteriophage Structure and Function
Bacteriophages have been compared to space ships that are able to carry genetic material
between susceptible cells and then reproduce in those
cells (Kutter, 1997). Bacteriophages are, in fact,
very simple organisms that consist of genetic material
(DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat, a hollow
protein tail and tail bers. The general structure of a
bacteriophage is shown in Fig. 1.
Figure 2 outlines the bacteriophage life cycle.
Bacteriophages cannot reproduce without a bacterial
cell. The bacteriophage particle attaches to a bacteria
and binds to the cell. The particle then injects genetic
material into the cell. The genetic material seizes
control of the cell causing it to make additional
bacteriophage genetic material. In addition, the bacteriophage genetic material forces the cell
to make protein coats, hollow protein tails and tail bers, which are then assembled into new
bacteriophage particles. Finally, when no more bacteriophage particles can be made, the cell breaks
open, releasing the new bacteriophage particles into the environment to repeat the process with other
bacterial cells. This process of infection, replication and release of new bacteriophage particles
continues until there are no more cells to infect. However, the description of the bacteriophage life
cycle may prompt questions. If this process happens with bacterial cells, whats to keep it from
happening with plant, animal or human cells?
The surface of each cell contains a unique blend of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other
organic compounds. The organic compounds on the surface of bacterial cells allow bacteriophages
to recognize and attach only certain bacterial cells. If bacteriophages do not recognize the
characteristic blend of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, they will not attach to the cell. This means
that bacteriophages will not attach to cells unless they are bacteria. The organic compounds on
the surface of plant, animal and human cells are not recognized by bacteriophages and they do not
attach. In addition, the genetic material injected into cells by a bacteriophage is only capable of
acting on bacterial internal contents. Since the internal contents (that is, the structure and chemistry)
of plant, animal and human cells is different from that of bacterial cells, bacteriophage genetic
material cannot seize control of the cell. This means that even if a bacteriophage attached and
injected genetic material into a plant, animal or human cell, the material could not take over the
internal machinery of those cells (Kutter, 1997). Because of the specicity of bacteriophages, they
are considered safe and, indeed, bacteriophages have not been reported to infect plant, animal or
human cells.
In fact, bacteriophages tend to be very specic in the bacteria they infect. For instance, a
bacteriophage that infected an E. coli, would not infect a Salmonella. This specicity can be an
advantage and a disadvantage. Specicity could mean that specic pathogenic organisms are
7
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
knocked out, while benecial organisms are left unharmed. However, when several organisms are responsible for a problem or
infection within an animal, bacteriophages would have to be directed at each organism. Bacteriophages may be benecial in
treating human, animal and even plant diseases. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that bacteriophages (or phages) have been
used to treat bacterial diseases for over 80 years in Eastern Europe (Anonymous1, ND). Indeed, in the 1970s and 80s the Soviet
Union produced thousands of gallons of phage each month and every Soviet soldier carried a powder containing bacteriophage in
his emergency medical pack (Anonymous1, ND). A brief examination of the history of bacteriophages may be helpful here.
A Very Brief History of Bacteriophage
In 1896 a researcher reported that when the waters of the Ganges and Jumna Rivers in India were ltered to remove the
bacteria something in the waters was antibacterial. About 20 years later other researchers demonstrated that a virus was involved
and named the virus bacteriophage (Anonmymous3, ND). In view of the fact that at the time sulfa drugs and antibiotics were
not yet discovered, bacteriophages were explored as disease treatments. The rst reported use of bacteriophage to treat a bacterial
disease came from France in 1921 (Anonymous2, ND). Bacteriophages were used to treat a variety of diseases. They were taken
orally, put on wounds, applied as aerosols, given as injections and used in eye drops. Success rates for bacteriophage therapy
were reported to be 75 to 100%, depending on the pathogen involved (Anonmyous3, ND, Kutter, 1997). Indeed, bacteriophage
products were produced by United States pharmaceutical companies and licensed for sale in the 1930s (Anonymous3, ND).
However, in the 1940s, new miracle drugs (antibiotics) became widely available and bacteriophage (or phage therapy) was
largely abandoned by the western world (Kutter, 1997). However, current difculties with antibiotic resistant bacteria have
prompted researchers to re-examine bacteriophage.
Summary
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect only bacterial cells. Because of the specicity of bacteriophages, they are considered
safe and have not been reported to infect plant, animal or human cells. Bacteriophages (or phages) have been used to treat
bacterial diseases for over 80 years in Eastern Europe. Current difculties with antibiotic resistant bacteria have prompted
researchers to re-examine bacteriophage.
Literature Cited
Anonmyous1. no date. Bacteriophage or phage: A practical alternative to antibiotics. http://isculpture.com/bacteriophage_
or_phage.html1 visited April, 2005
Anonymous2. no date. General information about bacteriophages. http://www.phages.org/PhageInfo.html visited April,
2005
Anonymous3. no date. Phage history. http://www.intralytix.com/history.html visited April, 2005
Kutter, E. 1997. Phage therapy. http://www.evergreen.edu/phagetherapy/phagetherapy.html visited April, 2005.
8
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
Introduction
Antibiotics, miracle drugs of the 20th century, have saved millions of human and animal
lives, and contributed to efcient animal production to feed a hungry world. Antibiotics are used in
poultry production in high doses to treat poultry diseases and at low doses in feed to prevent poultry
diseases, as well as reduce the levels of food borne pathogens on poultry products. However, over
the last decade the emergence of bacteria resistance has made it increasingly difcult to treat human
and animal diseases with antibiotics. Whether the use of antibiotics in animal production poses a
threat to human health has been debated for decades and remains undecided. Yet concern over the
failure of antibiotics to effectively treat human diseases has led the European Union to ban the use of
low doses of antibiotics in animal feeds and encouraged government ofcials to seriously consider
drastically restricting the use of antibiotics in animal production in the United States. Concerns
over antibiotic resistance prompted many researchers around the world to look for alternatives
to antibiotics. However, to date none of these alternatives consistently provide improved animal
production comparable to the growth promoting effects of antibiotics.
Research into Antibiotic Alternatives
Over the past several years we have been looking at the potential of
bacteriophage as an alternative to antibiotics to prevent and treat poultry diseases, and
reduce food borne pathogens on poultry products.
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. Bacteriophages are
natures own way of controlling bacteria, and they are safe, because they have no
known effects on animal or plant cells. Therefore, it would appear possible to use
bacteriophage to prevent and treat bacterial diseases of animals and humans.
Colibacillosis (airsacculitis) is a serious infection of poultry caused by the
bacteria Escherichia coli. This disease starts as a respiratory infection in poultry,
then enters the blood stream and, when severe, kills chickens through infection of
the liver and heart. We were able to isolate a bacteriophage to an E. coli that causes
colibacillosis in chickens. Over the last several years we have tested the bacteriophage
we isolated to see it was possible to prevent or treat colibacillosis in poultry.
In trial 1 we determined whether or not the bacteriophage could inactivate E. coli and
protect birds from death by E. coli infection. We had three treatment groups and all were infected
with 10,000 E. coli cells, but the cultures used to infect the groups were treated in different ways.
The culture used to infect birds in treatment group 1 contained only E. coli, no bacteriophage.
The culture for group 2 had 10,000 bacteriophage particles added to the E. coli and group 3 had
100,000,000 bactriophage particles added to the E. coli culture. The results of the trial are shown in
Fig. 1. As expected, most birds in group 1 died. However, birds in groups 2 and 3 were partially or
completely protected by the bacteriophage (Huff et al, 2002a).
To further test how bacteriophage could prevent colibacillosis we sprayed the birds with
bacteriophage prior to infecting them with E. coli. There were four treatment groups in this trial.
Birds in treatment group 1 were infected with E. coli but had no bacteriophage spayed on them.
Birds in group 2 were sprayed with bacteriophage and infected with E. coli on the same day. Birds
in group 3 were sprayed with bacteriophage and infected the following day and birds in group 4 were
sprayed with bacteriophage and challenged three days later. The results of this trial are presented
in Fig. 2 (Huff et al., 2002b). As expected, most birds in group 1 died, but birds sprayed with
bacteriophage were protected from colibacillosis even when the birds were challenged 3 days after
Bacteriophage: A
Replacement for Antibiotics?
William E. Huff, USDA/ARS Poultry Production and Product Safety Research Unit
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
9
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
the being sprayed with bacteriophage.
We also took a look at whether bacteriophage could be used to treat a severe outbreak of colibacillosis. In this trial birds
were infected with E. coli and then injected with bacteriophage. There were four treatment groups in the trial, with birds in group
1 being infected, but receiving no injection of bacteriophage. Group 2 birds were injected with bacteriophage on the day they
were infected. Birds in group 3 were injected with bacteriophage one day after infection and group 4 birds were injected two days
after infection. The results of this work can be seen in Fig. 3 (Huff et al., 2003). While most birds in group 1 died, signicantly
fewer birds injected with bacteriophage died, even when the injections were delayed for 48 hours.

What Does This Research Mean?
This research is preliminary research that is designed to identify possible alternatives to antibiotics. Years of further
research may be required before bacteriophage are used commercially against poultry diseases. However, our research suggests
that bacteriophage could be developed as an effective alternative to antibiotics to prevent and treat bacterial diseases in poultry.
Bacteriophage might be used to spray birds at the hatchery to prevent the early onset of colibacillosis (airsacculitis) at placement.
Bacteriophage might also be sprayed in a house with a severe outbreak of colibacillosis to prevent the bird to bird transmission.
However, bacteriophage treatment may not be practical since it would require injection of each bird.
A number of laboratories throughout the world are taking a look at bacteriophage as an alternative to antibiotics.
Bacteriophage are also being examined to reduce human food borne pathogens (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and E. coli)
in the intestinal tract of animals. Bacteriophage kill bacteria and have enormous potential to be used in a variety of applications
as an alternative to antibiotics and disinfectants. However, it remains to be seen if bacteriophage products can be developed to
provide effective, practical and cost effective uses in our agricultural production systems.
References
Huff, W. E., G. R. Huff, N. C. Rath, J. M. Balog, H.
Xie, P. A. Moore, Jr., and A. M. Donoghue, 2002a. Prevention
of Escherichia coli respiratory infection in broiler chickens
with bacteriophage (SPR02). Poultry Sci. 81:437-441.
Huff, W. E., G. R. Huff, N. C. Rath, J. M. Balog, and
A. M. Donoghue, 2002b. Prevention of Escherichia coli
infection in broiler chickens with a bacteriophage aerosol
spray. Poultry Sci. 81:1486-1491.
Huff, W. E., G. R. Huff, N. C. Rath, J. M. Balog,
and A. M. Donoghue, 2003. Evaluation of aerosol spray
and intramuscular injection of bacteriophage to treat an
Escherichia coli respiratory infection. Poultry Sci. 82:1108-
1112.
10
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
Evaluation of Litter Treatments on
Salmonella Recovery in Poultry Litter
J.B. Payne and Susan E. Watkins
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Introduction
Pathogenic bacterial populations can have a negative
effect on the production and health of birds if concentrations
are too high. Bacteria cause numerous disease conditions
including necrotic enteritis, botulism, gangrenous dermatitis,
airsacculitis, and cellulitis. In addition, pathogenic bacterial
populations are also linked to current food safety concerns
at the processing plant. Because of these concerns, USDA
Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has mandated that
poultry processing plants follow HAACP programs to control
pathogenic bacteria. FSIS is now evaluating the feasibility
of implementing food safety regulations at the farm level.
Should pathogen control begin at the farm level, integrators
and growers will be challenged to reduce pathogen production
during grow-out. Corrier et al. (1999) reported that the
incidence of Salmonella increased in the crop of broilers at
the end of the feed withdrawal period as compared to the
level of Salmonella in the crops at the beginning of the feed
withdrawal period (10% versus 1.9%). The researchers
speculated that the increased incidence of Salmonella was
associated with an increased tendency for the broilers to
consume contaminated litter in the broiler house during
the withdrawal period. Trampel et al. (2000) reported that
Salmonella recovered from carcasses in poultry processing
plants could be due to fecal shedding onto the litter which may
lead to heavy contamination of the birds feathers and feet.
Many integrators and growers are currently faced with
disposal problems of used litter. This leads to the re-use of
litter over an extended time frame which could compromise
the poultry producers ability to follow proper sanitation
procedures and best management procedures (BMPs).
Growers then may rely on the use of litter amendments and
disinfectants as their sole source of solving any problems
associated with diseases caused by high bacterial levels.
Unfortunately, in order to cut costs, growers may apply litter
amendments below manufacturers recommendations with the
hope of accomplishing somewhat of an improvement from
current conditions of the poultry house.
Litter amendments are commonly used in poultry
houses for the reduction of harmful ammonia levels by
lowering litter pH. It has been shown that by lowering pH
levels, reduction occurs in bacterial concentrations. A study
was conducted to determine if the application of Poultry
Guard at different levels would effectively reduce the
incidence of Salmonella in used litter (Trial 1). A separate
study (Trial 2) was conducted to determine if the application
of Poultry Guard and PLT (Poultry Litter Treatment) would
effectively reduce the incidence of Salmonella as well as
determine at what application rate reduction would occur.
Should a litter treatment be an effective method of
reducing food pathogens in the litter, then the potential for
crop and possibly carcass contamination could be signicantly
reduced through the application of a litter treatment prior
to implementing feed withdrawal programs. With reduced
pathogens in the birds environment, contamination of the
exterior body should be lowered, thus reducing pathogen
recovery at the processing plant.
Materials and Methods
Bedding material was obtained from one of the
University of Arkansas commercial broiler houses that serves
as a contract production facility for a local poultry integrator.
Prior to the experiment, the litter had been exposed to one
ock for Trial 1 and three ocks for Trial 2. The original
bedding material was kiln dried pine shavings. Litter was
placed at a depth of 2 inches in one square foot baking pans.
All pans were then covered with aluminum foil and autoclaved
for 45 minutes at 121
O
C to sterilize the litter. Pans were then
removed from the autoclave and allowed to cool to room
temperature.
TRIAL 1
Inoculation: All pans were inoculated with 100 ml of
104 CFU/ml nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella typhimurium
(NAL-SAL). The application rate of 100 ml was chosen due
to its ability to create a good coverage on the litter surface.
Treatments: There were 4 replicate pans of litter per
treatment. The two treatments were top-dressed onto the
litter as recommended by the manufacturer. The four control
pans remained untreated. The treatments consisted of Poultry
Guard at 100 and 150 lb/1000 ft
2
application rates. A total of
twelve pans of litter were used.
Sampling techniques: Surface and core samples were
collected from each pan 24 hours after application. Surface
samples were collected using a sterile cellulose sponge
hydrated with sterile skim milk. Core samples measuring
one inch in depth and weighing 25 grams were collected. All
samples were then placed into Butterelds Phosphate Diluent
and enumerated onto XLT 4 agar containing nalidixic acid,
which was incubated at 35
O
C. Litter pH and moisture content
was determined in all groups 24 hours post application.
11
AVIAN Advice Spring 2005 Vol. 7, No. 2
TRIAL 2
Inoculation: All pans were inoculated with 50 ml of 105
CFU/ml NAL-SAL.
Treatments: Each treatment was assigned to 16 pans
with 4 application rates of 25, 50, 75, and 100 lbs/1000
ft
2
. Replicates of 4 were used for each rate along with
4 untreated pans serving as the control. The treatments
consisted of Poultry Guard and PLT. Both treatments were top
dressed onto the litter as recommended by the manufacturer.
Recommended rates were 75-100 lbs/1000 ft
2
for Poultry
Guard and 50-100 lbs/1000 ft
2
for PLT.
Sampling techniques: Core samples measuring half an
inch in depth and weighing 25 grams were collected 24 hours
post treatment. All samples were then placed into Butterelds
phosphate diluent and enumerated onto XLT4 agar containing
nalidixic acid, which was incubated at 35
O
C for 24 hours.
Litter pH and moisture content was determined in all groups
24 hours post application.
Analysis Results: were analyzed using the GLM
procedure of SAS. All counts were converted to log10 values
prior to analyses. Signicantly different means were separated
using the repeated t-test.
Results
In Trial 1, the application of Poultry Guard at 100 and
150 lb/1000 ft
2
resulted in lowering NAL-SAL to undetectable
levels when compared to the control pans. This reduction
was observed in both core and surface samples. Signicant
reductions were observed on litter pH, compared to the
control, when both rates were applied (P=0.0001) (Table 1).
In Trial 2, as compared to the untreated control pans,
both litter amendments resulted in signicantly lower levels
of NAL-SAL versus the control when used at the rate of 100
lbs/1000 ft
2
(P=0.0075) (Table 2). Also compared to the
control pans, signicant differences of NAL-SAL levels were
not observed for either litter amendment when used at rates
of 25, 50, and 75 lbs/1000 ft
2
. When both treatments were
applied at the 25 lbs/1000 ft
2
level, Salmonella recovery was
higher than the control pans. All application rates used for
both treatments signicantly lowered pH levels, versus the
control, with the highest application rate having the most
signicant effect. Moisture content remained consistent for all
treatments including the control.
Table 1. Effect of Poultry Guard on pH and NAL-SAL
Counts Obtained from Inoculated Litter
Litter Level NAL-SAL NAL-SAL pH
Treatment (lbs/ Log
10
/sponge Log
10
/sponge
1000ft
2
) Surface Core
Control - 3.64a 4.4a 6.47a
Poultry Guard 100 0b 0b 1.95b
150 0b 0b 1.53b
P-value 0.0001 0.0001 0.0001
Table 2. Effect of Different Levels of Poultry Guard
and PLT on pH and NAL-SAL Counts Obtained from
Inoculated Litter
Litter Level NAL-SAL pH Moisture
Treatment (Lbs./ Log
10
/ (%)
1000ft2) Sponge
Control - 2.77abc 8.300a 23.60
Poultry Guard 25 3.435a 5.825bc 25.40
50 2.843abc 4.425d 24.30
75 2.281bcd 3.550e 23.75
100 1.727d 2.675f 23.80
PLT 25 3.011ab 6.233b 23.27
50 2.091cd 5.475c 23.32
75 2.164cd 4.425d 25.60
100 1.471d 3.475e 24.97
SEM .36 .272 .813
P-value .0075 .0001 .7610
Discussion
Litter amendments are often times applied below the
manufacturers recommended levels to save costs. When
this practice is used on older litter with high pH levels, lesser
amounts of treatment may only be lowering the litter pH to
ideal levels for bacterial growth. Another consideration is
the possibility of creating litter pathogens somewhat tolerant
to litter treatments by exposing the pathogens to sub lethal
amounts of treatment. According to Trial 2, rates of 100
lbs/1000 ft
2
for the two litter treatments tested are required to
signicantly lower levels of NAL-SAL in litter. In Trial 1,
Poultry Guard at application rates of 100 and 150 lbs/1000 ft2
reduce NAL-SAL to undetectable levels, although this was not
observed for the 100 lb. application rate in Trial 2. A possible
explanation for this occurrence could be the difference in
inoculation rates for both trials. Trial 1 received a higher
inoculation rate of 100 ml while Trial 2 received a 50 ml
inoculation rate. The higher inoculation rate would increase
the litter moisture content, possibly causing an increased
activation of the litter amendment. This may explain why we
observed a complete reduction of NAL-SAL in Trial 1. Litter
amendments are not the sole solution for disease problems.
BMPs and a good sanitation program must be in place in
order to maintain a successful operation. With this in mind,
Salmonella found on carcasses in processing plants could
potentially be reduced with proper sanitation procedures and
the correct use of litter treatments.
References
Corrier, D.E., J.A. Byrd, B.M. Hargis, M.E. Hume,
R.H. Bailey, and L.H. Stanker. 1999. Presence of Salmonella
in the crop and ceca of broiler chickens before and after
preslaughter feed withdrawal. Poultry Sci. 78:45-49.
Trampel, D.W., R.J. Hasiak, L.J. Hoffman, M.C. Debey.
2000. Recovery of Salmonella from water, equipment, and
carcasses in turkey processing plants. J. Appl. Poultry Res.
9:29-34.

UA Poultry Science
Extension Specialists
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received
his B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received
both his M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay,
which is still in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry.
He then spent one year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In
1996, Bramwell returned to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr.
Bramwell joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry
Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management
and physiological) that inuence fertility and embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX:
479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then
practiced in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary
School at Davis. After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark
was director of the Utah State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry
Science faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses
and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis,
treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efcient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center
of Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D.
from Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality
assurance for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He
was an Assistant Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry
Science at the University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food
safety. Dr. Marcy does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and
microbiology for processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas.
She served as a quality control supervisor and eld service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became
an Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has
worked to identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter
treatments for improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed
ingredients on the performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has
major responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to
become aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile
annual gures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State
Fair. Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by F.D. Clark, DVM, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian
. . . helping ensure the efficient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Windbreaks for
Arkansas Poultry Farms
by G. Tom Tabler
page 8
Is Mold Growth Hurting
Your Performance
by Frank T. Jones
page 11
Coming Events
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice
AVIAN
Cooperative Extension Service
ANATOMY continued on page 2
Winter 2005 Volume 7, Number 1
Normal Birds - A Review
of Avian Anatomy
A necropsy is the examination of a bird
externally and internally to determine the
cause of death. The method for doing a
necropsy varies and depends somewhat on the
bird involved, the preference of the individual
performing the necropsy, the disease(s)
suspected, and where the necropsy is being
done. Regardless of the method; the most
important point to remember is to systemati-
cally evaluate each organ and organ system
for changes associated with disease. Since
only a few diseases cause very specific
lesions in the organs; it is very important to be
familiar with the normal external and
internal anatomy. Usually a necropsy starts
with a detailed examination of the external
anatomy of the bird.
External Anatomy
Feathers and Skin
Feathers cover the majority of the skin
and are arranged in feather tracts rather than
randomly distributed. The feathers should be
clean at the point of attachment to the skin
and the edges of the feathers should be
smooth with no clear areas present in the
barbs.
The skin of a chicken and/or turkey is
thin and semi-transparent over most of the
body. The muscles, veins, and fat deposits can
be observed through the skin in most birds.
The muscles appear as dark areas; whereas,
fat is yellow. The skin on the face and bottom
of the foot is thickened and is normally white
or yellow in color. The comb, wattles, and
car lobes are usually bright red in color in
commercial layers and broiler breeders. It is
normal for market and breeder turkeys to
develop red or bluish skin on the head and
neck. Normal commercial layers and breeder
hens may have a reddish yellow skin on the
comb, ear lobe, or other facial structures (this
is especially true if they are beginning to
come into production or are out of
production).
The lower legs are covered with scales
which are yellow to white in coloration. The
thickened skin on the bottom of the foot
(footpad) is usually a pale yellow-tan or
yellow-white color (the scales of the leg arc
similarly colored). Chicks and poults have
yellow colored leg scales. Adult broilers and
commercial layers can have yellow or white
leg scales. Turkey leg scales are white to light
tan colored. The leg coloration will change in
hens from yellow to white and vice versa as
they go into or out of egg production.
The skin, leg, and feather coloration of
many of the varieties of chickens, ducks, and
turkeys kept as backyard, hobby, pet, or
exhibition flocks may vary from those listed.
The best source for individual breed
differences is the book The American
Standard of Perfection, which is published
by the American Poultry Association or the
American Bantam Standard.
Ears, Eyes, Nostrils and Beak
The ear in a bird is covered with fine
feathers and is a small opening located on the
side of the head. The eye should be a bright
2 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
ANATOMY continued from page 1
yellow-orange in color and free of discharges. The eyes should
be clear with dark black pupils surrounded by a colored iris.
The color of the iris varies with the breed and age of the bird,
but in general is steel-grey in chicks and poults. In adult
broilers, layers, and broiler breeders the iris is yellow-orange;
but brown in adult turkeys. The nostrils are slit like openings
on top of the beak and at the base of the beak. They are
surrounded by tan-yellow fleshy skin called the cere. The beak
is a yellow-horn to white-horn color in the normal bird and has
a smooth surface with the end of the beak pointed or blunted
in a beak-trimmed bird. Again, colors other than those listed
may be normal for many of the varieties of chickens, ducks,
and turkeys kept as backyard, hobby, pet, or exhibition flocks.
As before, the best source for these breed differences is the
The American Standard of Perfection or the American
Bantam Standard book.
Internal Anatomy
Once the external anatomy has been evaluated the
internal anatomy of the bird is examined. The skin should be
removed and the bird opened to expose internal organs. The
procedure of initially opening the bird to evaluate the internal
organs may vary depending on the personal preference of the
individual performing the necropsy. However, regardless of
the procedure, it is important to evaluate all organs present
systematically and thoroughly.
The first organs that come into view when the skin of a
chicken or turkey is removed for necropsy are the muscles,
sternal bursa, and bone (keel). The breast muscles are a grey-
white in color normal poultry. The point of the keel is white
and the edge of the bone is straight. The sternal bursa is a
white sac-like structure that is located on the sternum and
contains a small amount of clear fluid. If the leg muscles are
observed they are a darker grey-white color and the sciatic
nerve (located between the leg muscles) is a glistening white
with cross striations.
Thoracic (Chest) and Abdominal Anatomy
After the sternum and breast muscles are removed the
internal organs are evaluated, The heart is a triangular shaped
organ (the base of which is toward the head of the bird) that is
surrounded by a clear sac (pericardial sac). The heart is grey-
white in color and has a band of yellow fat near the base.
Internally, the heart is the same color with clear membranous
valves between heart chambers. The left ventricle (lower left
chamber) of the heart is thicker than the right ventricle. The
heart is almost completely surrounded by the lobes of the
liver.
The liver is the largest internal organ, is firm, and has
prominent sharply defined edges. The color of the liver varies
with diet. Baby chicks and poults tend to have a liver that is
yellow in color due to yolk absorption. Adult birds can have a
yellow-tan liver if on a high fat diet and the organ may be soft.
The adult bird usually has a dark red to red brown colored
liver.
The avian gallbladder is attached to the liver lobe and can be
easily examined by moving the liver to one side. This sack-
like structure is greenish-black in color due to the bile present
in it.
The trachea and syrinx (voice box) are visible at the base
of the heart. These structures are white with the trachea a
round tube like structure that divides into smaller left and right
bronchi. The syrinx is a flattened area of the trachea that is at
the end of the trachea before it dividing into bronchi. The
bronchi are identical to the trachea in color and shape but are
of a smaller diameter. However, a better examination of the
trachea is done in the neck of the bird. The aorta is also visible
at the base of the heart and is the artery that connects to the
hearts left ventricle. This tubular structure is thick walled and
pink white to red-white in color. The aorta and smaller
connecting arteries are better examined after the organs in the
thorax and abdomen are removed. The fat pad that covers the
organs must be cut or torn to reveal the gizzard (ventriculus)
and the stomach (proventriculus) to the birds right side. The
spleen is readily visible at the junction of the stomach and
gizzard after they are exposed. This lymphoid organ is oval or
elliptical in shape and dark red to purple in coloration. The
spleen in an adult bird is approximately one inch long.
The air sacs on the left are also readily visible after the
stomach and gizzard are set aside. These clear membranes are
attached to the lungs and increase the respiratory capacity of
the bird. Female birds that are in production may have yellow
fat deposits on the air sacs. The air sacs on the birds right side
should also be examined; it is usually necessary to move the
liver, stomach, and gizzard to the birds left side to examine
them adequately.
Avian lungs are closely adhered to the ribs and are an
orange-red or pink-red color. The lungs can be removed for a
close examination of the ribs. The ribs, as with all avian
bones, are smooth thin walled and white. Immediately below
the lungs are the kidneys, adrenal glands, and gonadal tissues
(testes or orvaries). The kidneys are firmly embedded in
gizzard
(ventriculus)
stomach
(proventriculus)
duodenal loop
cecae
cloaca
3
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
depressions in the bone (synsacrum) and have three distinct
lobes (cranial, middle, and caudal). The bird has two kidneys,
a left and right, and these organs are dark red to dark brown
with a fine reticulated patient visible. A small, white tube (the
ureter) connects each kidney to the cloaca. The adrenal glands
are small tan triangular shaped glands located at the section of
the kidney near the lung. Gonadal tissue is also located near
the kidney. The male has two testes, one on either side of the
midline. These organs are bean shaped or elliptical shaped and
tan. Two small white coiled tubules connect the testes to the
cloaca. In the female only the left ovary and oviduct are
generally present near the left kidney. In an immature female
the ovary is roughly triangular in shape or shaped like an
inverted L. It is white to light yellow in color and may have a
granular or gritty appearing surface. The developed oviduct is
a large grey-white tubular organ that has distinct longitudinal
structures. The oviduct connects the ovary to the cloaca and
adds egg components such as albumen, shell membranes and
shells as it transports the follicle (yolk) to the surface.
Located near these organs and near the midline is the
descending aorta. This thick walled artery is a continuation of
the aorta as it leaves the heart. It is from this major artery that
numerous smaller arteries arise to supply blood to the internal
organs. The aorta is pink-white to red-white in color.
The digestive tract should be examined next. The
stomach (proventriculus) is a spindle shaped organ that has the
gizzard (ventriculus) attached to it. The stomach is grey in
color and internally the lining in glistening grey-white with
small papillae (gland openings) present. The gizzard is a round
dark brown to dark red organ attached to the gizzard.
Internally, the gizzard (ventriculus) has a koilin lining which
is yellow to yellow-green in color.
The duodenum is the first section of the small intestines.
It is loop shaped and surrounds the pancreas. The pancreas is a
white-tan fleshy organ. The duodenum, like all of the small
intestines is a tan-grey to white-grey tube which has a fine
textured lining similar to the surface of a towel. The jejunum
and ilium are the next two sections of the small intestines.
Two sack-like structures are attached to the small intestines at
the junction of the large intestines and ileum. These structures
are the cecae which are thin walled with small thick areas in
the wall (cecal tonsils) at the points of attachment to the small
intestines. Cecal contents are dark green or dark brown. The
large intestine (which is very short) lies between the ileum to
the opening to the surface called the cloaca. The cloaca is
similar in color to the small intestines but is of larger diameter.
Feces in the large intestine and cloaca is generally drier and
green to brown feces in color. The ileum contains a more
liquid feces of similar color. White pasty urates are often
present in the cloaca. The bursa of Fabricius is a round tan-
white lymphoid organ which is organ located behind (dorsal)
the cloaca.
Most blood vessels are examined along with the organs
such as checking the large vessels coming to or leaving the
heart when the base of the heart and syrinx are examined.
Blood vessels vary in size depending on the organ supplied.
Arteries are thicker walled than veins, and are a pink white to
red white in color. Veins are thin walled, tend to flatten out
when touched and are a dark blue in color due to the blood in
them.
Neck Region
The mouth and neck of the bird should also be examined.
A cut is made at the corner of the mouth and extended down
the neck, thus exposing the structures for closer examination.
In the mouth of the bird the tongue can be examined. This
triangular shaped organ is dull grey-white and has a few
bumps (papillae) on the surface. Directly behind the back of
the tongue (and connected to it) is the glottis. The glottis is the
opening of the trachea. It is white in color and has two folds
(left and right) which come together to close the opening when
the bird swallows. The oropharynx is the region at the back of
the mouth and is a glistening grey-white color. Located on the
roof of the mouth is the cleft opening called the choana. This
structure should be clean with a small amount of clear mucous
usually present in the cleft. The choana is also grey-white in
color and numerous conical papillae are around the cleft.
The esophagus should be opening and examined. It too is
grey-white in color and has a smooth surface. There is an
organ at the base of the esophagus called the crop. The crop is
a pouch of the esophagus and as such is the color and texture
of the esophagus. The trachea is also present in the neck. This
white tubular structure has rings of cartilage visible from the
outside. Inside the trachea is a small amount of clear mucous
and the lining is a glistening clear white.
The remaining most obvious organ in the neck is the
thymus. This organ is multi-lobed and tan in color. Often
yellow fat is intermixed with the lobes. This organ 15 located
near the base of the neck and crop.
The beak should be removed to expose the nasal cavity.
There are scroll like structures in the nasal cavity which are a
tan-white in color. There is also a small amount of clear
mucous on these scrolls.
ANATOMY continued on page 4
4 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
R. Keith Bramwell Extension Reproductive Physiologist
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
ANATOMY continued from page 3
G. Tom Tabler, Applied Broiler Research Farm Manager
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Windbreaks for Arkansas
Poultry Farms
Windbreaks are
barriers that have
been used for
centuries to reduce
and redirect wind.
Another area to examine is the breast musculature. The superficial breast muscle should be cut into to check the deep breast
muscle (supracoracoideus muscle). This deep muscle is the same color as the superficial breast muscle.
The joints of the leg are also cut into and examined. All joints in the leg should contain a clear fluid. The cartilage in the leg
joints can also be examined at this time. Cartilage is a bright white to grey- white in color and has a smooth surface. The ends of
the leg bones are usually cut to examine the bone marrow, and check for cartilage plugs. If a cartilage plug is present in the end of
the tibiotarsal bone it appears as a triangular shaped plug that is white to grey-white in color. Bone marrow is red in color and soft
in texture.
The structures and organs discussed are those examined on a routine field necropsy. Naturally, any area that looks
abnormal is more closely examined.
Introduction
Windbreaks are barriers that have been used for centuries to reduce and redirect wind. They
were first used in the mid-1400s when the Scottish Parliament urged the planting of tree belts to
protect agricultural production (Droze, 1977). Windbreaks are common in regions like the Western,
North Central, and Great Plains of the United States where there is minimal forest cover, strong
winds, large amounts of snow, and extreme temperature fluctuations. However, since windbreaks
have also been used for privacy screens, dust control, odor control and noise reduction, the Arkansas
poultry industry should give them serious consideration. The ever-increasing non-farm population
influx into rural, poultry producing areas of the state is adding to the number of complaints and
lawsuits between non-farm and farm segments of the population. Windbreaks have the potential to
address some of these problems and could improve property values. In addition, planting trees and
shrubs is seen as environmentally friendly; therefore, windbreaks around poultry houses could
further demonstrate a producers commitment to a safe, healthy environment now and in the future.
5
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Windbreak Benefits
Well-designed windbreaks can cut energy costs of a typical farm or ranch home as much as 20
to 40 percent (Wight et al., 1991). Individual savings depend on the local site, climate conditions,
and building construction quality, as well as the design and construction of the windbreak. Since
windbreaks reduce the force of the wind blowing against the buildings and, in turn, the amount of
cold air entering the building, unprotected poultry houses, with poorly fitting doors, numerous
cracks or gaps and poor-quality curtains could probably benefit greatly from a well-designed
windbreak. A moderately dense windbreak will reduce a 20 mph wind to approximately 5 mph out
to a distance of five times the effective height of the windbreak. Table 1 lists wind reductions at
various distances upwind and downwind of windbreaks.
Table 1. Wind speed reductions at various distances windward and leeward of windbreaks
with different densities in Midwestern United States
1,2
Percent of open wind speed at various distances
Type of windbreak Optical density Windward Leeward
(Upwind) (Downwind)
-25H -3H -1H 5H 10H 15H 20H 25H 30H
Single row deciduous 25-30 100 97 85 50 65 80 85 95 100
Single row conifer 40-60 100 96 84 30 50 60 75 85 95
Multi-row conifer 60-80 100 91 75 25 35 65 85 90 95
Solid wall 100 100 95 70 25 70 90 95 100 100
1
Reductions are expressed as percent of open wind speed where open wind speed is assumed to be less than 10 meters
per second and distance from windbreak is exressed in terms of windbreak height. (H).
2
Adapted from Brandle et al. (2004).
Many poultry producers also raise beef cattle. When windbreaks are used to protect cattle fed
in open pastures or lots mortality is reduced, feed efficiency is improved and weight losses are
reduced by as much as 50 percent. Studies in Iowa over a five year period showed that sheltered
cattle gained an average of 80 pounds more per year and on average consumed 129 pounds less feed
per hundredweight of gain than those not sheltered (Slusher and Wallace, 1997).
Farmstead windbreaks can also screen undesirable sights, sounds, smells and dust and thus
improve living conditions for neighbors, particularly on the downwind side. The plants within the
windbreak will absorb some odors while others may be masked by the more desirable smells of
aromatic leaves or flowering shrubs that may make up the windbreak. Windbreaks can also reduce
noise by deflecting sound off branches and tree trunks or by absorbing sound with leaves, needles,
twigs, and smaller branches. For poultry producers this could mean a reduction in noise from tunnel
ventilation fans that may, during summer, run 24 hours a day for weeks. In addition, to some
degree, undesirable noises may be masked by the more desirable sounds of singing birds attracted by
the windbreak and the rustling of leaves. For maximum effectiveness, tree and shrub belts should be
tall, dense and located closer to the noise source than to the area protected (Slusher and Wallace,
1997). Poultry farms are a common sight along many roadways in western Arkansas. Screening
these with windbreaks would remove them from the publics eye while also beautifying your
farming operation and displaying your concern for the environment.
In temperate regions windbreaks can be a major component of successful agricultural systems.
However, to be successful, windbreak integration requires a thorough understanding of the
agricultural system involved, a basic understanding of how windbreaks work and a working
knowledge local conditions.
WINDBREAKS continued on page 6
6 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued from page 5
Height, Length and Structure of Windbreaks
Windbreak height is the most important factor determining the distance downwind protected by a windbreak. For
maximum efficiency, the uninterrupted length of the windbreak should be at least 10 times its height (Brandle et al., 2002).
Windbreaks usually require at least two kinds of trees with different growth characteristics to provide foliage density at various
heights over a period of years (Slusher and Wallace, 1997). Table 2 lists trees and shrubs that have been used in Missouri
windbreaks; many of these same species would work well in Arkansas windbreaks as well. Conifer species, such as cedar and
pine, and shrubs with multiple stems tend to provide better year-round density, while taller hardwood species, such as ash, oak, or
hackberry, generally are used to provide greater height.
Table 2. Trees and shrubs used in Missouri windbreaks
1
Est. Height Est. Height
Soil (feet) Soil (feet)
Species Tolerences after 20 years Species Tolerances after 20 years
American holly 1,2 <26 Hackberry all 16-25
American plum all 15 Highbush cranberry 1,3 <10
American sycamore all 26-35 Kentucky coffee tree all 16-25
Amur maple 1,2 <16 Loblolly pine 1,3 26-35
Amur privet all 10 Ninebark 1,3 <8
Arborvitae (hardy strain) 1,3 15-20 Nothern red oak 1 26-35
Autumn olive 1,2 <16 Norway spruce all 26-35
Bald cypress 1,3 16-25 Osage orange all 16-26
Basswood 1 26 Pecan 1,3 26-35
Black Cherry 1 16-25 Persimmon all <26
Blackhaw 1,2 <16 Pin oak 1,3 26-35
Black locust 1,2 26-35 Redbud 1,2 <16
Black walnut 1 26-35 Red maple all >35
Black willow 1,3 25 Red mulberry all <26
Bur oak all 16-25 River birch 1,3 26-35
Catalpa 1 26-35 Sassafras 1 >26
Chinese elm 1,2 26-35 Shagbark hickory 1,2 >16
Chinkapin oak 1,2 16-25 Shingle oak all 26-35
Common lilac all <16 Shortleaf pine 1,2 26-35
Cutleaf staghorn sumac 1,2 <8 Silky dogwood all <8
Deciduous holly 3 <16 Silver maple 1,3 >35
Eastern cottonwood all >35 Smooth sumac all <8
Eastern redcedar all 16-25 Spirea all >8
Eastern white pine 1 26-35 Sweetgum 1,3 26-35
European alder 1,3 26 Thornless honeylocust all 26-35
Flowering dogwood 1,2 <26 White oak 1,2 16-25
Forsythia all <16 Wild plum all 15-18
Green ash all 26-35 Yellow poplar 1 >35
Key: Soil tolerances
1= deep or moderately deep, well-drained or moderately well-drained soils
2= shallow, dry soils
3= poorly to very poorly drained wet sites
All= all of the above sites
Symbol for heights < = less than; > = more than
1
Adapted from Slusher and Wallace (1997).
7
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued on page 8
The amount of wind speed reduction that occurs is determined by the structure of the trees involved. As wind flows
through a windbreak, the trunk, branches and leaves absorb some of the momentum of the wind and the roughness of the tree
surfaces further slows wind speed. However, density should be adjusted to meet particular objectives. In general, windbreaks
with higher densities (multiple rows) are used to protect wildlife, farmsteads, or homesites, while windbreaks with lower densities
are used to protect crop fields. Windbreak density is the ratio of the solid portion of the windbreak to the total area of the
windbreak. A windbreak density of 40 to 60 percent provides maximum downwind protection in addition to providing
tremendous soil erosion control (Brandle et al., 2002).
The prevailing winds in winter are from the north and northwest in Arkansas, so protective windbreaks should be located
along the north and west sides of your farmstead. However, windbreaks used for visual screening and dust, odor and noise
control near tunnel fans can be placed where needed with proper planning. Windbreaks with both deciduous and evergreen
species must have adequate space. If evergreen and deciduous trees are planted as close as 6 to 8 feet apart, the deciduous trees
will soon overshadow the evergreens. When this happens, the growth of the evergreens will be stunted, their form will be ruined
and their effectiveness greatly reduced. There must be at least 15 to 20 feet of space between rows of evergreen and deciduous
species (Slusher and Wallace, 1997).
Considerations and Tree Spacing
Slusher and Wallace (1997) suggest keeping the following considerations in mind as you plan your windbreak;
Locate the windbreak where it will be most effective.
Design the windbreak to fit the available space and to meet the purpose of the planting. Design must allow for proper
spacing (see below) for tree growth and for use of maintenance equipment.
Select tree and shrub species that are well adapted to your soil and climate conditions. Order trees early.
Properly prepare the planting sight and fence areas accessible to livestock.
Arrange for necessary planting labor and equipment.
Provide care and protection for young seedlings.
Provide proper management practices after windbreak establishment.
When planning the spacing of trees the probable size of the crowns after the trees reach 20 to 30 years of age should be
considered. Although a wider spacing means that it will take longer for trees to form an effective wind barrier, the delay in
windbreak effectiveness will be more than offset by the increased tree growth rate. In addition, trees that have adequate growing
space will live longer, retain their lower limbs better and produce more foliage. Furthermore, the reduced windbreak
effectiveness produced by wider spacing can be overcome by staggering the trees in adjacent rows. Rows should be spaced
from 15 to 30 feet from each other, depending on the types of trees or shrubs in the adjacent row. Slusher and Wallace (1997)
recommend the following spacing for various trees and shrubs:
Space 10 to 12 feet between shrub rows.
Space 15 to 20 feet between shrub and tree rows.
Space 15 to 20 feet between medium and tall tree rows.
Space 20 feet between tall evergreen rows.
Space a minimum of 20 feet between tall evergreen and tall deciduous tree rows.
Remember that spacing must allow for proper use of suitable maintenance equipment. Between trees in a row:
Allow 4 to 6 feet for deciduous shrubs.
Allow 10 to 16 feet between medium-sized evergreens.
Allow 12 to 20 feet between deciduous trees.
Allow 10 to 16 feet between tall evergreen trees.
Summary
Winds of change are sweeping across the American agricultural landscape. The general public is no longer as tolerant of
agricultural practices as they once were. In addition, agricultural producers are a small minority of the population and must
therefore utilize strategies that allow production to increase, while at the same time, living in harmony with their neighbors and,
in turn, minimizing complaints or lawsuits from the non-farm population. One such strategy for Arkansas poultry producers is
the use of windbreaks. Windbreaks are an old technology used to reduce wind speed but they also have the potential to visually
screen poultry houses from public view, disperse odors, dust and noise before these pollutants have a chance to affect the
8 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
WINDBREAKS continued from page 7
Is Mold Growth Hurting
Your Performance?
neighbors. Also, in todays environmentally conscious society, planting trees is good thing to do and may reflect positively on
agricultural producers who otherwise might be viewed unfavorably by much of the non-farm population. Be aware that
constructing a successful windbreak is no small undertaking so do your homework before grabbing your shovel. Contact your
local Extension office, Arkansas Forestry Commission, NRCS office, or local landscape nursery for assistance with planning and
constructing a windbreak that will meet the needs of your particular farming operation.
References
Brandle, J. R., X. Zhou, and L. Hodges. 2002. How windbreaks work. University of Nebraska Extension EC 02-1763-X.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Brandle, J. R., L. Hodges, and X. H. Zhou. 2004. Windbreaks in North American agricultural systems. Agroforestry Systems
61:65-78.
Droze, W. H. 1977. Trees, Prairies, and People: A History of Tree Planting in the Plains States. USDA Forest Service and Texas
Womens University Press, Denton, TX. 313 pp.
Slusher, J. P., and D. Wallace. 1997. Planning tree windbreaks in Missouri. MU Guide G5900. University Extension. University
of Missouri-Columbia.
Wight, B., T. K. Boes, and J. R. Brandle. 1991. Windbreaks for rural living. University of Nebraska Extension EC 91-1767-X.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Frank T. Jones, Cooperative Extension Section Leader
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
When molds
grow in feeds,
they use up
nutrients and
vitamins that
the birds
should be
getting.
Introduction
Unexplainable poor performance can occur from time to time. While production problems can
originate from innumerable sources, some common situations should not be overlooked. When
management factors are good and birds still perform poorly, it may be time to take a closer look
at the feed bins and pans to determine if mold growth is the source of the problem.
What Can Happen
Over 20 years ago a survey was conducted with five North Carolina broiler companies. Six
broiler farms were selected from each company for a total of thirty farms. Farms that
participated in the study were chosen based on the productivity indicated by the previous years
records. Two farms from each company were classified as above average in productivity, two
were average in productivity and two classified as poor. Schedules were arranged so that chicks
arrived at each farm within a few days of each other and were caught at the end of the flock
within a few days of each other. One flock was surveyed and feed samples were collected
weekly from the feeder pans on each farm. Table 1 contains data collected from this study.
9
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Table 1. Molds, Aflatoxin and Broiler Production
Productivity No. of Age Wt. Feed Mold Aflatoxin
Classification farms (Days) (lbs.) Conv (Count/g) (ppb)
Above Average 10 52.6 3.88 2.13 8,000 6.13
Average 10 51.9 3.83 2.15 35,000 6.49
Below Average 10 52.8 3.79 2.16 43,000 13.99
From Jones et al. 1982.
It should be obvious from the weights and feed conversions in Table 1 that these data are over 20 years old! However,
please note that as farm productivity gets progressively poorer, weights are lighter and feed conversion worsens. While we all
realize that there are many factors that affect performance, these data suggest that molds and aflatoxin are related to performance.
Since farms in the study were on the same placement and catch schedule, they likely got feed at about the same time.
Consequently, it seems logical to assume that when feeds arrived on each farm, they contained about the same number of molds.
Yet, mold counts from farms with below average productivity are seven times higher than those from farms that were above
average in productivity.
What Happens When Molds Grow in Feeds
Molds can grow on almost anything. As they grow, nutrients are destroyed and toxin are released. When molds grow in
feeds they use up nutrients and vitamins that the birds should be getting. The data in Figure 1 illustrate how mold growth can
destroy protein, fats and thiamin in grain. Molds can produce toxic substances call mycotoxins (such as aflatoxin). There are
over 250 known mycotoxins produced by many different mold strains. When birds are exposed to high levels of mycotoxins they
can cause gut irritation or digestive system problems, skeletal or leg problems, nervous system symptoms and impaired immunity.
However, in most field cases birds are exposed to low levels of mycotoxins, which produce non-descript symptoms. Birds may
just not seem right, but show no major signs.
MOLD continued on page 10
10 AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
MOLD continued from page 9
How can mold growth happen in feeds?
Molds can be found virtually anywhere in the natural environment. It is common for pelleted feeds to contain hundreds of
mold spores per gram. Molds will grow whenever conditions are right for their growth. The lack of moisture is most often what
prevents molds from growing in feeds. While the overall conditions in the feed handling system and poultry house may not
promote mold growth, molds will tend to grow in very small areas where conditions are right for growth.
A general depiction of mold metabolism can be seen in Figure 2. It is not necessary to thoroughly understand mold
metabolism. However, it is important to realize that as molds grow they produce their own moisture. This metabolic moisture
means that the process of mold growth can feed on itself and get faster as it gets going. This moisture also means that the higher
the mold count the greater the potential for mold growth.
Figure 2. Mold Metabolism
C
6
H
12
O
6
+ 6O
2
6CO
2
+ 6H
2
O
How to Control Mold Growth
There are three primary factors that control mold growth. These factors are related to each other and each must be
addressed. Control of mold growth in feeds can be accomplished by keeping moisture low, maintaining feed fresh, and keeping
equipment clean.
>
11
AVIAN Advice Winter 2005 Vol. 7, No. 1
Coming Events:
Moisture Control
Moisture is the single most important factor in determining if and how rapidly molds will grow in feeds. Moisture in feeds
comes from the environment in which the feed is stored or handled. To control mold growth, begin by controlling the obvious
sources of moisture in the feed handling and storage equipment. These sources may include leaks in feed storage tanks, augers,
and roofs. However, it is important to realize that feed moisture changes in relation to the environment. Since birds add moisture
to their environment by respiration and defecation, the air in houses can be very humid. Feed that was initially very low in
moisture content will gain moisture when placed in a humid environment. This means that it is crucial to provide adequate
ventilation for control of humidity in the house.
Keeping Feed Fresh
Time is required for both mold growth and mycotoxin production to occur. It is therefore important to have feeds delivered
often so that it will be fresh as possible when consumed. Feeds should generally be consumed within 10 days of delivery. It is
equally important to manage the feed delivery system to ensure that feeds are uniform in freshness. Field surveys have shown that
poultry farms producing birds with the poorest performance were those with the most feed in their feeder pans. On these farms,
the feeds contained the greatest amount of moisture and had the highest number of molds. If the feeder system is allowed to keep
the feed pans full at all times, the feed in the pans will be significantly older than that in the storage tank. Birds will tend to eat
primarily the feed in the top layer. The feed at the bottom of the pans will age, providing greater opportunities for molds to grow
and may hurt performance. To prevent this problem, the feeder system should be turned off weekly. The birds will then be forced
to clean up all of the feed in the feeders before it becomes excessively old. A similar principle applies to feed storage tanks. The
feed next to the wall is last to exit the tank and therefore stays in the tank the longest. The feed in contact with the wall is also the
only portion of the feed that changes appreciably in temperature. These factors make feed in contact with the wall susceptible to
moisture migration and mold growth. It is best to completely empty and clean one tank when the new delivery is in the other tank.
Equipment Cleanliness
If feed is delivered to farms where old feed is lodged or caked in the feed storage or delivery systems, this old feed is often
very moldy and may seed the fresher feed it contacts, increasing the chances of mold growth and mycotoxin formation. To
address this problem, caked, moldy feed should be scraped or brushed off and leaky spots should be sealed. When bins are
extremely caked with feed, it may be necessary to sand blast the bin. Feeder pans should be disassembled and areas that contain
caked moldy feed should be brushed to bare metal or plastic. It is important to remember to avoid the use of water in cleaning
since moisture encourages mold growth.
Summary
Molds are present everywhere in nature and grow readily in feeds if conditions are right. When molds grow on feeds they
destroy nutrients that are meant for our birds and they may produce mycotoxins that also hurt performance. To control mold
growth in feeds, protect feeds from moisture, ensure that feeds are fresh and keep equipment clean.
References
Jones, F. T., W. M. Hagler and P. B. Hamilton. 1982. Association of low levels of aflatoxin in feed with productivity losses in
commercial broiler operations. Poultry Science 61:861-868.
Tindall, W. 1983. Molds and feeding livestock. Animal Nutrition and Health, July-August, p 5.
International Poultry Exposition, January 26-28, 2005, Georgia World Congress
Center, Atlanta, GA, U. S. Poultry and Egg Association (770) 493-9401
International Poultry Short Course, February 21-25, 2005. University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, AR, Dr. Frank Jones (479) 575-5443
Poultry Symposium, April 25-27, 2005, Springdale, AR, The Poultry Federation
(501) 375-8131
UA Poultry Science
Extension Specialists
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received his
B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received both his
M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay, which is still
in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry. He then spent one
year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1996, Bramwell returned
to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr. Bramwell joined the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main
areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management and physiological) that influence fertility and
embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then practiced
in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary School at Davis.
After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark was director of the Utah
State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry Science faculty at the University
of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible
for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efficient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center of
Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D. from
Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality assurance
for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He was an Assistant
Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the
University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food safety. Dr. Marcy
does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and microbiology for
processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She
served as a quality control supervisor and field service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became an
Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has worked to
identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter treatments for
improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed ingredients on the
performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has major
responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to become
aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile annual
figures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State Fair.
Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-671-2189, FAX: 501-671-2185, E-mail: jwooley@uaex.edu
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G.T. Tabler, Poultry Science Department
. . . helping ensure the efficient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 3
Effects of Water
Acidification on Broiler
Performance
by Susan Watkins, Jana
Cornelison, Cheyanne
Tillery, Melony Wilson and
Robert Hubbard
page 7
The Arkansas
Surveillance Program
for Exotic and
Newcastle Disease and
Avian Influenza
by F. Dustan Clark
page 9
Strategies for
Successful Turkey
Production
by G. Tom Tabler
page 11
Coming Events
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice
AVIAN
Cooperative Extension Service
SHELTERBELTS continued on page 2
Fall 2004 Volume 6, Number 2
Shelterbelts: Has Their Time
Come for Arkansas Poultry
Producers?
Introduction
The increasing urban expansion into rural
areas creates numerous challenges for
livestock producers to various types of
farming operations. A strong livestock
industry is essential to the nations economic
stability, the viability of many small rural
communities, and the sustainability of a
healthful, plentiful and high quality food
supply for the American public. Farmers and
ranchers view odors and dust associated with
livestock as part of production agriculture and
have come to accept them as part of their way
of life. However, as urban dwellers are less
likely to accept dust or odors, differences in
lifestyles between farmers and city folks are
becoming increasingly apparent. Although
there will probably always be some odor and
dust issues associated with animal production
units, there are some simple, economical
methods of reducing the frequency of
complaints.
For poultry producers, shelterbelts offer
an opportunity for poultry growers to be
proactive in demonstrating good neighbor
relations and environmental stewardship.
Shelterbelts are typically vegetation (most
often trees and shrubs) planted in purposeful
rows to alter wind flow in order to achieve
certain objectives. Planting trees and shrubs
as screens around poultry houses will help
remove them from public view (perhaps also
the publics mind) and buffer odor, dust and
noise.
Livestock Production
In the United States about 130 times more
animal waste is produced annually than
human waste. Livestock in the U.S. produce
more than 1.4 billion tons of manure annually
(U.S. Senate Committee, 1997). Livestock
production in the U.S. is characterized by
fewer yet much larger production facilities.
USDA data indicate that nationwide about
85% of estimated 450,000 agricultural
operations with confined animals have fewer
than 250 animal units (GAO, 1995).
Therefore, only about 15% of farms
house the vast majority of the animal units
nationwide. USDA estimates that only about
6,600 animal feeding operations nationwide
have more than 1,000 animal units (GAO,
1995). From 1978-1992, the average number
of animal units per facility increased by 56,
93, 134, 176, 148 and 129% for cattle, hogs,
layers, broiler and turkeys, respectively, while
during the same period the number of
facilities dropped by over 40% in the cattle
industry, and over 50% in the dairy, hogs and
poultry industries (USDA and EPA, 1999).
Figure 1 demonstrates the increase in broiler
production and decrease in broiler farm
numbers from 1975 to 1995. Increased size
of production facilities and greater numbers
of livestock at each facility has meant larger
amounts of animal waste, concentrated into
relatively smaller geographic areas. This
concentration of animals has increased the
2 AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
SHELTERBELTS continued from page 1
intensity, duration, and timing of odor events. The control of livestock odors has become of paramount concern for the public and
livestock producers.
Understanding Odor Events
A recent survey of Iowa farmers found that 46% of rural
residents were within a half mile or less of a livestock facility.
In the same survey 71% of residents were within one mile of a
livestock facility (Lasley and Larson, 1998). This finding is
consistent with the average separation distances nationwide
(Tyndall and Colletti, 2000). Odor compounds may be
transmitted as gases, aerosols (a suspension of relatively small
solid or liquid particles in gas) or dust (relatively large
particles in gas or air). Efforts to control odors from animal
production units fall into three basic strategies (Tyndall and
Colletti, 2000):
1. Prevent odors from forming
2. Capture or destroy odorous compounds and
3. Collection, dispersion or dilution of odor compound.
In most cases the third strategy is the easiest and most
economical procedure to implement in animal production
units. In operations without protection wind or breezes often
transmit odors gases, aerosols and dust to neighbors.
Shelterbelts hinder this transmission, by trapping odors,
redirecting air or creating turbulence so that odor compounds
are diluted.
Odor Control using Shelterbelts
The source of animal odors is near the ground and tends to
travel along the ground (Takle, 1983), shelterbelts can
intercept and disrupt the transmission of these odors (Heisler
and DeWalle, 1988; Thernelius, 1997). Shelterbelts also
reduce the release of dust and aerosols by reducing wind speed
near production facilities. Wind tunnel modeling of a three-
row shelterbelt quantified reductions of 35% to 56% in the
downwind transport of dust. However, shelterbelt density
determines the degree to which dust and aerosols are reduced.
Density is a simple ratio of the porous area (the areas wind can
pass through) to the total area of the shelterbelt. A density of
approximately 40-60% is the most beneficial (Brandle and
Finch, 1991). The trees or shrubs chosen for the shelterbelt
and the spacing of those plants will determine the overall
density. Remember that deciduous species tend to be more
open closer to the ground and conifers have branch cover
close to the ground (Griffith, 2001).
Shelterbelts physically also intercept dust and other
aerosols. A forest cleans the air of micro-particles twenty-fold
better than barren land. Leaves with complex shapes and large
circumference to area ratios collect particles most efficiently.
Shelterbelts attract and bind the chemical constituents of odor.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) have an affinity to the
cuticle of plant leaves. Microorganisms on plant surfaces can
metabolize and breakdown VOCs.
Finally, shelterbelts provide a visual and aesthetic screen.
A well-landscaped livestock operation is much more
acceptable to the public than one that is not. Shelterbelts
should be designed for the specific location, according to the
expected and experienced odors, so that the tree and shrub
species chosen can provide year round interception of odors
and aerosols (Griffith, 2001).
Why Shelterbelts Now
Although shelterbelts have been used for many years in
the Midwest to modify wind flow; control wind erosion,
increase crop yields, protect farm buildings, and protect
livestock, few in poultry producing areas considered their use.
However, urban encroachment is forcing changes in how
poultry growers manage their operations and tunnel ventilated
houses have made the use of shelterbelts feasible. Few
3
AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
recommended planting trees around poultry facilities for fear
of blocking air flow through conventionally-ventilated houses,
but today, with the poultry industry shifting to tunnel-
ventilated, solid sidewall poultry houses, restricting natural air
flow is much less of a problem.
Trees have a pleasing image across a large cross section of
the American population. Planting trees around poultry
houses may help foster a positive image of your farming
operation. In addition, as the trees mature, less of your
agricultural operation will attract attention, your farm takes on
a more attractively landscaped appearance, and property
values increase for both you and your neighbors (Malone and
Abbott-Donnelly, 2001).
Plants used in Shelterbelts
Dense evergreen trees are perhaps the best choice for the
tunnel fan end for maximum filtering during summer and
screening year round. For greatest emissions scrubbing,
shelterbelts should be as close to the tunnel exhaust as
possible. As a general rule, to not interfere with fan
efficiency, no trees should be planted closer than a distance of
five times the diameter of the fans (Malone and Abbott-
Donnelly, 2001). Check with your integrator before
constructing a shelterbelt. Take into account the width of the
shelterbelt at maturity and how this may affect roads, loadout
areas, or chick delivery areas.
There are a variety of trees and shrubs suitable for
Arkansas conditions that would work well to screen poultry
houses. White pine, properly spaced, creates a dense
shelterbelt, grows rapidly and is reasonably priced. Virginia
pine and loblolly pine also do well. Various cedars also form
a dense mat; however, some consider certain varieties a
nuisance and the berries may attract wild birds. A variety of
hollies and other ornamental shrubs such as Red Tip Photinia
form highly effective screens and have a beautifying effect on
the surrounding landscape. The plants you choose will depend
on the site, soil conditions, available space, number of plants
required, growth rate of plants, personal preference for
landscaping effects and cost of the plants. For more
information on trees and plants that do well in your area,
contact your local county Extension office, local Conservation
District, Arkansas Forestry Commission or a professional
landscape nursery/garden center.
Air quality issues surrounding poultry production facilities
are no longer a matter of if, but when. Arkansas poultry
producers should take proactive steps to plan for management
changes these issues will bring. The planting of trees in
strategic locations around poultry houses is one method to
help address these issues before and as they arise. In addition,
research has shown that shelterbelts can reduce heating costs
10-40% and reduce cooling costs as much as 20%.
Strategically placed trees can also reduce wind speeds by
50%, adding protection from spring and fall storms. The
leaves of trees physically trap dust particles that may be laden
with nitrogen, and root systems will absorb up to 80% of the
nutrients that might escape the proximity of the poultry
operation (Stephens, 2003). Cost-share assistance for planting
a shelterbelt is available in some states; unfortunately,
Arkansas is not one of these states at the present time.
Barriers to Shelterbelt Adoption
Although shelterbelts around the perimeter of poultry
houses offer many advantages, there are some barriers to
adoption and some negative aspects to consider. For example,
Malone and Abbott-Donnelly (2001) indicate:
A limited amount of land will be taken out of production
to support the shelterbelt
There will be cost associated with purchasing the trees,
labor for planting and maintenance
You will encounter a restricted view of your houses
access will be limited to designated roadways
trees will create a potential habitat for wild birds.
Summary
Air quality issues will become an increasing concern to
production agriculture with continued urban encroachment
into previously rural, agricultural areas. Shelterbelts offer one
method by which poultry producers can take proactive steps to
address the issue; demonstrating good public relations efforts
and environmental stewardship by buffering odor, dust and
noise emissions from their facilities while improving farm
aesthetics and property values. Dense shelterbelts may detract
attention from farming operations and help reduce air
emission concerns surrounding poultry facilities by capturing
dust particles and ameliorating odors. Consult your integrator
concerning placement before constructing a shelterbelt. Select
trees or shrubs suitable for your area. Your local Extension
office, NRCS office, Arkansas Forestry Commission or local
landscape nursery can be of valuable assistance on species
information. If planted during warmer weather, be sure to
provide plenty of water to assure successful establishment. A
well-landscaped livestock operation is more pleasing to the
public than one that is not. A shelterbelt used as a pollution
control device is visible proof that producers are making an
effort to control what leaves their operation. This could prove
valuable in the court of public opinion and perhaps reduce
tension levels between farming and non-farming segments of
the population.
References
Brandle, J. R., and S. Finch. 1991. How windbreaks work.
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension Publication
EC91-1763-B.
General Accounting Office (GAO). 1995. Animal
Agriculture: Information on Waste Management and Water
Quality Issues.
Griffith, C. 2001. Improvement of air and water quality
around livestock confinement areas through the use of
shelterbelts. South Dakota Association of Conservation
Districts.
Hammond, E. G., C. Fedler, and R. J. Smith. 1981.
Analysis of particle bourne swine house odors. Agriculture
and Environment. 6:395-401.
SHELTERBELTS continued on page 4
4 AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
R. Keith Bramwell Extension Reproductive Physiologist
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
SHELTERBELTS continued from page 3
References continued:
Heisler, G. M., and D. R. Dewalle. 1988. Effects of windbreak structure on wind flow. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V.,
Amsterdam. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 22/23:41-69.
Laskley, P. and K. Larson. 1998. Iowa farm and rural life poll 1998 Summary Report. Iowa State University Extension, Pm-
1764, July, 1998
Malone, G. W., and Abbott-Donnelly, D. 2001. The benefits of planting trees around poultry houses. University of Delaware
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Bulletin #159. 4 pages.
Stephens, M. F. 2003. Benefits of trees on poultry farms. The Litter Letter. Fall 2003. LSU Ag Center Research and Extension,
Cooperative Extension Service. Calhoun, La.
Takle, E. S. 1983. Climatology of superadiabatic conditions for a rural area. J. Climate and Applied Meteorology. 22:1129-
1132.
Thernelius, S. M. 1997. Wind tunnel testing of odor transportation from swine production facilities. M. S. Thesis. Iowa State
University, Ames.
Tyndall, J., and J. Colletti. No Date . Odor Mitigation. Available at: http://www.forestry.iastate.edu/res/odor_mitigation.html.
6 pages.
Tyndall, J., and J. Colletti. 2000. Air quality and shelterbelts: Odor mitigation and livestock production a literature review.
Available at: http://www.forestry.iastate.edu/res/Shelterbelts_and_Odor_Final_Report.pdf 74 pages
United States Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency (USDA and EPA). 1999. Unified National
Strategy for Animal Feeding Operations.
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry. 1997. Animal Waste Pollution in America: An
Emerging National Problem. Environmental Risks of Livestock and Poultry Production.
Susan Watkins, Jana Cornelison, Cheyanne Tillery,
Melony Wilson and Robert Hubbard
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Effects of Water Acidification
on Broiler Performance
Introduction
Acidifiers such as sodium bisulfate, citric acid or vinegar are often used by poultry producers to
lower the pH of the drinking water they give their birds. Many claim that adding these products
results in an increase in water consumption, less feed passage or firmer droppings from the birds.
While the manufacturers of these products provide mixing instructions, there is no guarantee of the
final water pH mainly because of the broad diversity of water pH found in nature. A report from
North Carolina State University several years ago claimed that a water pH of less than 5.9 was
harmful to bird performance (Carter, 1987). However this report was based on field observations
where unknown factors other than naturally low water pH could have contributed to the poor
performance. Low pH water is aggressive and can actually dissolve metal pipes releasing lead,
copper and other minerals into the water. While the use of PVC pipes minimizes the concern of
mineral leaching, the question still remains. Which water pH level is optimum for broiler perfor-
mance? Therefore, two trials were conducted to study the impact of different water pHs on broiler
weight gains, feed conversion, water consumption and livability. In addition, this experiment
addressed adjusting the water pH on a continuous or intermittent basis to determine if this could also
have an impact on performance.
Which water
pH level is
optimum for
broiler
performance?
5
AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
Trial One
Trial one was conducted during the summer months when
the outside daily temperatures exceeded 90 F, particularly
late in the grow-out cycle. The effects of heat stress were
reduced through the utilization of tunnel ventilation and spray
on fogger pads.
Twelve hundred male broiler chicks were randomly placed
into 24 floor pens to give 50 birds per pen at a density of .85
square feed per bird. There were three pens per treatment.
Each pen was equipped with two hanging tube feeders and one
Val nipple drinker line complete with regulator and six nipple
drinkers. Flow was adjusted weekly to provide the milliliters/
week of age recommended by Lott et al. (2003). The formula
for determining rates added 7 ml/week of age plus 20 ml, so
that, for example, a 21 day old broiler received 3 x 7=21 ml
plus 20 for a total of 41 ml. Each pen had its own water supply
via a 5- gallon poly-bucket reservoir. Table 1 denotes the
treatments. PWT, which is sodium bisulfate, was used to
adjust the pH. Fayetteville, Arkansas municipal drinking
water was used as the control and the average initial pH was
8.3. All water and feed added to the pens was weighed. Birds
received diets formulated to meet their nutrient requirements.
In Trial one, Coban was used for coccidiosis control. Also
the growth promoter BMD was used in all the feeds.
Trial Two
Trial two was conducted during January and February
when outside daily temperatures ranged from 10 to 45 F. In
this trial, two thousand male broiler chicks were randomly
placed in 40 floor pens to give five pens per treatment. Four
replicate pens per treatment were equipped with nipple drinker
lines and the water added to these pens was measured for the
determination of water usage. A fifth replicate pen per
treatment was equipped with a Plasson drinker. Water
consumption was not measured in the pens with the Plasson
drinkers. As in trial one each pen had its own water supply
via a 5-gallon poly bucket reservoir and two hanging tube
feeders. Treatments were identical to trial one with PWT
used to adjust the pH. All feed added to the pens was weighed
for determining feed conversion. Birds received the same
diets as in trial one. In this trial, the coccidiostat Sacox was
used. No growth promoting antibiotic products were used.
Table 1. Water Treatments
Treatment Label Water pH pH Frequency
Control (8.3) Continuous
6C 6 Continuous
5C 5 Continuous
4C 4 Continuous
3C 3 Continuous
5I 5 Intermittent
1
4I 4 Intermittent
3I 3 Intermittent
1
Intermittent pH program- First 7 days, 48 hours before
and after feed changes, 72 hours prior to end of trial
At day forty-two, 10 birds per treatment were killed
with carbon dioxide gas and the pH of the crop and gizzard
contents was determined.
Both Trials
In both trials the birds were group weighed by pen at
day 1 and on days 7, 21, 35 and 42. On day 42 birds were
individually weighed. Feed and water consumption were
determined for each of these time periods. Water usage was
measured at each feed change.
Results
The results for the two trials were combined because
there were no differences in the way birds responded to the
treatments for the two trials. The average weights of the
broilers for the different ages evaluated are shown in Table 2.
The statistical analysis indicates that while there may be slight
numerical differences in the average weights of the broilers
receiving the different treatments, there was no advantage or
disadvantage for the broilers receiving different pH drinking
water as compared to birds receiving the control water. The
closer the P value is to one, the more statistically similar the
results. Table 3 shows the average feed conversions (adjusted
to account for the weight of the dead birds). Cumulative feed
conversions for days 7, 21 and 35 were not statistically
different. The feed conversions at day 42 show birds on the
continuous 4 and 5 pH water and the intermittent 3 and 4 pH
water had the numerically best feed conversions. However,
the conversions were statistically similar to the conversions
for broilers receiving the control water. Water usage as shown
by milliliters of water used per gram of gain showed that the
birds used similar amounts of water regardless of drinking
water pH (Table 4). When the crops and gizzards of birds
receiving the different pH water were tested for pH, it was
found that the birds receiving the pH 3, 4 and 5 water had a
significantly lower crop pH than birds receiving the 6 and
control pH water (Table 5). No difference was found in the
gizzard pH and this would be expected since the bird adds
hydrochloric acid to the digestion process.
Table 2. Impact of Drinking Water pH on Male Broiler
Average Weights
Treatment Day 7 Day 21 Day 35 Day 42
(lbs) (lbs) (lbs) (lbs)
Control .359 1.958 4.79 5.85
6 Continuous .355 1.954 4.79 5.77
5C .355 1.956 4.77 5.92
4C .361 1.986 4.75 5.90
3C .350 1.986 4.80 5.95
5 Intermittent .346 1.938 4.83 5.90
4I .350 1.965 4.83 5.89
3I .355 1.990 4.87 5.97
SEM .008 .04 .08 .09
P Value .9678 .9455 .8951 .6428
6 AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
Comments and Conclusions
This research project found no significant improvement
in average weights, feed conversion or water consumption
when the drinking water pH was lowered to 3, 4 or 5. The
results indicate that birds are very tolerant of a wide range of
pH water. The findings that the crop pH was significantly
lowered by reducing the water pH might explain why produc-
ers have reported that bird droppings become more firm when
acidifiers are added to the water. The crop serves as a storage
compartment for consumed particles. Nature designed the
crop to store whole bugs and seeds, not the finely ground,
easily digested feed utilized by broilers for efficient feed
conversions. If the crop is full of feed and poor quality water
is added, then there is an increased risk for the development of
harmful bacterial and mold that could impact the rest of the
digestive tract. However, research done in Alabama by
Hardin and Roney (no date) found that a pH range of 4 was
not favorable for bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and
Clostridium to grow and thrive. The current research indi-
cates that it is possible to decrease the drinking water pH to a
range that would lower the crop pH to almost 4, thus creating
an environment that is hostile for undesirable microbes.
However, given the diversity of drinking water sources it is a
very good idea to measure the pH of the drinking water when
using acidifiers at manufacturers recommendations because
the natural buffering capacity of water may result in reduced
impact of the acidifier on pH. It may even be necessary to add
more acidifier to the stock solution to achieve a lower
drinking water pH.
References
Carter, Thomas. 1987. Drinking Water Quality for
Poultry, Poultry Science and Technology Guide No. 42,
Extension Poultry Science, North Carolina University.
Hardin, Boyd and C.S. Roney. No Date. Effects of pH
on Selected Poultry Bacterial Pathogens, Alabama Depart-
ment of Agriculture and Industries State Diagnostic Lab.
Lott, B. D., W. A. Dozier, J. D. Simmons and W. B.
Roush. 2003. Water flow rates in commercial broiler houses.
Poultry Sci. 82 (Suppl. 1):102.
Table 3. Impact of Drinking Water pH
on Male Broiler Adjusted
1
Feed Conversions-
Treatment Day 7 Day 21 Day 35 Day 42
(lb:lb) (lb:lb) (lb:lb) (lb:lb)
Control .884 1.257 1.473 1.667abc
6 Continuous .903 1.245 1.482 1.682ab
5C .930 1.235 1.481 1.643bc
4C .889 1.242 1.468 1.651abc
3C .895 1.228 1.498 1.684a
5 Intermittent .953 1.237 1.470 1.649bc
4I .916 1.233 1.466 1.633c
3I .895 1.225 1.469 1.642c
SEM .029 .001 .013 .013
P Value .6874 .4794 .7044 .0504
1
Weight of all dead birds is used to determine the feed
conversion
Table 4. Impact of Drinking Water pH on Male Broiler
Average Water Usage-per Gram of Gain
Treatment Day 7 Day 21 Day 35 Day 42
(ml:g) (ml:g) (ml:g) (ml:g)
Control 1.054 2.187 4.111 5.261
6 Continuous 1.099 2.217 4.022 5.234
5C 0.977 2.249 4.073 5.327
4C 1.103 2.252 4.102 5.307
3C 1.163 2.313 4.114 5.315
5 Intermittent 1.328 2.317 4.151 5.307
4I 1.078 2.211 3.942 5.029
3I 1.118 2.265 4.087 5.185
SEM .150 .06 .08 .09
P Value .8117 .6563 .6490 .2760
1
The weight of all dead birds was used to calculate milliliters
of average water usage per gram of gain
Table 5. Impact of Drinking Water pH on
Crop and Gizzard pH
Drinking water pH Crop pH Gizzard pH
3 4.33c 3.62
4 4.34c 3.72
5 4.62bc 3.70
6 4.96b 3.95
8 5.57a 4.16
SEM .13 .152
P value .0001 .1159
SHELTERBELTS continued from page 5
7
AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
SURVEILLANCE continued on page 8
The Arkansas Surveillance
Program for Exotic
Newcastle Disease and
Avian Influenza
F. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Background
In the last few years there have been several outbreaks of
foreign poultry diseases in the United States. An outbreak of low
pathogenic Avian Influenza in Virginia in 2002 resulted in the
destruction of over 4 million birds. The outbreak cost the Virginia
poultry industry approximately $130 million in lost revenue.
Eradication and indemnity costs associated with this outbreak were
in excess of $60 million. On October 1, 2002, Exotic Newcastle
disease (END) was confirmed in backyard poultry and gamefowl
in southern California. The disease spread to commercial chicken
flocks as well as numerous other backyard, hobby, gamefowl, and
exhibition flocks, resulting in over 18,000 premises being
quarantined in California. In addition, infected flocks were
detected in Nevada, Texas and Arizona resulting in quarantines in
those states. The cost of eradicating the disease was over $300
million and the associated industry export losses are still being
calculated. 2004 Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in Texas,
Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey were not as
costly as the 2002 Virginia outbreak, but resulted in quarantines,
bird eradication, and monetary losses.
Project Funding
In late 2003 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) made available money
to poultry producing states to assist with foreign poultry disease prevention and detection. This
money was, in part, a result of the outbreaks of END and AI. States could obtain the money by
submitting proposals outlining efforts in the state to promote Biosecurity and detect END and
AI. The Arkansas State Veterinarian and Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service Poultry
Health Veterinarian developed a proposal that was funded by USDA. The program is a
cooperative effort between the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission (ALPC) and the
Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service aimed at educating backyard, hobby and exhibition
flock owners about disease prevention as well as a surveillance effort for END and AI..
Project Goals
The purpose of the program is to educate individuals on the threat of diseases and how to
implement various Biosecurity measures to prevent diseases in their poultry flock. In addition,
the program will test the non-commercial flocks of those who request testing to demonstrate that
diseases are not silently lurking in the state of Arkansas.
8 AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
SUREVEILLANCE continued from page 7
Educational Efforts
Any person in the state of Arkansas who has a hobby,
exhibition, backyard, or gamefowl chicken flock can
participate in the project free of charge. The educational
portion of the project consists of seminars for flock owners
covering the importance of Biosecurity, disease recognition,
and Biosecurity measures to prevent disease. The seminar
covers various diseases (including END and AI) and also
describes the surveillance portion of program. Fact sheets and
pamphlets are distributed at the seminar and county agents are
encouraged to visit flock owners to document the number and
type(s) of birds owned. Data obtained from these visits
provide a better understanding of the types of birds in a county
so that effective educational materials can be developed. The
survey data also provides county agents with the tools needed
to alert flock owners about disease threats in the area and
ensure that preventative measures are in place.
In addition to the seminar presentations, the program
provides educational materials to ALPC inspectors for
distribution to poultry owners who sell birds at the various
trade days, auctions, flea markets, and swap meets. Inspectors
are also available to make farm visits.
Disease Surveillance
The program also includes actual testing of birds for
Exotic Newcastle (END) and Avian Influenza (AI). Flock
owners who participate in the program and have their birds
tested are provided with New Castle vaccine free of charge.
If a flock owner decides to have birds tested, the county
agent or a livestock inspector takes samples for testing. The
samples taken are vent (also called a cloacal or rectal) swabs.
A metal band is placed on the leg of the chicken and the
number of the band is written on the sample. The band is for
bird identification only and can be removed after the test
results are reported. The collected swabs are refrigerated and
immediately transported to the Arkansas Livestock and
Poultry Commission in Little Rock for testing. The swabs are
tested for only two diseases (END and AI) and the PCR test
(Polymerase Chain Reaction) used is extremely specific for
those diseases. Once the testing is completed, a letter is sent to
the owner documenting the results. The letter can be taken to
the office of the county agent and Newcastle vaccine can be
obtained. This vaccine is for the type of Newcastle regularly
encountered in the United States, not for Exotic Newcastle.
However, it was shown in the California END outbreak that
birds vaccinated with similar vaccines had less mortality than
non-vaccinated birds.
Expected Results and Assistance
Since there have been no reports of high mortality in
flocks in Arkansas or surrounding areas, samples are not
expected to be positive for either END or AI and to date all
samples have been negative. Nevertheless, the Arkansas
Livestock and Poultry Commission diagnostic laboratories at
Little Rock and Springdale currently offer routine diagnostic
services free of charge for any hobby, exhibition, or backyard
flock that has lost birds.
Program Future
Currently, the grant funding this program will expire the
end of December 2004. Anyone wishing to participate in the
survey, testing program, or wanting information should
contact their county agent, area livestock inspector or the
extension poultry veterinarian. Any person or group that
wishes to have an educational seminar on disease recognition
(including Exotic Newcastle and Avian Influenza),
Biosecurity measures to prevent disease, and what it takes to
participate in the surveillance program should contact their
county agent or the extension poultry veterinarian.
Protecting Flocks from Disease with Basic Biosecurity
Practices
The best way to reduce the risk of introducing the
disease into your birds is by following Biosecurity practices
(Additional information on Biosecurity is available at http://
www.uark.edu/depts/posc/avianindex.html). Some examples
of such practices are:
1. Do not purchase birds that appear sick or that may have
been illegally brought into the country.
2. Avoid sick birds if at all possible.
3. Practice good hygiene principles.
4. Clean and disinfect thoroughly.
5. Do not visit aviaries that have sick birds.
6. Prevent rodents and wild birds from entering the
facilities where birds are kept.
7. If you visit a facility with birds that may be suspected of
being infected it is important to change clothes, shower,
wash your hands and thoroughly disinfect all items
taken on the premise before contact with your birds.
8. Report signs of disease immediately and get a veterinary
diagnosis immediately.
For additional information or to report disease contact any of
the following:
County Agent,
Local veterinarian,
State Veterinarian,
State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory or
Extension Veterinarian.
9
AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
Strategies for Successful
Turkey Production
G.T. Tabler Applied Broiler Research Unit Manager, Savoy
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
TURKEYS continued on page 10
Introduction
Over the years, through careful genetic selection, the turkey industry has created a turkey
that today is a high-performance protein producing bird, but within a narrow window of condi-
tions. Lets take a look at some key areas critical to successful turkey production including: 1)
setting up for a flock, 2) brooding, 2) disease control, and 3) ventilation.
Setting up for a flock
A poults performance is dependent on its interaction with the environment. Birds that
are started well have a much greater chance of finishing well. Since young birds are generally
more susceptible to diseases than older birds and diseases can carry over from one flock to the
next, the success of the flock may depend on how completely the house has been cleaned and
disinfected prior to the arrival of the new flock. Most integrators have guidelines concerning
cleaning and disinfecting which should be strictly followed. If such guidelines do not exit, Lacy
and French (1989) outlined the following clean out steps (in order):
1. Decide how and when to treat the
house with an approved pesticide to
eliminate litter beetles.
2. Remove all the equipment you can
from the house.
3. Clean and disinfect the equipment you
removed and store it in a sunny
location.
4 Remove all litter from the house.
5. Wash down the house the house
thoroughly from top to bottom.
6. Disinfect the house and allow it to dry
completely
7. Return equipment to the house
Only clean, dry litter material
which is absorbent and does not easily
cake should be used for turkey houses.
Litter should be free of excessive fines,
large chunks, sharp edges, and be of a
non-toxic material. Litter should be smoothed and spread evenly throughout the house in
preparation for brooder ring set up. Tamping down the litter inside the brooder ring may provide
better footing and make it easier for poults to maneuver and find feed, water and heat and will
greatly improve their chances of survival during those first important days of life (Nicholas
Turkey Breeding Farms, 2000).
10 AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
TURKEYS continued from page 9
Brooding
It is of vital importance to light brooders 24-48 hours
before poult arrival to warm the litter (not just the air
temperature) and prevent poult chilling. If the poult becomes
chilled because the floor is cold, its movement level decreases
and it will not actively seek out feed or water. Obviously,
ample feed and water must be available at all times and
integrator guidelines regarding number of feeders and drinkers
per brooder or brooder ring should be followed. Feeders and
drinkers must be arranged in such a manner within the ring as
to allow poults to move unimpeded from the heat source to the
edge of the ring. This will help reduce or limit the chance of
piling inside the ring. Do not place feeders or drinkers
directly under or too near the brooder; poults will not eat or
drink feed and water that is too hot. Brooder stove height will
vary depending on type being used and integrator guidelines.
Lighting must be adequate and should be uniform to reduce
incidence of shadows that can frighten poults and possibly
cause piling.
Disease Control
Modern turkeys are geared for growth, not biological
warfare. While the bird is capable of reallocating body
resources to combat disease challenge, this reallocation
usually results in a reduction in growth, activity level, and
defenses (Gross and Siegel, 1997). Producers should make
every attempt to provide management conditions
recommended by integrator technical service representatives
that will minimize the disease threat and allow birds to
perform to their genetic potential. These efforts should
include a strict Biosecurity program that excludes unnecessary
visitors from the farm (Tabler, 2004)
There is little disagreement in the turkey industry
regarding the harmful effects of ammonia on turkey health.
Research has shown what turkey growers already know, that
high levels of ammonia can increase airsacculitis and feed
conversions, and reduce performance and profitability
(Sandstrom, 1990). Whenever the ammonia level in the air
exceeds 10 ppm, the turkey=s ability to fight respiratory
disease is impaired. A minimum litter moisture of
approximately 30% is required to support growth of ammonia-
producing bacteria and this growth accelerates as moisture
levels increase from 30 to 40%. It is very difficult to keep
moisture levels below 30% throughout the life of the flock
without incurring high ventilation and heating costs or using
very low bird densities (Bennett, 2001). However, proper
drinker management, which decreases total water spillage, will
reduce the total amount of moisture in the turkey house and
lower ammonia production in the litter.
Ventilation
Turkeys are living creatures and must have adequate
amounts of high quality air to breathe just like their caretakers.
Due to the anatomic structure of their respiratory system, birds
are very sensitive to air quality, especially ammonia and dust.
Frame and Anderson (2002) noted the main reasons for
ventilating are to:
Maintain an adequate supply of oxygen
Remove harmful gases, such as CO, CO
2
, and ammonia
Control moisture accumulation in the building
(i.e., humidity)
Control temperature
Remove dust and dander particles
When it comes to ventilating the turkey house, producers
have two options: natural or power ventilation. Natural
ventilation consists of using the curtains and end doors along
with natural wind conditions to move air through the turkey
house. If there is any breeze at all this allows a large quantity
of air to be moved through the building in a short period of
time and requires no electrical power usage because fans are
not running. However, in reality, natural ventilation allows
producers very little control over the ventilation of their
houses. It is difficult to regulate temperature and optimize
airflow inside the house. Changing wind speed and direction
and outside air temperature only complicates this problem.
Turkeys under natural ventilation may be over heated from
lack of ventilation or chilled as a result of over ventilation.
Power ventilation allows producers to efficiently move a
consistent quantity of air in a given time period and fan run
time can be adjusted to control humidity and temperature
inside the turkey house. Stirring or re-circulation fans can also
be used to move hot air off the ceiling and mix with the rest of
the air in the house. Keep in mind that air exchange and air
movement are not the same thing. Air movement is the
process of relocating air to a different place in the house using
circulation fans, while air exchange is the transfer of inside air
to the outside and outside air to the inside of the turkey house.
Air exchange rate is expressed in changes of air per minute, or
in cfm/turkey (Frame and Anderson, 2002).
Proper static pressure is also important when power
ventilating turkey houses. Static pressure is the negative
pressure created in a turkey house when the exhaust fans are
running. The higher the static pressure, the greater the
velocity of the air entering the house. A simple rule of thumb
is that each 0.05" of static pressure will shoot air about 12 feet.
Static pressure in turkey buildings should be maintained
between 0.03" and 0.10" (Frame and Anderson, 2002). If the
static pressure is too low, cold air will not mix with warm air,
but will fall to the floor causing a cold spot that birds will
avoid. Many times birds avoid the sidewalls because cold air
has fallen to the floor immediately after entering due to
inadequate static pressure. If static pressure is too high, fan
motors have to work excessively hard, decreasing their life
expectancy, without any additional benefit to the turkeys. If
ventilation and temperature regulation are inadequate,
especially at night, humidity builds up in the turkey house
causing house condensation (sweating), damp litter and
increased ammonia levels. Frame and Anderson (2002) offer
the following ventilation tips:
11
AVIAN Advice Fall 2004 Vol. 6, No. 2
Air must be controlled as it enters the building. This is
best achieved by mounting rectangular vent boxes along the
upper part of sidewalls that automatically adjust to variations
in negative pressure. Proper installation of vent boxes will
direct incoming air slightly upwards where it will mix with
warmer air and gently fall to bird level.
Consider using a five minute time cycle rather than ten.
Temperature and moisture levels will tend to fluctuate less
severely.
Keep inlets, fans, and shutters clean. Brushing off dust
accumulated on fan blades, guards, and shutters can increase
fan efficiency 12% to 15%.
Adjust building inlet area to number of cfm being moved
by fans. Static pressure should optimally be maintained
between 0.05" and 0.08". In loose houses this may require
sealing cracks and crevices to reduce amount of unneeded air
entering the building. As a rule of thumb, one 2.41 to 2.44 ft
2
vent box opening will accommodate 1500 cfm of fan capacity.
Minimum air exchange rate in a brooder house with
newly placed poults should be 0.2 cfm/poult.
If brooder house temperature is stable and comfortable,
especially from 1 to 7 days of age, wire brooder guards offer
better ventilation than cardboard shields. Carbon dioxide
levels rapidly build up within cardboard shields. Young
turkeys are very sensitive to high levels of carbon dioxide gas.
Poults may become lethargic or sleepy when exposed to high
carbon dioxide levels resulting in inadequate feed and water
intake.
One complete air exchange should occur in turkey
growouts at least every 3 to 5 minutes. This air exchange rate
will need to be even greater (i.e., every 1 to 2 minutes) during
summer months. Plan fan capacity to meet this need.
Use power ventilation in growout houses to first control
moisture, then ammonia, and last, temperature. Many growers
have a tendency to reverse the order of these priorities. It is
important to keep in mind that using additional heat can
stabilize temperature during power ventilation. However,
moisture and ammonia can only be controlled by sufficient air
exchange (i.e., ventilation). Leg problems and airsacculitis
caused by wet litter and ammonia are much more
economically devastating than a slightly higher gas bill.
Summary
Proper set up for a flock, correct brooding, rigorous
disease control and appropriate ventilation are four areas vital
to producing profitable turkey flocks. Birds that are started
well have a much greater chance of finishing well. Since
young birds are generally more susceptible to diseases than
older birds and diseases can carry over from one flock to the
next, the success of the flock may depend on how completely
the house has been cleaned and disinfected prior to the arrival
of the new flock. It is of vital importance to light brooders
24-48 hours before poult arrival to warm the litter (not just the
air temperature) and prevent poult chilling. If the poult
becomes chilled because the floor is cold, its movement level
decreases and it will not actively seek out feed or water.
Modern turkeys are geared for growth, not biological warfare.
While the bird is capable of reallocating body resources to
combat disease challenge, this reallocation usually results in a
reduction in growth, activity level, and defenses. Ventilate
properly by:
Controlling the air as it enters the building,
Using a five minute time cycle rather than ten,
Keep inlets, fans, and shutters clean,
Adjust building inlet area to number of cfm being moved
by fans,
Maintaining a minimum air exchange rate of 0.2 cfm/
poultry in the brooder house,
Using wire brooder guards offer better ventilation than
cardboard shields,
Maintaining a complete air exchange in the turkey growout
house every 3 to 5 minutes, and
Power ventilating in growout houses to first control
moisture, then ammonia, and last, temperature.
References
Bennett, C. 2001. Managing ammonia production in your
turkey litter. Manitoba Agriculture and Food. May 2001. 2
pages
Frame, D. D., and G. L. Anderson. 2002. Ventilation
basics for Utah turkey facilities. Utah State University
Cooperative Extension Service Publication Ag/Poultry/01.
March 2002. Utah State University, Logan, UT.
Gross, W. B., and P. B. Siegel. 1997. Why some get sick.
J. Appl. Poultry Res. 6:453-460.
Lacy, M. P. and J. D. French. 1989. Effective broiler
house clean out and disinfection techniques. University of
Geogia Cooperative Extension Service Circular 815. 6 pages
Nicholas Turkey Breeding Farms. 2000. Brooding. Nicholas
Turkey News. 42(6):1-4.
Sandstrom, J. 1990. Ammonia myths...A real gas.
Perspectives (The information newsletter of Hybrid Turkeys).
Winter 1990/91.
Tabler, G. T. 2004. Arkansas turkey growers face variety
of challenges. Avian Advice 6(1):9-11.
Coming Events:
Annual Nutrition Conference, September 15-17, 2004,
Embassy Suites, Rogers, AR, The Poultry Federation (501) 375-
8131
Turkey Committee Meeting, September 17-18, 2004, Best
Western Inn of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, AR, The Poultry
Federations (501) 375-8131
State Fair, October 8-17, 2004, State Fair Grounds, Little Rock,
AR, (501) 372-8341
UA Poultry Science
Extension Specialists
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received his
B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received both his
M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay, which is still
in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry. He then spent one
year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1996, Bramwell returned
to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr. Bramwell joined the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main
areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management and physiological) that influence fertility and
embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then practiced
in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary School at Davis.
After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark was director of the Utah
State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry Science faculty at the University
of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible
for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efficient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center of
Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D. from
Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality assurance
for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He was an Assistant
Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the
University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food safety. Dr. Marcy
does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and microbiology for
processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She
served as a quality control supervisor and field service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became an
Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has worked to
identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter treatments for
improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed ingredients on the
performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has major
responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to become
aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile annual
figures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State Fair.
Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-671-2189, FAX: 501-671-2185, E-mail: jwooley@uaex.edu
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G.T. Tabler,
1
I.L. Berry,
2
and A.M. Mendenhall
1
. . . helping ensure the efficient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 3
Water Sanitation:
Evaluation of Products
by Susan Watkins, Lisa
Newberry, Melony Wilson
and Robert Hubbard
page 6
Odor and Air Emissions
from Poultry Facilities
by G. Tom Tabler
page 9
Arkansas Turkey
Growers Face Variety
of Challenges
by G. Tom Tabler
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice
AVIAN
Cooperative Extension Service
MORTALITY continued on page 2
Spring 2004 Volume 6, Number 1
Mortality Patterns Associated with
Commercial Broiler Production
1
Poultry Science Department and
2
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Introduction
Flock mortality has a major influence on size of the settlement check after harvest and so is
one of the greatest worries of any broiler grower. While differences in breeder flock status,
genetic strain, hatchery conditions and management practices mean that two consecutive flocks
on a particular farm will seldom have similar mortality patterns, the examination of data from
numerous flocks can help to identify specific mortality patterns. These patterns allow the
comparison of mortality trends in the current flock with historical averages. Recently compiled
data from our facility may assist you in identifying mortality patterns commonly associated with
commercial broiler production.
Facilities and Management Practices
Mortality data were gathered from 38 consecutive flocks of straight run broilers from October
1996 through June 2003 at the Applied Broiler Research Unit. Half of the 38 flocks were grown
to 49 days or less while the other half were grown longer than 49 days. The youngest flock was
39 days at harvest with the oldest harvested at 57 days. All flocks were grown for the same
integrator under a standard broiler industry contract. Management practices were the same in all
houses. Flocks consisted of various genetic strains and breeder flock ages throughout the study,
a common industry practice. The four houses on the farm were each 40 x 400 ft.; two with
tunnel ventilation and two cross-ventilated. Berry et al. (1991), Xin et al. (1993) and Tabler and
Berry (2001) provide a complete description of the houses involved.
Mortality Patterns
The average mortality patterns observed are shown in Figure 1. (See page 2.) Since no
significant differences were observed between houses, only average date are shown. These data
show that broiler mortality usually peaks at approximately 3 to 4 days after placement, declines
until approximately day 9 or 10 then stabilizes until approximately day 30. After day 30 a
gradually increase is seen until approximately day 40 to 45. After day 45, mortality rates
increased until harvest. The pattern is similar to results reported by Xin et al. (1994); however,
their data indicated a slightly higher 2-week mortality, somewhat lower 8-week mortality, with
similar 6-week mortality on 10 consecutive flocks of 8-week male broilers.
2 AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
MORTALITY continued from page 1
Early Mortality and the Importance of Culling
The peak in mortality at day 3 to 4 may coincide with the disappearance of the yolk sac in the intestine of chicks. Chicks that
for whatever reason do not begin to eat and drink may survive the first few days with the yolk sac alone, but once this food source
is depleted the chick will soon perish. At 3 to 4 days of age experienced growers can usually distinguish chicks that are destined
to succumb from those that are off to a good start by their size and vocalization patterns. While chicks that are off to a good start
are active, avidly eating feed and move away quickly when approached, cull birds will often stand by themselves, chirp and
refuse to move away as the grower comes near. When cull birds are found they should be immediately removed and humanely
destroyed by an approved method (Watkins, 2003). The longer these birds remain in the flock the more detrimental they become
to the feed conversion ratio. In addition, removing cull birds at this early stage will improve flock uniformity, making manage-
ment of feeder and drinker height much easier as the flock ages. It is extremely difficult to properly manage feeder and drinker
height with numerous bird sizes in a house. However, culling programs vary among integrators so consult your service techni-
cian before implementing dramatic changes to your current culling practices.
The data in Figure 2 illustrate the relationship between early mortality and late mortality. Flocks that lost the most birds early,
tended to lose the most birds late. In addition, when first week mortality was high, uniformity was often a problem, and feed
conversions were frequently less than desirable. These flocks required additional time, effort and a management skill to achieve
an acceptable level of performance. However, it should also be noted that only a small percentage of flocks had a first week
mortality of >2% and those flocks were generally not back-to-back.
Figure 1. Average mortality for straight run broiler flocks.
Days of Age
M
o
r
t
a
l
i
t
y

%
Figure 2. Early mortality and flock health
Weeks of Age
%

M
o
r
t
a
l
i
t
y
3
AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
WATER SANITATION continued on page 4
Late Mortality
Mortality after about day 45 was most likely due to heart attacks, ascites and leg problems since these diseases generally
increase dramatically late in the life of the flock. Clearly death losses late in the flock can have serious negative consequences on
both feed conversion and pounds of sellable meat. To some degree, these problems can be reduced with proper feeding and
lighting programs. Integrators may change these programs periodically so stay in close contact with your field service technician
as to the proper program to follow.
Summary
Mortality in broiler flocks represents lost income to growers and integrators alike. Even though mortality is an everyday part
of broiler production, growers should tailor management programs to reduce its overall effect on flock performance. An aggres-
sive culling program early in each flock that humanely removes substandard birds as they appear can improve overall flock
uniformity and performance with a minimal negative effect on feed conversion ratio. Allowing cull birds to remain in a flock
increases the difficulty in feeder and drinker management throughout the flock. Also, if these birds succumb or are culled late in
the flock, they have a much greater negative impact on feed conversion because they have eaten more feed (which is now lost)
than they would have if removed at 1 or 2 weeks of age. Management programs later in the flock are often designed slow growth
slightly to reduce late mortality due to ascites, heart attacks, and leg problems.
References
Berry, I. L., R. C. Benz, and H. Xin. 1991. A controller for combining natural and mechanical ventilation of broilers. ASAE
Paper No. 914038. Amer. Society of Ag. Engineers, St. Joseph, MI.
Tabler, G. T., and I. L. Berry. 2001. Applied Broiler Research Unit Report: Ten-year summary of broiler production results.
Ark. Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference, Hot Springs, AR. Aug 3-4.
Watkins, S. E. 2003. Animal welfare audits: What to expect and how to be prepared. Avian Advice 5(4):6-8.
Xin, H., I. L. Berry, T. L. Barton, and G. T. Tabler. 1993. Sidewall effects on energy use in broiler houses. J. Appl. Poult. Res.
2:176-183.
Xin, H., I. L. Berry, T. L. Barton, and G. T. Tabler. 1994. Feed and water consumption, growth, and mortality of male broilers.
J. Poult. Sci. 73:610-616.
Water Sanitation:
Evaluation of Products
Introduction
Cleaning water lines between flocks is an important step in providing optimum drinking
water for poultry production. Even producers with excellent daily water sanitation programs
can still benefit from aggressively cleaning water systems between flocks. Introduction of water
additives such as electrolytes, vitamins, or vaccine stabilizers can provide food for unwanted
organisms such as E. coli. In addition, the reduction of water flow in drinking systems in order
to provide the right pressure for young chicks and the warm temperatures in poultry houses also
creates a favorable climate for microorganisms to build a biofilm or sticky matrix. Once
established, a biofilm can be very difficult to remove and if left uncontrolled, this slime can
steadily build up to the point that the daily sanitation program becomes limited in its effective-
Susan Watkins, Lisa Newberry, Melony Wilson and Robert Hubbard
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
4 AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
R. Keith Bramwell Extension Reproductive Physiologist
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
WATER SANITATION continued from page 3
ness. Even producers who use rural or city water supplies can
still develop microbial problems with poultry house water
systems particularly if they inject products into their water
system via medicators that pull from an open bucket.
It is possible for producers to keep lines clean and
reduce bacterial growth by thoroughly sanitizing the system
between flocks with either sanitizers that are different from
those used in the daily sanitation program or by using the daily
sanitizer at an even higher concentration. However, it is
important to remember that not all cleaners or sanitizers are
designed for use in water lines and equipment is sensitive to
certain types or levels of chemicals. For example, using a
concentrated bleach solution can actually destroy regulators
and nipple drinkers. [Therefore choosing the right cleaner for
water line sanitation is an important step because not only is
the system not very well designed for a thorough cleaning, but
also because of the need to minimize equipment damage.]
Once birds are placed in the facility, a producer becomes
limited on the type and concentration of daily sanitizer that the
birds can and will consume. Therefore, by starting birds on
very clean lines, a producer can optimize the effectiveness of
the daily sanitation program and possibly minimize the cost of
the program at the same time.
Cleaner / Sanitizer Study
Different water line cleaners and sanitizers were
evaluated at the University of Arkansas Poultry Research
Farm. A very high level of the bacteria, Pseudomonas, was
seeded into miniature water line systems (four feet long) that
were equipped with six nipple drinkers, a regulator and stem
pipes. By using the miniature lines, it was possible to simulate
conditions that might be encountered on a typical poultry
farm, but at the same time use the different cleaners in three
different water lines. Pseudomonas was chosen because it is
commonly found in poultry houses and because of its ability
to thrive in water systems. The Pseudomonas mixture was
allowed to settle into the lines for approximately four days so
that the organism would become well established in the water
system, creating a worse case scenario of contamination in a
relatively clean water line system. After four days, a sample of
water was taken from each line to determine the number of
Pseudomonas organisms present. The products tested were
mixed with distilled deionized water, flushed into the line
systems where they remained 24 hours. After 24 hours,
another sample of water from the line was taken and cultured
to determine the number of Pseudomonas organisms that
survived. The treatments evaluated are outlined in Table 1
1
.
Test Results
All products tested effectively removed Pseudomonas
from the water lines (Table 2). Flushing the lines with water
(the control) did not remove the bacteria. However, this was
not a high-pressure flush, which can be very helpful in
removing any buildup in the lines. These results show the
durability of bacteria such as Pseudomonas and why water
lines should be cleaned.
However, using the 12.5% bleach solution at a 1% rate
is risky since strong bleach solutions can have a detrimental
effect on equipment. In fact, it is always best to check with
equipment suppliers for their recommendation of products to
use for line cleaning. The Proxyclean product was used at a
rate of 3%. If products must be added via medicators, this
strength of solution can be achieved only by having an injector
pump with a variable setting or by pumping the solution
straight from the container with two in-line medicators. Most
Proxyclean use has been at a rate of 1% or pumping the
product straight from the container. This adds one ounce of
concentrated product to every gallon of water. The Agri Zone
product can also be used at a more concentrated rate. It can be
pumped straight from the medicator container and added at a
rate of one ounce per gallon of water.
Summary
The bottom line is that water systems can be success-
fully cleaned between flocks and this thorough cleaning can
slow or eliminate the development of bio-films. There is one
important point to remember about this project. These lines
were fairly new and therefore had little opportunity for bio-
films and sediment to become built-up in the systems. This
allowed the cleaners to have maximum exposure to the
bacteria and led to excellent results. Systems that have not
been cleaned in several months or have no daily sanitation
program may not be as easy to clean and may require more
than one clean and flush procedure to eliminate bacteria, algae
and bio-films. If lines are very dirty or a water tests indicate
high levels of bacteria (greater than 100,000 colony forming
units/ml) at the end of the line, then a producer should use a
very aggressive cleaning strategy between flocks. Cleaning
should then be combined with a very thorough flush of the
system to remove the killed bacteria and algae. Dead algae
can release toxins that could be harmful to the birds so it is
very important to flush the system thoroughly after cleaning.
Combining the thorough flush with a good daily sanitation
program can help reduce the threat that bacteria, algae, viruses
and mold exert on poultry performance.
1
Use of trade names does not imply endorsement by the
authors or the University of Arkansas to the exclusion of
others not mentioned
5
AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
Table 2. Results of Cleaning Water Lines With Different Products
Product Rate Pseudomonas Pseudomonas pH 24 hrs
count before count 24 hrs after
treatment after treatment treatment
(CFU/ml)
1
(CFU/ml)
Control (no treatment) ---------- 1,700,000 3,030,000 6.22
Agri Zone Flush 0.27 oz/gal 5,820,000 0 7.40
Agri Quat S 0.0061 oz/gal 4,350,000 0 5.87
Aqua Max 1 oz/gal 4,800,000 0 2.91
Citric Acid 0.39 oz/gal 2,280,000 0 3.32
ProxyClean 3.84 oz/gal 2,900,000 0 3.04
PWT 0.039 oz/gal 2,200,000 0 2.61
12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite 1.28 oz/gal 1,600,000 0 8.55
2.5% Sodium Hypochlorite 0.024 oz/gal 2,810,000 0 6.44
1
Colony Forming Units/milliliter
Table 1. Description of Treatments Evaluated
Treatment Name Treatment Description Preparation Procedures Final Concentration
Control -------------------------Lines flushed with two gallons of de-ionized water------------------------------
Agri Quat S Quaternary ammonia product 1.75 oz/5 gal 0.0061 oz/gal
Agri Zone A mineralized oxygen product 1 oz /gal of stock then 0.024 oz/gal
1 oz stock/gal of water
Aqua Max Organic acid mix 1 oz/gal of water 1 oz/gal
Citric Acid Organic acid 64 oz/gal of stock then 0.39 oz/gal
1 oz stock/gal of water
ProxyClean 50% hydrogen peroxide 3.84 oz/gal of water 3.84 oz/gal
stabilized with sodium nitrate
PWT or Poultry Water Sodium bisulfate water acidifier 16 oz/2.5 gal of stock then 0.039 oz/gal
Treatment 1 oz stock/gal of water
12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite Strong bleach, household bleach 1.28 oz/gal 1.28 oz/gal
is 5.25%
12.5% Sodium Hypochlorite Strong bleach, household bleach 4 oz/gal of stock then 1 oz 0.024 oz/gal
is 5.25% stock/gal of water
6 AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
G.T. Tabler Applied Broiler Research Unit Manager, Savoy
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Odor and Air Emissions
From Poultry Facilities
Introduction
In Arkansas, production agriculture is a $4 billion annual industry, three-fourths of which
comes from livestock, mainly poultry (EPA, 1998). Modern production agriculture is increas-
ingly regarded as a major source of air pollutants. The trend toward larger and more
concentrated animal production coupled with the general publics increasing intolerance of
odors mandates the control of odors, gases, and dust.
Types of Emissions
Animal feeding operations (AFOs) have become increasingly consolidated, specialized,
and regionally concentrated in the last decade (Sweeten et al., 2004). Air quality concerns are
becoming a major environmental issue. Primary sources of odors, gases, and dust from produc-
tion agriculture units include:
Livestock operations (poultry and swine buildings; open cattle feedlots)
Manure storage facilities
Land application of manure
Management practices are an important factor in determining emissions from animal feeding
operations; perhaps of equal or greater importance than the specie itself (Powers and Bastyr,
2004). Many of the foul-smelling compounds emitted from animal production operations are as
a result of decomposition of livestock and poultry wastes in the absence of air (anaerobic
decomposition). Aerobic decomposition (decomposition in the presence of air) generally
produces fewer odorous by-products than anaerobic decay, but aerobic decay can enhance
volatilization of gaseous compounds that produce some odors and degrade environmental
quality (Powers, 2003). While little information is available on the environmental impact of
odor and airborne contaminates, as many as 100 compounds have been identified in air samples
collected from animal production facilities (Miner, 1995). However, it is estimated that one
7
AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
ODOR AND AIR continued on page 8
A large portion of
odor associated
with exhaust air
from mechanically
ventilated poultry
houses is dust
particles that have
absorbed odors
from within the
houses.
third of the methane produced each year comes from industrial sources, one third from natural
sources and one third from agriculture, primarily animals and manure storage units (Powers,
2003).
Odor from animal feeding operations is not caused by a single compound, but is rather
the result of a large number of contributing compounds including NH
3
, volatile organic com-
pounds (VOCs), and H
2
S (National Academy of Sciences, 2003). A further complication is that
odor involves a subjective human response. What is objectionable to some is not to everyone.
The most common odor complaint by the public associated with poultry production is related to
land application of manure. When manure is land applied, it is typically applied to an area up to
700 times the surface area of the original storage, creating a large but short-term downwind odor
plume (Heber and Jones, No Date). For odor to be detected, odor-producing compounds must
have been produced, released and transported downwind. A complex mixture of gases produce
the odor associated with a poultry operation. Some of the principal classes of odorous com-
pounds are: amines, sulfides, volatile fatty acids, indoles, skatoles, phenols, mercaptans,
alcohols, and carbonyls (Powers, 2003). Ammonia creates strong odors near manure storage
areas and poultry buildings themselves, but is not a significant component of odor downwind
from a poultry farm. Ammonia is highly volatile and moves upward in the atmosphere quickly
when released.
Dust, while a problem in its own right, can also carry gases and odors. Dust is generated
from feed, manure, and the birds themselves. A large portion of odor associated with exhaust air
from mechanically ventilated poultry houses is dust particles that have absorbed odors from
within the houses. Factors determining the amount of dust include cleanliness of the houses,
bird activity, temperature, relative humidity, ventilation rate, and stocking density.
Concerns Over Air Emissions
The issue that most often brings air emissions to the attention of public officials is the
frequency of complaints about strong and objectionable odors voiced by neighbors of large
animal feeding operations. Equally important are the various substances in air emissions that
contribute to environmental degradation (National Academy of Sciences, 2003). Concern is
understandable since between 1982 and 1997, the number of animal feeding operations in the
United States decreased by 51%, while livestock production increased 10% (Gollehon et al.,
2001). This indicates that there are fewer farms with more animals on those farms than in the
past; and hence, more animal waste in a smaller area.
Currently, there is no comprehensive, sound, science-based set of data on emissions from
AFOs. An understanding of AFO air emissions and their effects will require the expertise of
numerous scientific disciplines, including animal nutrition and physiology, farm practices,
atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, air monitoring, statistics, epidemiology and toxicology,
agricultural engineering, economics, and other related disciplines. Emission rates can vary with
changes in the management of the animals, their feed or weather conditions and may vary
tenfold or more during periods as short as an hour or long as a year. This variability in AFO air
emission rates is perhaps the most serious impediment to generating a sound, reliable database
(National Academy of Sciences, 2003).
The EPA has a variety of needs for more accurate estimates of air emissions from AFOs,
including the following:
General monitoring of the nations air quality
Determining what pollutants are in the nations ambient air, their concentrations and
their sources
Identifying the emissions that may have the greatest adverse effects on human health or
the environment
Improving regulatory approaches
Assessing effectiveness of various abatement technologies and strategies
USDA has a similar need for accurate information, but focuses more directly on the kinds
of management actions that farmers can take to mitigate emissions at the farm level (National
Academy of Sciences, 2003).
8 AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
ODOR AND AIR continued from page 7
Management Strategies
As mentioned earlier, land application of manure
generates the most consistent and noisy odor complaints.
Land application offers acres and acres of volatile compound
generation versus the relatively contained sources of air
emissions from manure storage and livestock housing. Thus,
keeping poultry manure in the house or in dry storage is the
first line of defense against odor and gas emission complaints
(Wheeler, 2002). Also consider topography and air drainage
patterns when considering constructing new or purchasing
existing facilities in hilly areas. In such areas, during the
evening hours there are often periods of little or no wind. In
these still periods air near the ground will begin to cool and,
because cool air is heavier than warm air, it drifts down slope.
Poultry houses scattered across hills are in the path of this air
moving down slope and any odors generated by these facilities
may be picked up and carried down wind to towns or commu-
nities located in the valleys below.
A wide variety of manure management technologies and
strategies have been considered over the last 30 years (ASAE,
1971). The systems currently in place are those that proved
the most cost-effective and reliable at achieving their objec-
tives. For the most part, those objectives have not included
minimization of emissions, but have centered on water quality
protection, nuisance avoidance, animal environment protec-
tion, and worker health protection. (National Academy of
Sciences, 2003).
Be a Good Neighbor
Even though there is no comprehensive, science-based
set of data on emissions from AFOs, almost all producers
realize that the lack of data has not stopped complaints or legal
actions against production units. Thus, producers must
continue to deal with the situation.
Shelterbelts of trees or shrubs have been used exten-
sively in some parts of the country for snow and wind
protection. Shelterbelts around poultry operations can offer
improved aesthetics of production facilities and may help
reduce any environmental impact (actual or perceived) of the
operation since many people tend to smell with their eyes.
Shelterbelts may also offer odor reduction by creating turbu-
lence that encourages the mixing of odorous air with fresh air,
promoting the settling of dust where wind speeds are lower,
physical interception of dust and particulates or adsorption and
absorption of odor compounds on the foliage of trees or shrubs
(Wheeler, 2002).
One of the best ways to lessen complaints about any
animal production facility is to run a clean, neat, tidy opera-
tion. Make it a point to know who your neighbors are and
develop a good relationship with them. Personally tell your
neighbors what your plans are so that they do not hear
information secondhand that may or may not be accurate.
Stay or become involved with community activities and attend
public meetings related to area farming practices. Make the
general population aware that you are concerned about the
environment and are open to new ideas. Always check with
neighbors before spreading manure to make sure you do not
disrupt someones family reunion or weekend events.
Farming is a business and all businesses need customers.
Most likely your neighbors go to the store and purchase the
same product you produce. Therefore, it is important to keep
your neighbors/customers happy.
An effective strategy to reduce gas, odor and dust
emissions from livestock and poultry operations will likely be
site specific since no one practice will work at every opera-
tion. Plan on using a variety of strategies with the goal being
to reduce the overall generation of emissions from your
operation. To some producers it may not seem like that big of
a problem just yet; however, as rural and urban populations
increasingly share more and more land with one another, odor
and air emissions from livestock facilities has the potential to
make the issue of land application of animal wastes pale in
comparison. Recall all that has happened with land applica-
tion rules and guidelines over the past 5-10 years. Ten years
ago land application of wastes did not seem like a big
problem. Now consider what could happen with air emission
standards. The time for modern production agriculture to
address the issue has come.
References
ASAE (American Society of Agricultural Engineers)
1971. Livestock waste management and pollution abatement.
In: Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on
Livestock Wastes, St. Joseph, MI. 360 pp
EPA. 1998. Climate Change and Arkansas. U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 236-F-98-007d.
September 1998.
Gollehon, N., M. Caswell, M. Ribaudo, R. Kellogg, C.
Lander, and D. Letson. 2001. Confined Animal Production
and Manure Nutrients. USDA Agriculture Information
Bulletin No. 771. Washington, D.C.
Heber, A. and D. Jones. No Date. Controlling dust and
odors around confined animal feeding operations. Available
at: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/immag/info/
mwps_18_S3nr.pdf.
Miner. J. R. 1995. A review of literature on the nature
and control of odors from pork production facilities. Prepared
for Odor Subcommittee of the Environmental Committee of
the National Pork Producers Council.
National Academy of Sciences. 2003. Air Emissions
from Animal Feeding Operations: Current Knowledge, Future
Needs. National Academies Press. Washington, D.C. 263 pp.
Powers, W. 2003. Gaseous emissions from animal agriculture.
Leaflet No. PM 1935. Iowa State University Extension.
Powers, W., and S. Bastyr. 2004. Downwind air quality
measurements from poultry and livestock facilities. A.S.
Leaflet R1927. Iowa State University Animal Industry Report
2004.
Sweeten, J., R. Miner, and C. Tengman. 2004. A brief history
and background of the EPA CAFO rule. Manure Matters. Vol
10, Number 1. Livestock Environmental Issues Committee.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Wheeler, E. F. 2002. Strategies to reduce emissions.
Poultry Digest Online. Vol 3, Number 4.
9
AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
Arkansas Turkey Growers
Face Variety of Challenges
G.T. Tabler Applied Broiler Research Unit Manager, Savoy
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
Introduction
Arkansas turkey growers produced 29.5 million turkeys in 2002 ( USDA, 2003), making the
state third in turkey production behind North Carolina and Minnesota. As any grower can
verify, raising commercial turkeys is no easy task. In comparison to broiler chickens, turkeys
are extremely difficult to start, the brooding period is a much more stressful time for both poult
and grower, and turkeys remain on the farm for a much longer period increasing the likelihood
that something may go wrong before the flock sells. Lets look at some of the challenges faced
by Arkansas turkey growers and how to meet these challenges.
Summertime Temperatures
Turkeys are generally most comfortable when temperatures range from 70-79 F (Anony-
mous, 2003). Feed intake and growth may be affected as temperatures rise above 80 F and
temperatures exceeding 90 F, can result in heat exhaustion or heat prostration. High tempera-
tures are particularly stressful when coupled with high humidity levels.
Heat stress is always a concern of Arkansas turkey producers during summer months and
can produce significant losses if growers are not properly prepared. Several factors affect heat
production and the turkeys ability to deal with heat. The digestion of food, the growth process
and bird activity all create heat, which the turkey must dissipate (Nixey, ND). As the tempera-
ture increases, feed consumption decreases and turkeys begin to pant which negatively affects
the performance and profitability of the flock.
A turkeys first objective is simply to stay alive. Turkeys are warm-blooded and must
maintain a relatively uniform body temperature of 105-107F over a wide range of environmen-
tal conditions. If heat produced by the bird is greater than heat that is lost, the birds body
temperature rises; if it rises 9-11F and reaches 116 F the turkey dies from heat prostration.
Several methods exist for the turkey to lose heat (Cereno, 1998):
1) Radiation - body surface temperature is cooler than air surrounding it
2) Conduction - bird comes in contact with and loses heat to a cooler surface (litter)
3) Convection - cool air contacting body surface is warmed and rises, carrying
away heat
4) Water vaporization - a birds nasal cavity is a heat exchanger and helps rid the
body of excess heat through evaporative cooling
5) Fecal excretion
6) Egg production
How efficiently turkeys can lose heat will depend on air temperature, humidity, air
movement over the bird, and stocking density. Turkeys pant to increase the rate of heat loss by
evaporative cooling. However, older, heavier birds produce more internal heat and are less able
to cool themselves through convection and evaporation. The extra weight might be why higher
temperatures are more stressful on toms than hens (Anonymous, 2003). Also, be aware that
birds suffering respiratory problems will have a reduced ability to cool themselves through
panting. In addition, the more birds in the house, the more heat they generate and they will tend
to absorb each others radiant heat load.
TURKEYS continued on page 10
10 AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
TURKEYS continued from page 9
Air movement (ventilation) is critical if turkeys are to
survive summer conditions. Maximize natural ventilation by
keeping grass and weeds cut around buildings. Do not park
tractors or equipment alongside houses as this restricts air
movement through the buildings. You are better off with grass
around your houses to absorb heat (if you keep it cut) instead
of bare ground because bare ground will reflect heat back into
the houses. Make sure your fans are properly maintained.
Keep blades, shutters and safety grills free of dirt and debris.
Change fan belts at least once per year. Worn or loose belts
can reduce fan efficiency by 20-30 %. Turn fan thermostats
down low enough that the fans will run late enough after
sundown to give the birds a chance to cool off. Flush water
lines regularly to provide cool water to the turkeys; cool water
allows the turkey to transfer body heat to the water they drink.
If you have a generator, make sure it is maintained and ready
in event of a power failure. If you dont have a generator,
seriously consider purchasing one. They are a somewhat
expensive investment if the power stays on, but a generator
can pay for itself in one afternoon if the power goes off for an
extended period.
Some growers supplement the drinking water with
vitamins and electrolytes to reduce heat stress. Vitamins in the
water are a good way to insure turkeys are getting what they
need during hot weather when feed intake may be reduced.
Electrolytes help maintain adequate blood pH which becomes
elevated when turkeys pant for extended periods. Always talk
to your service technician before starting any supplementation
program since they know what works and what doesnt.
Turkeys normally decrease their activity level and stay away
from feeder pans to avoid creating additional internal body
heat when the weather is hot. Thus, keeping birds as quiet as
possible during the heat of the day and considering an inter-
mittent lighting program to encourage nighttime feeding may
help. However, turkeys must be offered a period of complete
darkness because it is during this time that the tibia (leg bone)
grows at its optimal rate (Monk, 1998). Sprinkling turkeys
with water can help fight heat stress when temperatures exceed
80-85F. However, the amount of water used will vary greatly
with condition of the house and the birds and producers should
avoid using too much water since it can increase humidity to
dangerous levels. Again, consult your service technician
before changing your lighting program or starting a sprinkling
program.
Pathogen Load
Management programs that will allow turkeys to
perform to their genetic potential should be the goal of all
producers. Obviously, pathogens can reduce turkey perfor-
mance and should be controlled. Unfortunately, with the
technologies currently available to the industry, complete
eradication of the pathogen load in live production is not
possible. We can, however, make every attempt to reduce the
microbial population through Best Management Practices that
include a strict biosecurity program.
Be aware of comings and goings on your farm and make
it a rule that no one gets on your farm who doesnt belong.
Feed truck drivers and technical service personnel must have
access, but after these folks are accounted for, the list becomes
extremely short. Friends, neighbors or other visitors have no
vital purpose around your operation and should be excluded.
It is up to you to enforce this. You may politely make visitors
aware that it is not that you are antisocial, but you have
thousand dollars and many hours of sweat equity invested in
your operation and you cannot afford to have a disease
challenge on your farm. Each farm has its own unique
microbial population that the turkeys become accustomed to,
but visitors tend to introduce organisms that are not common
to your operation and lead to production or disease troubles.
You must minimize traffic flow on your farm, the risk is
simply too great to do otherwise. Therefore, take necessary
steps to ensure that the only visitors to your farm have a good
reason to be there.
The live production process in the turkey industry is a
combination of management practices, bird health, the
nutrition program and the unique farm environment (Figure 1).
Nutrition, like management, must be focused on insuring that
the turkey can perform to its genetic potential. Proper bone
development is vital in insuring that turkeys achieve their full
genetic potential. Any factor that negatively influences bone
development will result in stress when the turkey attempts to
walk, leading to decreased activity, reduced feed intake, and
diminished growth rates (Monk, 1998).
The farm environment directly impacts bird perfor-
mance. A favorable environment optimizes growth and
strengthens the birds ability to resist disease. The environ-
ment also influences the microbial population unique to each
farm. Published research has demonstrated that birds in
clean environments grew 15% better than those in dirty
environments (Fernandez, 1998a). If bird health is compro-
mised, the turkey will likely never reach its genetic potential
regardless of your management program. Fernandez (1998b)
indicated a vector control program and a clean water supply
are also critical to reducing pathogen loads.
Effective rodent control programs involve a rational,
systematic baiting procedure, preventive facilities management
and constant monitoring. Rodents are often vectors that
transmit disease organisms from one flock to the next. Even if
facilities are cleaned and disinfected, the presence of rodents
can jeopardize sanitation efforts. Darkling beetles are another
vector which has been implicated in many poultry diseases.
Beetles have been found to be a source of transmission for
Salmonella, Mareks Disease, E. coli, Infectious Bursal
Disease, Newcastle Disease, Clostridium and numerous other
diseases (Watkins, 2001). Approved insecticides are available
for use after house cleanout for beetle control.
The role of water is certainly underestimated in both
turkey and broiler production. High quality drinking water is
critical for a healthy environment in both turkey and broiler
facilities. Fernandez (1998b) indicated that 45 of 95 (47%) of
11
AVIAN Advice Spring 2004 Vol. 6, No. 1
untreated water samples from various turkey farms were
contaminated with bacteria. The most common bacteria found
were Pseudomonas, followed by E. coli. Bordetella (which
causes turkey coryza). Bordetella has also been isolated from
the inside of nipple drinkers and from the rubber seal in the
water line regulator in houses with Bordetella-positive turkey
flocks (Watkins, 2002). Thus, it is important to reduce the
microbial load in the water system by treat water lines during
house cleanout, and sanitizing watering equipment during
house preparation (Fernandez, 1998b).
Other Challenges
Pathogen load and heat stress are only two of numerous
challenges faced by Arkansas turkey growers. Producers must
also be alert for coccidiosis which causes economic loss
through poor performance and secondary infections. Coccidi-
osis in turkeys is difficult to diagnose compared to chickens
since , in turkeys, visible lesions are rarely seen and an
accurate diagnosis requires the use of a microscope. Clinical
signs include, weight loss, decreased rate of gain, listlessness,
and loose droppings (possibly with blood or mucus), but these
are the same symptoms that a variety of other diseases or
ailments may exhibit.
The proper house environment during winter is also a
major challenge. Houses are usually closed tightly and
ventilation is at a minimum during cold weather to conserve
fuel. Be aware, however, that adequate ventilation is neces-
sary to guarantee sufficient air exchange, provide needed
oxygen, and prevent carbon dioxide (CO
2
) buildup in the
house. Carbon dioxide levels are always a concern in turkey
production facilities. In research trials, seven times the
normal level of CO
2
did not significantly affect livability at 14
days, but average body weights were up to
15% poorer in non-ventilated houses
(Fernandez, 1998b). Equally important was
the deterioration of bird uniformity that
accompanied the depression in weight.
Proper winter ventilation is critical if the
flock is to perform up to its genetic poten-
tial.
Summary
Turkey growers must be constantly
vigilant of conditions within the turkey
house. High summertime temperatures are
always a threat, especially when accompa-
nied with dangerous humidity levels.
Significant costs in lost performance and/or
mortality can be expected if measures are
not taken to reduce heat stress. Proper winter
ventilation is also important to provide an
environment that will allow the turkey to
perform at its best. Steps must also be taken
to control the pathogen load in turkey
production facilities. Practice stringent
biosecurity and do not allow anyone on your farm unless they
have a reason to be there. Monitor bird health and contact
your service technician at the first sign of a possible disease
outbreak. Turkey production requires that numerous chal-
lenges be met along the way to producing a healthy, profitable
flock. To be successful, Arkansas turkey producers must meet
and overcome these challenges on a daily basis.
References
Anonymous. 2003. Heat stress can be managed. Avail-
able at: http://www.cvm.umn.edu/avian/Gob
Managingheatstress.html. Accessed March, 2003.
Cereno, T. 1998. Growers have to help turkeys cope
with high temperatures. The Feather File. Cuddy Farms.
Summer 1998.
Fernandez, D. 1998a. Production performance optimized
by reducing pathogen load. The Feather File. Cuddy Farms.
Summer 1998.
Fernandez, D. 1998b. Reducing pathogen load optimizes
turkeys production performance. The Feather File. Fall 1998.
Monk, J. Nutritional, management factors can interfere
with development. The Feather File. Cuddy Farms. Fall 1998.
Nixey, C. No Date. Optimising performance in the
summer. Available at: http://www.ansci.umn.edu/poultry/
resources/buta-pubs.htm. Accessed March, 2003.
USDA. 2003. Poultry production and value, 2002
Summary. USDA National Agricultural Statistics, Pou 3-1
(03).
Watkins, S. E. 2001. Improving darkling beetle control
in poultry facilities. Avian Advice 3(1):14-15.
Watkins, S. E. 2002. The campaign for quality drinking
water continues. Avian Advice 4(3):7-9.
Figure 1. Relationships between bird environment and bird health
Adapted from Fernandez, 1998b.
UA Poultry Science
Extension Specialists
Dr. R. Keith Bramwell, Extension Reproductive Physiologist, attended Brigham Young University where he received his
B.S. in Animal Science in 1989. He then attended the University of Georgia from 1989 to 1995 where he received both his
M.S. and Ph.D. in Poultry Science. As part of his graduate program, he developed the sperm penetration assay, which is still
in use today, as both a research tool and as a practical troubleshooting instrument for the poultry industry. He then spent one
year studying in the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Lab at Colorado State University. In 1996, Bramwell returned
to the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor and Extension Poultry Scientist. Dr. Bramwell joined the Center of
Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas as an Extension Poultry Specialist in the fall of 2000. His main
areas of research and study are regarding the many factors (both management and physiological) that influence fertility and
embryonic mortality in broiler breeders. Telephone: 479-575-7036, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: bramwell@uark.edu
Dr. Dustan Clark, Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian, earned his D.V.M. from Texas A&M University. He then practiced
in Texas before entering a residency program in avian medicine at the University of California Veterinary School at Davis.
After his residency, he returned to Texas A&M University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. Dr. Clark was director of the Utah
State University Provo Branch Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory prior to joining the Poultry Science faculty at the University
of Arkansas in 1994. Dr. Clarks research interests include reoviruses, rotaviruses and avian diagnostics. He is also responsible
for working with the poultry industry on biosecurity, disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.
Telephone: 479-575-4375, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: fdclark@uark.edu
Dr. Frank Jones, Extension Section Leader, received his B.S. from the University of Florida and earned his M.S. and Ph.D.
degrees from the University of Kentucky. Following completion of his degrees Dr. Jones developed a feed quality assurance
extension program which assisted poultry companies with the economical production of high quality feeds at North Carolina
State University. His research interests include pre-harvest food safety, poultry feed production, prevention of mycotoxin
contamination in poultry feeds and the efficient processing and cooling of commercial eggs. Dr. Jones joined the Center of
Excellence in Poultry Science as Extension Section Leader in 1997. Telephone: 479-575-5443, FAX: 479-575-8775,
E-mail: ftjones@uark.edu
Dr. John Marcy, Extension Food Scientist, received his B.S. from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. and Ph.D. from
Iowa State University. After graduation, he worked in the poultry industry in production management and quality assurance
for Swift & Co. and Jerome Foods and later became Director of Quality Control of Portion-Trol Foods. He was an Assistant
Professor/Extension Food Scientist at Virginia Tech prior to joining the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the
University of Arkansas in 1993. His research interests are poultry processing, meat microbiology and food safety. Dr. Marcy
does educational programming with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), sanitation and microbiology for
processing personnel. Telephone: 479-575-2211, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: jmarcy@uark.edu
Dr. Susan Watkins, Extension Poultry Specialist, received her B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. She
served as a quality control supervisor and field service person for Mahard Egg Farm in Prosper, Texas, and became an
Extension Poultry Specialist in 1996. Dr. Watkins has focused on bird nutrition and management issues. She has worked to
identify economical alternative sources of bedding material for the poultry industry and has evaluated litter treatments for
improving the environment of the bird. Research areas also include evaluation of feed additives and feed ingredients on the
performance of birds. She also is the departmental coordinator of the internship program.
Telephone: 479-575-7902, FAX: 479-575-8775, E-mail: swatkin@uark.edu
Mr. Jerry Wooley, Extension Poultry Specialist, served as a county 4-H agent for Conway County and County Extension
Agent Agriculture Community Development Leader in Crawford County before assuming his present position. He has major
responsibility in the Arkansas Youth Poultry Program and helps young people, parents, 4-H leaders and teachers to become
aware of the opportunities in poultry science at the U of A and the integrated poultry industry. He helps compile annual
figures of the states poultry production by counties and serves as the superintendent of poultry at the Arkansas State Fair.
Mr. Wooley is chairman of the 4-H Broiler show and the BBQ activity at the annual Arkansas Poultry Festival.
Address: Cooperative Extension Service, 2301 S. University Ave., P.O. Box 391, Little Rock, AR 72203
Telephone: 501-671-2189, FAX: 501-671-2185, E-mail: jwooley@uaex.edu
Write Extension Specialists,
except Jerry Wooley, at:
Center of Excellence
for Poultry Science
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
by G.T. Tabler,
1
I.L. Berry,
2
and A.M. Mendenhall
1
. . . helping ensure the efficient production of top quality poultry products in Arkansas and beyond.
INSIDE
page 4
Corona Virus Infections
in Turkeys
by F. Dustan Clark
page 6
Animal Welfare Audits:
What to Expect and How
to be Prepared
by Susan Watkins
page 8
Broiler Nutrition, Feed
Intake and Grower
Economics
by G. Tom Tabler and
A.M. Mendenhall
page 11
Coming Events
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Advice
AVIAN
Cooperative Extension Service
ENERGY COSTS continued on page 2
Winter 2003 Volume 5, Number 4
Energy Costs Associated with
Commercial Broiler Production
1
Poultry Science Department and
2
Department
of Biological and Agricultural Engineering,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Introduction
Commercial broiler growers face a number
of challenges associated with producing
profitable broiler flocks. While unable to
control all factors associated with broiler
production, growers can control the key areas
of temperature and ventilation, but maintaining
adequate temperature and ventilation requires
significant monetary expense. Data recently
compiled at the Applied Broiler Research Unit
may be of value in assessing your farms energy
demand and (based on your costs for fuel and
electricity) monetary expense to meet this
demand.
Housing and Management Practices
The information presented represents data
from 38 consecutive flocks of straight run
broiler chickens grown at the Applied Broiler
Research Unit during the period October 1996
through June 2003. All flocks were grown for
the same integrator under a standard broiler
production contract. The houses were all 40 x
400 ft. Two houses (1 and 3) featured
conventional cross-ventilation with low-pres-
sure foggers, while the other two houses were
curtain-sided and tunnel ventilated. One tunnel
ventilated house (4) had evaporative cooling
pads and the other (2) had an experimental
sprinkler system. Detailed descriptions of the
houses, environmental control systems, sprin-
kler system, and housing modifications was
given by Berry et al. (1991), Xin et al. (1993)
and Tabler and Berry (2001). Management
practices were the same in all houses and the
farm manger was the same individual
throughout the study period. Half of the 38
flocks were grown for 49 days or less while the
other half were grown for more than 49 days.
The youngest flock was 39 days at harvest
while the oldest was harvested at 57 days.
Propane Usage
Figure 1 presents propane usage by house
during the seven-year period. As evident by the
graphs and as many growers will remember, the
winter of 2000 was the most costly in terms of
fuel usage followed by the winter of 2001. The
lower fuel consumption in House 3 during the
winters of 1998 and 1999 was due to use of an
experimental wood-burning pellet furnace.
House 4 was the most challenging house to
control from a management standpoint since it
had more ammonia than any other house. This
increased ammonia required increased ventila-
tion to maintain the proper environment
resulting in increased gas consumption during
cooler periods of the year. Although House 4
consumed the most fuel during the seven-year
period, it should be noted that when the 1998
and 1999 data were ignored, tunnel ventilated
houses consumed only 2% more fuel than did
conventional houses. Also, if the ammonia
problem in house 4 could be solved, tunnel
ventilated houses would likely consume less
fuel than conventional houses.
2 AVIAN Advice Winter 2003 Vol. 5, No. 4
ENERGY COSTS continued from page 1
Table 1 lists the maximum, minimum and average fuel
consumption per flock for each of the four houses. House 4 used
the most fuel even during the summer flock when fuel usage was
minimal. This was mainly associated with additional nighttime
ventilation needed for ammonia control. Based on the figures in
Table 1, propane consumption for the farm over the seven-year
period averaged 3,657 gallons per flock. If we assume 5.5 flocks
per year then the four-house farm would have used 20,114
gallons of propane per year or 5,029 gallons per house per year.
If propane costs $1.00 per gallon, it would cost over $20,000 for
a years worth of propane. In view of these costs, growers may
be tempted to reduce temperatures slightly. However, flock
performance, and therefore, grower payment can be seriously
affected if growers attempt to raise birds at temperatures cooler
in the winter. The data in Table 2 illustrate how decreased
temperatures can increase flock mortality.
Electricity Usage
Figure 2 presents electricity usage by house. As every
grower knows, electricity usage was greatest in the summer
months and lowest in the winter months. The summer of 2000
was the most costly in terms of electricity usage followed by the
summer of 2001. However, unlike propane usage, each house
accounted for an equal amount of electricity usage (25%) during
the 7-year period. The increased electrical demand in House 3
during the winters of 1998 and 1999 are again associated with
use of the wood-burning pellet furnace in that house.
Table 3 lists maximum, minimum and average kilowatt
hour (kWh) consumption per flock for each of the four houses.
Even though House 1 showed the highest kWh usage as
compared to the other houses, there was less than 185 kWh
difference between houses and the houses were the same when
Figure 1. Propane usage on the Applied Broiler Research Unit by house
Start House Numbers Farm House
Item Date 1 2 3 4 Total Avg
Propane Usage (Gals) Gals/Flock
Min. 8/98 52 68 47 163 330 83
Max. 11/00 2906 2780 2694 3121 11501 2875
Avg. 910 830 782 1135 3657 914
Table 1. Propane Usage Extremes and Averages
Table 2. The Effect of Brooding Temperature
on Mortality and Ascites
1
Brooding Temperatures (F) Mortality Ascites Mort.
Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 (%) (%)
95 90 85 2.29 0.83
90 85 80 3.12 0.83
85 80 75 1.67 0.62
80 75 70 4.79 2.50
1
From Deaton et al., 1996.
3
AVIAN Advice Winter 2003 Vol. 5, No. 4
compared on a percentage-of-use basis. Electricity usage for the farm over the 7-yr period averaged 12,617 kWh per flock (Table 2).
Based on 5.5 flocks per year the farm would have used 69,394 kWh per year or 17,348 kWh per house per year. If electricity costs
$0.06 cents per kWh, electricity costs would come to $4,164 for the farm or $1041 per house.
Total Energy Costs
Energy costs (fuel and electricity) consume approximately 25% of the annual gross farm income at the Applied Broiler Energy
Unit. Propane and electricity usage for the farm are presented together in Figure 3 and, as expected, indicates that the two consumption
curves are essentially inverse functions of one another, representing the high demand for heating in the winter and cooling in the
summer. However, because fuel costs are much greater than electricity, growers have a much more serious problem dealing with high
fuel bills in the winter than they do the electric bill in the summer.
Figure 2. Electricity usage on the Applied Broiler Research Unit by house
Figure 3. Average propane and electricity usage on the Applied Broiler Research Unit by house
ENERGY COSTS continued on page 4
4 AVIAN Advice Winter 2003 Vol. 5, No. 4
Corona virus is
the causative
agent of infectious
bronchitis in
broilers.
R. Keith Bramwell Extension Reproductive Physiologist
University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture
Corona Virus Infections
in Turkeys
F. Dustan Clark Extension Poultry Health Veterinarian
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science University of Arkansas
In