When establishing a poultry farm, it is important to incorporate an all-in all-out system in order to prevent a disease build-up as well as the build-up of the disease-causing organisms. If you are planning to simultaneously keep poultry flocks of varied ages, then these should be housed separately. You can build a big house with partitions for the various poultry breeds. In order to reduce contamination or spread of diseases, ensure the flock house is constructed in an isolated area. Fence it off to keep away visitors and stray animals that might come into contact with the poultry. The house doors should be locked and the wire mesh that is used in both the poultry house as well as the chicken range or run must small enough to keep away other chickens and small animals such as cats and rodents from entering the flock area.
Only the essential staff should be permitted to enter the flock area. Whenever visitors are allowed into the flock area where your chickens are housed, the visits must be well documented including names, time, purpose of visit etc. The poultry farmers who are accessing the flock area should always wear clean and disinfected clothing as well as footwear. When you are planning visits for birds of various ages, start with youngest birds or chicks and then move to the oldest ones last.
Measures should be taken in order to ensure efficient control of rodents, pests and insects into the poultry house. These are some of the leading vectors for many poultry diseases. Measures can be chemical, mechanical or even biological. When introducing materials or equipment into the poultry house, ensure that these are well cleaned and disinfected. Without proper cleaning measures, these could be some of the carriers of diseases and infections which are completely avoidable.
Once you have depleted the previous flock, carry out thorough cleaning, disinfection and fumigation of the poultry house. This should be done at least two weeks before the arrival of the new flock. This two week time period which elapses will prevent the buildup of disease-causing organisms while allowing adequate preparation of the house for the next batch of chicks or flocks.
Once you have removed the old chickens from the house, remove all equipment from the house. Remove all litter and ensure these are disposed of at least 1.5km from the chicken house. Disposing the litter near the chicken house may re-contaminate the house after you have spent so much time, cleaning, disinfecting and fumigating.
Dispose of all unused feeds in the feeders. These should not be fed to the next flock in order to minimize the transmission of diseases to the next flock. Wash the entire house with soap and water including the roof, walls and the floor. Before you spray the house with a disinfectant solution, allow it to dry thoroughly. Wash and disinfect all the poultry equipment which you have taken from the house. This is also the time for you to carry out repairs and maintenance of the chicken house and poultry equipment used in the house.
After the house has dried out, add a fresh 4-inch layer if litter. Put all the clean equipment back into the house. Prepare the brooding area at least 24 hours before you introduce the chicks.