Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Healthy tips for raising antibiotic free broilers (ABF).
An Indiana-based producer with more than 15 years’ experience raising broilers without antibiotics — offers these tips for ensuring a strong, healthy and efficient bird: Muller poultry has been raising broilers without antibiotics (ABF) and these are their tips. 1) Start with healthy stock that have been proven over the years.Miller Poultry now exclusively raises Aviagen Ross 708. While the line has a reputation for being a “big-bird breed” that requires more nutrients than other lines, they seem to have fewer leg problems — a common trouble spot in ABF production — and a higher yield at processing, according to live operations director Stephen Shepard. 2) Understand that gut health is the key to success in production. Birds with healthy guts absorbs food properly,grow fast and are disease free. Coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis (NE) are their biggest health challenges. To help prevent coccidiosis — a prerequisite for managing NE — Miller Poultry leans on vaccines all year long for its organic birds. 3) lightening techniques,the first 7 days in the life of birds are critical and hence great care must be taken to ensure growth and stability. The lightening procedure of lights on to ensure birds can see at night for feed can be manipulated for better effects. The use of LED lights have been shown to boost growth and hence productivity. see Miller Poultry is experimenting with LED tube lights along the water and feed lines, making the inside of a dimly lighted broiler house look like an airport runway at night. The lighting, Shepard says, attracts the birds and ensures good feed and water intake. 4) Rotate medication ,feed and vaccines. Miller Poultry was a big user of a recombinant vaccine for Marek’s disease and infectious bursal disease (IBD). In recent years, however, they’ve been rotating in traditional live IBD vaccines to get better protection against shedding — a known shortcoming with continuous use of recombinants. Maintaining healthy bursas is important in any production system, it is especially critical for ABF operations to help optimize immunity. 5) Vaccinating year-round for Escherichia coli is a common practice in the industry for broiler-breeders and layers.E. coli typically emerges in broilers as a secondary infection to infectious bronchitis virus or reovirus, and can lead to high numbers of condemnations in the processing plant when birds are harvested . Miller poultry administers the E. coli vaccine at day 1 via hatchery spray, sometimes in combination with a coccidiosis vaccine.