What is Biosecurity in Poultry Businesses?
The term biosecurity in poultry refers to the safety of the poultry flocks by following procedures that can prevent the infections of harmful pathogens. Currently, the commercial production operations of poultry make them highly exposed to the diseases and risks that are associated with production on a large scale.
This is because of their concentrated sizes and the location of poultry flocks. Therefore, it is imperative that the producers practice the measures for biosecurity.
The practice and development of these procedures can help reduce the risks of the introduction of infectious diseases such as the Exotic Newcastle and Avian Influenza alongside others.
The Challenges of Biosecurity
Achieving biosecurity has its own challenges.
- One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with the diseases in the livestock is merely the tip of the iceberg. The majority of the disease is actually due to the hidden costs of diseases that infect the stock. The farmers have two choices, they can either produce more birds at the same cost or produce the same number of birds at a decreased cost. If farmers choose the latter, the supply increases which will subsequently decrease the price and the margins. So it is better to produce the poultry at a cost that can ensure their safety and also not disrupt the supply chain.
- Another problem is that traditionally, vaccination and medication played a major part in treating the disease. But due to the resistance of the pathogens, it can always result in an outbreak of diseases. This means that now an all-encompassing holistic approach is needed. Now even the background challenges need to be controlled by having the best management practices, alongside adequate vaccination and medication as they can’t protect the livestock by themselves. So the poultry must be given an environment in which the infections are controlled to the point to achieve all of the medicinal benefits.
The challenges of biosecurity need adequate attention to ensure that there are decreased infections and that the poultry is kept safe from deadly pathogens.
According to research, the cost of biosecurity makes 65% of farmers hesitant to implement technologically advanced solution systems. What these poultry farm owners don’t consider is that the cost to benefit ratio is a solid 1 to 35.
What if I Fail to Implement Adequate Farm Biosecurity?
The poultry business owners need to be aware of the company and specific biosecurity protocols outlined and also work to actively implement those programs. Before the implementation of these biosecurity programs, the company must make sure that the food producers have policies that match yours.
Some examples of a breach in biosecurity lead to disease outbreaks. For instance, the Avian influenza disease was first reported in Nigeria in 2006, and then it continued to re-occur in 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 even after the efforts placed by the federal government to eradicate the disease in the country.
Inadequate biosecurity procedures made the re-occurrence possible. The Biosecurity challenges that currently confront the farmers. According to research the major challenge that contributed to the disease outbreak was the failure to implement the biosecurity rules (22%) as the biggest factor.
Why is Biosecurity Important?
Biosecurity is the practice of protecting farm animals and poultry from disease. It has become a major concern across the world due to the increased threat of the diseases such as the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).
To have effective farm biosecurity will require several elements such as traffic control, sanitation, and isolation. The biosecurity practices will aim to reduce the exposure to pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and other micro-organisms that may be harmful to the poultry.
Poultry farmers should always maintain a heightened sense of awareness of any unusual activities of the animal diseases in their poultry farms and communities. The producers must implement adequate levels of biosecurity on their farms.
The importance of farm biosecurity is that a biosecurity program can help the farm to lower the infection risks of pathogens that can be transferred from farm to farm. The livestock producers informed veterinarians, and the animal owners are the first line of defense against any foreign and other animal diseases.
This is why biosecurity is practiced by all poultry producers whether they are aware or unaware. Biosecurity is important as it can lead to:
Exotic Diseases in Livestock
The exotic disease has incurred in countries such as the Australian livestock. The sheep and cattle industries. But the horse, poultry, and pigeons faced similar disease incursions. The outbreak of such exotic diseases serves as a reminder of how vulnerable the livestock industry is to disease incursions.
Perhaps the most dangerous threat for public health and poultry businesses in the foot and mouth disease. The FMD must be prevented from entering the farms by implementing biosecurity.
Risks Posed by FMD
Some of the early recognition and reporting of FMD have a big influence on the time to eradicate the disease. Any such detection must immediately be dealt with. The confinement of such dangerous diseases is essential rather than allowing it to become a larger outbreak that may cost the poultry business around $46billion.
To assess the effect of such outbreaks, the livestock prices will decrease by 80%. In contrast, if the disease is detected earlier and catered to, the prices would drop by 15% and eventually return to the same price within three to four years.
Various Endemic Diseases
Adequate on-farm biosecurity will achieve several things such as keeping out the endemic diseases, where almost all of them have serious economic implications. The practices of biosecurity will minimize the incursion of diseases and infections in the poultry livestock.
It also helps control the spread quickly and reduces any need for increased effort after the super spreading. The best way to keep the livestock safe is to check on them every day and provide them with a good environment.
Some Significant Signs that your Poultry is Sick
There are some real-time factors that help you identify that the poultry birds are sick. There is also difficulty in diagnosing the diseases properly. So as a stakeholder, you should have the means to monitor your livestock. You can register important factors such as the feed intake, the water intake, the daily production, and the mortality rates. Some general symptoms that the poultry farms should look out for when inspecting the poultry would be:
- A lack of appetite.
- Lack of energy in the birds.
- Coughing or gasping for air.
- An increase in bird deaths.
- Swollen head and neck, with infected eyes.
- Unbalanced movements when moving.
- Twisting of the neck and head.
- A drop in the production of eggs.
- Watery manure or diarrhea.
- Sneezing of the birds with nasal discharge.
- An increase in misshapen or soft-shelled eggs.
If the business notes these symptoms. The poultry veterinarian must be contacted immediately. The sick birds need to be isolated if the number is less to prevent the spread of diseases.
Farm biosecurity is important so that the poultry can be kept safe and healthy. Having a biosecurity program will have a positive impact on the health of your flock. Adequate measures can be taken to promote biosecurity at the farm.
Some practices can be regular and careful cleaning, bringing no diseases into the farm, and limiting the contact from ay visitors. Such small steps will also improve the biosecurity in the poultry farm.
How Can a Software Solution Help Increase Biosecurity?
The software solutions in the market can help increase the Biosecurity of the companies by:
- Maintaining the daily health of the poultry. When the details of the livestock will be fed into the Agtech system, the algorithms in place will ensure that the health of the poultry falls within a safe range. Otherwise, the user can be notified of some problems that are faced by the animals and possibly help in detecting diseases early on.
- The tasks and processes can all be managed without any problem. It will help keep track of the vaccinations, and product batches and provide accounting for the data to ensure that the poultry information can be managed easily.
- All practices can be defined in the software to help keep track of the practices for the new employees so that they can follow all the necessary practices.
The benefits of software solutions are many and they can even help in increasing the biosecurity in poultry farm making it better for business.
What are the Benefits of Having Biosecurity in Poultry Farm?
There are several benefits of having biosecurity practices, policies, and software on poultry farms. These benefits are:
- The prevention of diseases. The prevention of diseases is cheap if compared to the treatment. The economic models suggest that the cost of implementing biosecurity systems is quite small when they are being compared with the financial profit that can be made from the production later on. Having a good biosecurity system will keep your poultry safe and help supply the products without any disruption.
- Keep your poultry healthy. The poultry will be healthy and will be providing the best quality of meat and by-products. This means your livestock will be healthier and safe with adequate protection.
- Even if there is an outbreak of any disease the biosecurity in poultry farm will help reduce the rate of infection and its spread if the poultry farm has a good biosecurity system in place. This means if there is a threat of infections, following the best practices can actively decrease the risks of infection for the poultry animals keeping them safe.
- The mortality losses are also curbed if poultry farm biosecurity is followed. These can help increase the life expectancy of the animals and provide the best product from your farms for longer periods of time.
- The overall profitability of the poultry business can be increased. This is because a better quality product leaves your farm, the product has consistent quality and can also help in increasing the demand for the poultry products that are out leaving the poultry farm.
Biosecurity can be improved and proves to be quite cost-effective, flexible, and practical. The greater the input in biosecurity, the greater the return.
Biosecurity will help in the prevention of the entry of pathogens into the poultry premises, the reduction of microbial contamination in the surrounding area can be decreased, and the elimination of pathogens on the premises can be achieved by biosecurity.
How Can Folio3 Agtech Solutions help you Achieve Biosecurity?
Folio3 has been providing software solutions to businesses around the globe for over 15+ years. We provide services to Fortune500 businesses, industries, and medium businesses and startups.
We provide services in multiple domains such as e-commerce, Agtech, application development, and solutions based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Folio3 can help achieve the management risks of biosecurity by providing ERP software to make sure that there is complete transparency and safety of the poultry livestock.
It is difficult to manage multiple tasks for the multiple batches of poultry. So workers sometimes miss performing the tasks on time, and communication barriers cause operational inefficiencies.
The organizations that are making use of paper-based checklists and forms for their operations have inefficiencies. This delays the detection of outbreaks which leads to a very disturbing chain of events.
To have immediate action in case of outbreaks, a real-time solution is needed. This can be achieved from Agtech solutions provided by Folio3.
Our solution can automate the management of tasks and digitize the workflows and forms to ensure that these are accessible as per the user roles and can be accessed from smart devices all the time.
The solution helps in task management for biosecurity in poultry farm by communicating in real-time, providing visibility on task completion and performance, and validating and locating the tasks. It can also provide auto-assignment for any missed tasks which means that dreadful scenarios such as skipping medication can never occur.
The manual processes on the farm require a long time to update and incorporate the changes. When the paper-based forms are deployed around the organization and in multiple locations results in a delay in implementation.
The current farms get their work done completely manually. They depend on humans to assign tasks on paper, perform physical checks and reviews, and resolve issues in person.
This increases the chances for human error while also decreasing the likelihood of following the proper SOP. Farms today need to reduce human effort and get the work done with great accuracy and in an efficient manner.
Agtech solutions can help enable quick deployment for biosecurity with minimum time and effort. The software can be used to update digital forms instantly, workflow updates in real-time, quality and compliance and identify the protocols that have room for improvement.
Meet the Quality Standards kept by Regulators
The traditional poultry farms face a time lag. This lag is between the identification of the deviation in food quality. The regulators such as FDA and USDA have to make sure that your farm follows the legislation and is compliant with the laws in place to protect the public.
As of yet, the paper checklists for compliance checks have a high chance of error and compliance gaps which result in potential recalls. The need is to have quick reporting so that one can identify the quality deviations instantly so that the corrective actions can be applied as soon as possible.
The digital solution of Folio3 can speed up the complete compliance and process for quality control by providing digitized forms that can automate the incident reporting by making use of benchmarks in order to minimize recalls.
These can be used in quality control checklists, digital compliances, workflow automation, and for applying corrective actions. These can also verify the completion of checklists, and compare the performance with the industry benchmarks.
Help in Audits and Certifications
The audits and certifications of poultry farms are performed by regulators or the organization to make sure that the food is safe for public consumption.
The process of auditing a farm is quite time-consuming, cumbersome, and resource-intensive as the auditors must sift through heaps of documents to look for the information and then compile them for audit.
At times, documents get lost or damaged and this becomes troublesome as auditors don’t approve the certifications due to insufficient evidence. The paper-based processes are becoming a waste of space and companies look for alternates to ensure complete auditing.
Organizations need to access the relevant documents quickly and easily so that time is not lost when preparing for the audit. Our solution can digitize the data and manage it in a central location so that the data is easy to track and access instantly.
The different use cases are digitizing the records, automated data collection, and the tracking of livestock health with industry standards.
Ensure Food Safety and Animal Welfare
The current manual workflows in the farms prevent the farm managers to have complete visibility over the process. This also includes the food safety compliance process, without which it becomes challenging to take corrective action before it is too late.
Different teams in carious silos are working with a communication barrier. Farms use paper-based checklists to track animal health. But to drive a new wave of food safety via biosecurity, the process must be digitized.
Our Agtech solution can manage and track the health of your poultry and even detect diseases before they become an outbreak.
The solution can create digital dashboards for usability, make the safety checklist compliant with standards, and digitize workflows so the management can have control and visibility to check the adherence to safety standards and ensure all workers are well informed about the food safety standards.
Make Food Recalls Discreet
When there is a sudden outbreak of disease or any other problem, finding accurate data quickly in need of an event is a big problem. The risks of human error in manual data entry can result in incomplete recalling. The manual processes cannot reduce the recalls or help the traceability of data.
This is because there are barriers in the data that reduce credibility, transparency, and accuracy. With our solution, you can trace the meat and manage the recalls effectively to prevent the spread of any diseases.
This can also help take instant corrective action. The different uses are producing digitized reports that increase traceability and can also instantly identify the impacted lots to make recalls discreet and efficient.
Making use of Automation to Decrease Workload
The automation needs to be used to analyze the performance of the farm and to make sure that any disease threats are discovered well before time. When paperbacked data is spread across multiple files, it is difficult to uncover trends causing the expiration of the data.
Due to paper-backed systems, analysis is limited and biosecurity operations hinder as there is barely any identification to improve the performance of the operations.
Record multiple fields of data in a standardized manner that is easily retrievable and can allow for prompt decision-making. Our solution can provide automated advanced analytics that can give action to insights that can help in decision-making so that the farm is always proactive.
Some different use cases are making use of digital dashboards that can display the critical features which can analyze the performance without increasing labor load, tracking the efficiency and pasture status, tracking breeding, and comparing the performances across the units.
The benefits provided by Folio3 Agtech solutions revolutionize the biosecurity of the poultry farm and also provide additional benefits of an ERP system. Folio3 can customize your solutions as per your needs so that your own organizational standards are also met.
You can make use of software solutions to help achieve your biosecurity goals and needs. It is important to have a plan that can ensure that your poultry is safe for public consumption. It is preferable to have digitzed software solutions to have the best and safest poultry farm.