The basics of biosecurity in layer farms

4/03/2022 | Animal, Human, Press releases

From disinfection of the vehicle entering the site to vaccination and rodent and fungus control, follow these four steps to ensure biosecurity on your farm.


  • Reduce exposure to avian diseases and pathogens within the flock.
  • Reduce the transmission of diseases and pathogens between farms and nearby houses.
  • Reduce the transmission of zoonotic diseases: transmissible infectious diseases from animals to humans or from humans to animals.


The key factors of biosecurity should be checked, namely :

  • Site Segregation: create, verify and maintain barriers to prevent a possible entry of animals or materials contaminated on site.
  • Vaccination and prophylaxis. This must be discussed with a local veterinarian and possibly the vaccine suppliers.
  • Control of rodents and undesirables: installation and regular verification of traps.
  • Clean and disinfect. The purpose of cleaning and disinfecting all equipment, surfaces and supplies is to reduce sanitary pressure from viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.


All outside equipment, such as shoes, clothes and telephones must be kept outside the farm.

  • Recording of visits in a register, for traceability.
  • Shower and hand disinfection. Complete change of clothes, underwear and shoes. Clothing that is “internal” to the farm must always remain inside it.
  • Disinfection of all vehicles entering the site, including the owner !

Poorly cleaned building detrimental to the livestock.


Poultry are affected by a multitude of diseases due to many agents. Some diseases can be controlled by vaccines. However, it is important to have a carefully designed vaccination programme. Vaccine failures are more often due to handling, transport, storage and misapplication of the vaccine than to the vaccine itself.

Vaccine management is sometimes complex because the sanitary pressure is high. There is a wide range of diseases. There are many types of live and inactivated vaccines, the way of application can be incorrect… It is crucial to have an effective vaccination programme for each farm. This means having the right vaccines, at the right time and administered properly. Vaccination plans must obviously be matched to the strains of pathogen present. Poor post-vaccination management can sometimes lead to respiratory diseases, coccidiosis…

Batch monitoring involves regular serological testing throughout the life of the flock. This is reflected in two ways :

  • Health surveillance involves antibody testing and cause-of-mortality analysis, especially when abnormal signs are observed.
  • When a flock is culled, it is important to review the health problems encountered during the batch as a basis for the overall review of the health programme for the next flock.

    Infected feed is detrimental to poultry health..

    STEP 3

    Rodent and pest control. It is important to have an effective and regular control programme.

    • Rats, mice, flies, darkling beetles and others are easy to see and catch.
    • Rodents are a major natural reservoir and transmitter of many diseases.
    • However, red lice, bacteria and viruses are difficult to see and capture.
    • Insects are vector of diseases (Mg and Ms for example) like lice, beetles, ants, cockroaches, flies, …

    STEP 4

    Clean and disinfect. The purpose of cleaning and disinfecting all equipment, surfaces and supplies is to reduce pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Effective cleaning and sanitation procedures must be performed and verified.

    A poultry house must always be cleaned and disinfected between 2 flocks.


    The economic benefit of biosecurity is the reduction of disease and health challenges. It allows producer to save money by not having to administer a drug and by avoiding drop of production, birds mortality….
    Biosecurity at the highest level guarantees the health of the birds and allows obtaining the best performance at the lowest cost.

    Article published in the November-December 2021 issue – Africa Agriculture

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