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Time to Clean

03 June 2013
Hugh Crane

UK - Industry developments and pressure from the supply chain are turning the spotlight on more efficient cleaning of units as a way to increase performance while reducing antibiotics use.

To control disease and maintain production, the industry has to explore and adopt alternative ways to reduce the pathogen risk to birds.

Better hygiene practices, based on more efficient cleaning of housing and equipment combined with strict bio security is an obvious starting point. It is entirely logical to get buildings as clean as possible before repopulating them to reduce the disease threat before the new birds arrive. New stock are under stress brought about by a combination of factors including transport, handling, vaccination and being exposed to new disease threats. The more that can be done to reduce disease threats, the better. According to Chris Roll, Chemical Sales Manager with hygiene experts Hugh Crane (Cleaning Equipment) Ltd. There is real scope to improve the effectiveness of cleaning of all types of poultry housing but the starting point is a change of mindset.

The usual routine is to pressure wash the building and all equipment with cold water before applying disinfectant using a knapsack sprayer. While this approach appears to be reasonably effective, the slats in particular are never really clean and it is hard to remove all the soiling. This process takes around two weeks for one person to clean and disinfect each building. However after mucking out and washing the whole building down with cold water to remove as much muck as possible Deosan Enduro HD, a foam gel cleaner was applied to all surfaces. The gel was applied using a specialist foaming applicator fitted to a high water volume Commando pressure washer hired from Hugh Crane (Cleaning Equipment) Ltd from Acle in Norfolk. The high quality foam which adhered to the walls and surfaces was applied at low pressure before being rinsed off 20 minutes later.

“The beauty of the foam is that because it sticks to surfaces so you can see exactly where you have been which means you can ensure all surfaces are thoroughly covered.” The slats used to be pressured washed on all four surfaces which was neither time-efficient nor very effective. This time, the slats were soaked in a large dip tank containing Deosan Spectak-G for two hours before being rinsed.

"To ensure an effective clean the solution was topped up regularly so it stayed at the target concentration. Not only did the slats come up much cleaner but the cleaners were able to get on with other jobs while they were soaking which speeded up the whole operation.

"Once the shed had been put back together and all surfaces and equipment were dry, it was then disinfected with Deosan Zal Perax, a peracetic acid disinfectant with proven efficacy against a broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria and a foaming action for visibility.

"The combination of chemicals and the correct application equipment have had a huge impact,” Chris continues. "The time taken to clean the building has been halved with the biggest time saving being on dipping the slats.

“Effective cleaning will help prevent the economic loss associated with outbreaks and is considerably cheaper than the cost of treating an outbreak with medicines. Using chemical detergents ensures that soiling is removed before disinfectation resulting in a reduction in bacterial levels prior to restocking, giving the new birds the best possible start.” With rising feed costs and the drive to reduce antibiotic use, it is vital to maximise bird productivity and minimize the consequences of disease.

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