Sunday, 23 December 2012

Water quality at poultry farms

Keep Poultry farms healthy with clean chlorinated water

Water is utmost important for poultry farming; survival time of poultry is limited in its absence. Birds can survive for longer periods without any other nutrient than they can survive without water.

Birds generally drink approximately twice as much water as the amount of feed consumed on a weight basis.

Although the importance of providing a sufficient amount of water or adequate access to it is well accepted, the importance of water quality on performance is often overlooked. Water quality attributes can have a direct or indirect effect on performance. High levels of bacterial contaminants, minerals, or other pollutants in drinking water can have detrimental effects on normal physiological properties resulting in inferior performance.

Water quality can be evaluated by a number of criteria. It can be difficult, however, to describe good quality drinking water for poultry because many of the standards have been derived from recommendations for other species of animals or from human standards. Submitting a water sample annually for analysis should be an important part of good water management.

Drinking water should be clear, tasteless, odourless, and colourless. As a general observation, a reddish-brown colour may indicate the presence of iron, while a blue colour indicates the presence of copper. Hydrogen sulfide is indicated by a rotten egg odor. Hydrogen sulfide may also combine with iron to form black water (iron sulfide) that may also implicate the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria. Taste can be affected by the presence of salts, and a bitter taste is usually associated with the presence of ferrous and manganese sulfates.

The presence of microorganisms is typically a result of surface contamination by organic materials and can result in poor performance. The presence of coliform bacteria is generally related to fecal contamination of drinking water due to runoff to surface or ground waters. Chlorination or filtration of the water supply can eliminate bacterial contaminants.

The acidity or alkalinity of water is measured by pH. Low pH water can be unpalatable, corrosive to equipment, and may have a negative impact on performance. High pH water is also unacceptable since it reflects high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can clog watering systems. Poultry accepts water on the acid side better than it accepts water on the alkaline side.

Turbidity results from the suspension of materials such as silt, clay, algae or organic materials in water. Levels of turbidity above five ppm result in unpalatable water and indicate surface contamination.

Measurement of total dissolved solids (TDS), or salinity, indicates levels of inorganic ions dissolved in water. Calcium, magnesium, and sodium salts are the primary components that contribute to TDS. High levels of TDS are the most commonly found contaminants responsible for causing harmful effects in poultry production.

Various methods are available that can reduce or eliminate the impurities that adversely affect water quality. Chlorination is the most common method used to treat water for bacterial contamination and effectively eliminate bacteria from the water supply. Chlorine can be administered through an in-line proportioner. General recommendations are to have a level of two to three ppm at the drinker farthest from the proportioner. Chlorine levels can be easily monitored using a pool test kit. The following points should be kept in mind during chlorination method of water treatment.

Do not chlorinate market age birds under extreme heat stress. Measure residual chlorine at the waterer to maintain at least a 1.0 ppm level at the drinker mid-house.

Discontinue chlorination and administer powdered milk solution before vaccination to neutralise chlorine since chlorine kills vaccines. Use caution since chlorine solutions are acidic and often oxidize soft rubber.

By Dr Sayed Irfanullah

From the source -\06\29\story_29-6-2012_pg7_27

For the more information about water chlorination,