By Matt Donald, pig & poultry farmer, north Yorkshire
There are currently so many challenges we as poultry farmers are facing right now, with escalating feed costs, labour shortages, challenging markets, rapidly increasing building costs, let alone a government that seems less willing to support British farming than ever before. As a pig farmer also, Boris Johnson’s comments in recent TV interviews when asked about the butchering crisis were both offensive and disrespectful, especially given that agriculture worked through the pandemic, with nobody taking furlough in order to keep stocking the shelves. I would have liked him to show a little more gratitude.
Despite all of these distractions, we must remain focussed and at the moment we have to remember how important biosecurity is in poultry farming, October is the month where you take a close look at all of your protocols, see if anything can be improved and have a little reminder to all members of staff about AI being on its way back into this country via migratory birds.
We are all well aware of the impact an outbreak can have, both on farm and the wider industry. Hearing of any local outbreak always brings worry to the front of your mind, but if you know you are doing everything you can to prevent infection, you’ll still sleep at night.
We have now had an automatic disinfectant gate fitted, supplied by Wheelwash, which does a great job of soaking wagons wheels and undercarriages, using an automatic system and Dosatron. Before the automated process when it was a hosepipe, unfortunately some delivery vehicles (those who aren’t regular firms on the farm) used to be unable to read any signs, open closed gates and drive onto the farm without disinfecting.
Foot baths outside the sheds are changed more regularly this time of year, a little extra cost on disinfectant, signage or extra wellies for drivers is nothing if it keeps your business safe from disease.