NCAT NCAT ATTRA ATTRA
Find Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Pinterst Visit the ATTRA Youtube Channel

What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Master Publication List

Education

Energy Alternatives

Beginning Farmer

Field Crops

Horticultural Crops

Livestock & Pasture

Local Food Systems

Marketing, Business & Risk Management

Organic Farming

Pest Management

Soils & Compost

Water Management

Other Resources

Home Page


Contribute to NCAT

Newsletters

Newsletter sign up button

· Privacy Policy · Newsletter Archives


RSS Icon XML Feeds

RSS 2.0: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunties Atom: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunties

 

NCAT strives to make our information available to everyone who needs it. If you are a limited-access or low-income farmer and find that one of our publications is just not in your budget, please call 800-346-9140.

 

How are we doing?
Home  > Livestock and Pasture > Poultry > Health and Welfare

Poultry Health and Welfare



Large chicken
Photo by Linda Coffey

Preventative practices are used for natural poultry health management. Reducing stress will help the bird's immune system and includes good management, adequate spacing, proper temperature, ventilation and litter conditions, good nutrition, and clean water for the birds. Vaccines help prevent infectious diseases, and biosecurity measures also help prevent the introduction of diseases and include procedures used to contain or prevent spread when diseases occur. In organic production, no drugs, antibiotics, growth promotants, or synthetic parasiticides are permitted. Maintaining a healthy gastro-intestinal (GI) system is a vital component of drug-free production. Natural intervention involves strategies such as the use of prebiotics, probiotics, and competitive exclusion to alleviate GI problems. Sanitation between flocks is particularly important and a downtime of 2-3 weeks will help control pathogens that need a host to survive. The house and equipment, including water lines, feeders, nestboxes, and roosts, should be cleaned and sanitized.

Interest in programs to ensure animal welfare is growing. The large-scale poultry industry participates in welfare programs that ensure a minimal level of well-being for the birds. There are also programs that promote a high level of welfare. Small growers usually provide outdoor access for welfare reasons.

Related publications

 

Back to top

This page was last updated on: January 26, 2015