“When it comes to using poultry products, it is important that producers follow all instructions,” said Jeff Smith, sales and marketing representative with Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Mo. “If proper care and instructions are not followed, the results could be deadly for the animals.”

Bio-security and sanitation
“Bio-security is a big part of the industry today,” said Blake Henson, representative with ClearView Enterprises. The goal is to limit potential bacterial and viral threats to the farm. “We recommend using barn soap for cleaning (Green Clean) and then a proven disinfectant (Virocid),” he added.

Egg incubators
Smith suggested that producers only use incubators with electric controls, no wafer and they must have air circulation capabilities to regulate humidity and temperature.

During spring, you can often find a good deal on chicken housing. While these products may seem affordable and convenient, Smith warned that the following needs to be considered before purchasing.
• Provide 4 square feet per bird if possible.
• Tractor coops are a new concept, but are designed to move for fresh grazing and the opportunity to provide clean and sanitary ground.
• The new small house designs on the market are not always as practical as they may seem. They are usually made of painted pine; it is best that any housing be made of galvanized metal, treated lumber or composite lumber (the wood with plastic layers).
• These units should not be too top heavy, if they are the wind could blow them over.
• Check with your city ordinances to understand regulations you will need to follow.

Insecticides are needed to control darkling beetles and flies. “The biggest thing to remember with insecticides is to rotate between different chemical classes of insecticides. There are also some generic products available which provides a more economical option.”

Nutritional supplements
There are numerous nutritional items on the market today. “We usually recommend a vitamin pack such as High Performance Poultry Pack, which provides fat-soluble and B complex vitamins,” Henson said. “We also promote a chelated mineral product called Min-ePlex. There are many vitamin and mineral products available, and we try to help the producer find what will meet the needs of their flocks.”

“Deworming should be done at least one time per year,” Smith said. “For large producers it should be included in their feed after two months of age. Free-range chickens also need deworming since they have exposure to worms in an uncontrolled environment.”
Henson added, “There have been some new products developed/labeled on the insecticide market, but they still must be applied correctly and used in rotation with other products on the market.”


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