Poultry Quality Monitoring
Monitoring day old poult quality is an established
practice of companies or individual flock owners who purchase
day old poults from outside sources. All seek sources that
participate in the National Poultry Improvement Plan, a voluntary
monitoring program which originally concentrated on Salmonella
pullorum and Salmonella gallinarum, but also covers Mycoplasmasynoviae,
Mycoplasmagallisepticum, and Mycoplasmameleagridus.
These organisms can be responsible for transovarian disease.
Because of the programs success among buyers and sellers,
genetic potential of various participating breeds has been
enhanced. The Indiana State Poultry Association, in conjunction
with ADDL and the Office of the State Veterinarian, put on
several Blood Testing Schools throughout the state.
In addition to the NPIP standards, individual companies
set goals for weekly livability and compare various hatcheries.
First week mortality can be the result of breeder flock, hatchery,
transportation, grower and management stresses placed upon
the individual bird. For example, egg size, time in hatchery
and transportation time can determine the state of hydration
as the poult arrives on the farm. Consequently, the service
man and grower have been asked to pull a number of the worst
appearing poults for laboratory diagnostic work. Tests include
visual observations of beaks, weights, wing and body feathering,
navels, cloaca, legs, toes, and necks for signs of trauma.
Internal monitoring include air sac cultures for fungi, yolk
and bile cultures for bacteria, as well as serological tests
MS, and MM. There are many times that routine observations
from the laboratory do not correlate to the first week mortality;
however, when early infections are apparent on the day one
observations, corrective action is more easily accomplished.
In some respects, the poult day one monitoring anticipates
possible problems in the future.
-By Tom Bryan, DVM, MS,