The challenge

Water sampled from the well, which is the starting point of the drinking water system for the broilers, appeared to be pathogen-free. However in the drinking water system itself the presence of a biofilm was discovered. Biofilms are sessile communities of microorganisms, surrounded by a matrix of self-produced extracellular polymeric substances. Microorganisms present in the biofilm are farm specific, but in many cases Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Pseudomonas geniculate and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are identified. Also Campylobacter spp., E. coli, Salmonella spp., etc. are biofilm-forming organisms that are often found in bovine drinking water systems.

The drinking water system of broilers is an ideal environment for the formation of a biofilm due to a couple of reasons: slow water flow, high ambient temperatures and the carrier substances of medicines and additives such as vitamins that are administered via the water. These can serve as a source of nutrients for the microorganisms. Besides the health risk of the pathogens present in the biofilm, medicine particles can be captured in the matrix of the biofilm as well. This can lead to underdosing the animals posing a risk for their health and there above resistant strains can develop. Also, the taste and the smell can be influenced negatively.

Our solution

The farmer switched from dosing chlorine to Huwa-San TR-50. Before the start of the new cycle, when the buildings were empty, a terminal disinfection of the water system was completed. The quality of the drinking water system was maintained using a lower dosage of Huwa-San TR-50. The biofilm in the lines of the drinking water system was monitored, also the starting water and water of the drinking system itself was sampled. A stable residual could be maintained which indicates a clean system.

Age: 15 days
Age: 43 days

Water intake was monitored by the farmer and he could see an increase in water intake from moving to Huwa-San TR-50. The water intake is an important parameter as it gives an indication of the health of the broilers, sick broilers drink less than healthy broilers. Besides the farmer mentioned the litter was very dry considering the increase in water intake. Further, mortality and overall health of the broilers was monitored by the farmer as well and showed promising results.

Used products

Huwa-San TR-50 is a registered biocide. Use biocides safely. Before use, read the label and product information.

Biofilm prevention at Vale farm

Vale Farm is a free-range egg producer based just outside of Winchester, UK, who supply many of the local pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes with free-range eggs. They recently had a deeper look at the water quality of their chickens' drinking water.