Drinking Water a risk factor to the poultry industry

January 11, 2013

Dr. Faqir Muhmmad, Dr. Muhammad Irfan Anwar, Dr. Ahmad Raza

Water and its importance

Water and its importance
Water and its importance

Water is the most abundant and widely distributed chemical compound in the world. In the natural state, water is one of the purest compounds known nevertheless it is currently difficult to find a freshwater source that has not been altered by man.

In the poultry industry, the use of water with adequate physical, chemical and microbiological quality it is of fundamental importance. Since many birds have access to the same water source, quality problems will affect a great number of animals. The drinking water plays an important role in the transmission of some bacterial, viral and protozoan diseases that are among the most common poultry diseases. Important factors to prevent waterborne diseases in broiler production are the protection of supply sources, water disinfection and the quality control of microbiological, chemical and physical characteristics. Water is an essential nutrient for birds and therefore quality preservation is fundamental for good herd performance.

Poultry diseases transmitted through water


Bacterial Diseases

 Viral Diseases

Protozoan Diseases

1) Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)

2) Colibacillosis

3) Fowl Cholera

4) Fowl Typhoid

1) Newcastle Disease

2) Infectious bronchitis

3) Marek.s disease

4) Avian encephalomyelitis

5) Gumboro disease


1)    Histomoniasis

2)    Coccidiosis


Microbiological control of drinking water for poultry birds

Regularly check the PH of the water and TDS using digital meters and also check for the microbial control. The control of the microbiological quality of the water used in the poultry industry is of fundamental importance. The knowledge of water microbiological characteristics is therefore necessary. It is considered that the number of microorganisms in the drinking water of birds should be 100 CFU/mL for total bacteria and 50 CFU/mL for coliforms. The mean levels of Escherichia coli in the water of a broiler farm that used bell-type drinkers were 104 microorganisms/mL in the first week of life a concerning finding since this is a high fecal contamination associated to young age of the birds.

Sampling of water for microbial analysis

The water samples can be collected from the poultry farm with the help of a sterile syringe of 10 to 50 ml, remove the cap of the syringe and insert it in fresh drinking water of poultry and collect the sample. Send this sample to the laboratory for analysis

Bacterial analysis of drinking water of poultry farm

Diverse microorganisms may be present in the water. In the laboratory the water sample aseptically collected, checked for the presence of microorganisms using nutrient broth and after showing turbidity in broth the bacteria grown on the agar and classify on the basis of colony characteristic and staining.



Water treatment

Firstly maintain the PH of the water and us filter plant to control the level of total dissolved salts. Water disinfection is the usual water treatment used in bird rearing. The aim is to eliminate pathogens that might be in the water, both those originated from contamination of the water source and those incorporated in the way between the water source and the drinkers. A second objective is to leave residual levels of chlorine in the water in order to eliminate pathogens that might be added to it if infected birds have access to water in the drinkers. The use of water with controlled microbiological quality as drinking water for birds is of fundamental importance.

Adequate chlorine dosage in drinking water for birds is 3 ppm, although birds may tolerate residual chlorine concentrations of more than 10 ppm. Concentrations of 5 ppm are indicated to control biofilm formation. The presence of organic material rapidly inactivates chlorine; therefore, drinkers should be cleaned daily to avoid accumulation of organic material. Water pH should be lower than 8.5, and optimal pH values are from 6.0 to 8.0. Chlorination should be suspended two days before any vaccination with live bacteria and virus via drinking water. Supply of chlorinated water may be resumed 4 hours after vaccination is completed. Residual chlorine concentrations between 2 and 5 ppm has resulted in no performance impairment and has been suggested as the levels to be added in the water supplied to broilers and laying hens. The microbiological quality of water given to broilers improved at 2 ppm of residual chlorine

Copyright:  Zaraimedia.com

Dr. Faqir Muhmmad, Dr. Muhammad Irfan Anwar, Dr. Ahmad Raza

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