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Value Add Investment Grants reminder
Rethink layer health programs with move to cage-free
ACCORDING to doctor of veterinary medicine Jean Sander, the poultry industry’s gradual switch to cage-free egg produc- tion has underscored the need to rethink disease-control pro- grams, and address health and welfare challenges unique to layers in these produc- tion systems.
“So, you have a lot of disease problems you didn’t see in cage sys- tems.”
netics of the bird is very helpful in find- ing birds that are more conducive to open pop- ulations than others,” Dr Sander said.
With more than 200 US retailers pledging to sell only eggs produced in cage-free systems by 2025, producers are ea- ger to make the switch to fill this growing de- mand.
It is less of a threat when layers are reared in cages, but once birds are sharing floor space with other hens, coc- cidiosis pressure is markedly increased.
“Understanding the nature of the bird is very important – hens, if given an option, are going to lay in an area that is nest-like.”
However, cage-free production gives rise to health problems not commonly seen in con- ventionally raised lay- ers.
If left unchecked, coccidiosis can be “very deadly” to layers and it also invites more problems with necrotic enteritis.
“When there is a lot of litter and faecal ma- terial on the ground that’s dry and nice and soft, and they can get in there and make a nest, you end up with a lot of floor eggs.
While many produc- ers have learned of them through trial and error, it is best to be proactive to ensure the health, welfare and per- formance of the birds.
In many cases, how- ever, producers have found it necessary to use what broiler pro- ducers call a bioshut- tle program – starting birds on a vaccine and then supplementing protection with an an- ticoccidial.
“To address the prob- lem, producers need to train young layers to lay eggs in the right place, something that requires more attention to detail.
“Any time you put a bird in close contact with their waste ma- terial – the faeces – anything that passes through the gut has a higher likelihood of causing disease prob- lems in the bird,” Dr Sander said.
Intestinal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms also tend to be more com- mon in cage-free sys- tems.
“So, it requires a lot more labour, making sure you’re out there often and getting all those eggs up that are on the floor.
“And when they’re on the floor in an aviary system, they are in di- rect contact with their faeces.
In addition, behavio- ral problems inherent with cage-free – feather pecking, cannibalism and hysteria – can com- promise flock health and welfare.
“Because if you don’t do that, you’re going to end up having a chronic problem over the life of that flock,” Dr Sander said.
Coccidiosis is a com- mon parasitic disease that spreads in the bird environments when they defecate and re- ingest coccidia oocysts.
This has led to pro- ducers having to work more closely with vet- erinarians to help them understand the physiol- ogy of birds, run flock diagnostics and estab- lish programs to mini- mise disease problems.
Traditionally, layers are vaccinated for coc- cidiosis.
“Looking at the ge-
BUSINESSES looking to invest in new pro- jects or expansion op- portunities in Western Australia are reminded applications close soon for a $6.5 million grants program.
targeted value-adding businesses with growth potential from across re- gional and metropolitan Western Australia.
fits for the broader West- ern Australian economy.”
and approvals to expand in or relocate to Western Australia.
The Value Add Invest- ment Grants program – delivered by the De- partment of Primary Industries and Regional Development – is sup- porting investment and growth opportunities for the Western Australian food, fibre, beverage and value-add processing in- dustry.
• Up to $6 million is available for grants of between $250,000 and $750,000 to support capi- tal expenditure related to the expansion of value adding to primary pro- duction in Western Aus- tralia.
Applications close 5.00pm (Australian West- ern Standard Time) Fri- day October 9, 2020.
Agribusiness, Food and Trade executive direc- tor Liam O’Connell said the incentive scheme
“While relatively small compared to other states and territories, our food, fibre and beverage man- ufacturing industry is growing and is relatively job intensive, with high direct and indirect bene-
• Up to $500,000 is available for grants of between $50,000 and $150,000 to contribute towards the cost of de- risking investment.
More information is available from the de- partment website agric. or by phoning 08 9368 3853.
If a new disease or pest becomes established on your farm, it will affect your flock through reduced flock health, increased costs, reduced productivity or loss of markets.
It is essential that a risk assessment be conducted for each enterprise to es- tablish what level of risk exists in each phase of its operations, and to identify and implement control measures appropriate to these levels of risk.
• National Farm Bios- ecurity Manual – Poultry Production
To meet the biosecurity standard EI S4 in the Vic- torian Code for Broiler Farms 2009 plus 2018 amendments, the near- est external edge of new or existing broiler sheds must be set back from oth- er poultry farms by speci- fied distances.
Biosecurity is about managing risk and in- cludes:
• National Farm Bios- ecurity Technical Manual for Egg Production
• Preventing the intro- duction of diseases and pests
Biosecurity is a shared responsibility between government and industry.
• National Farm Bios- ecurity Manual for Chick- en Growers
Measure your buffer distance from either the nearest shed walls for old- er type shedding, or the centroid of the mechani- cal ventilation system of the newer tunnel ventila- tion sheds.
• Preventing the spread of disease and pests from an infected area to an un- infected area
Individual farms should tailor biosecurity pro- grams to suit their indi- vidual needs, with help from their veterinarian.
• National Biosecurity Manual for the Duck In- dustry
“This statewide pro- gram aims to enable di- versification, economic growth and employment by supporting value-add- ing and processing ag- ribusinesses to invest in new projects or expansion plans that build competi- tiveness, scale, growth and jobs,” Mr O’Connell said.
Funding Stream One - Capital expenditure
Government and indus-
• National Biosecuri- ty Manual – Exhibition Poultry
The grants include:
Eligible businesses are required to match the grant funding dollar-for- dollar.
Funding Stream Two - De-risking investment
The grants are a key component of the State Government’s $16.7 mil- lion four-year Food and Beverage Fund, which aims to stimulate growth and support economic re- covery from COVID-19.
This includes contribut- ing to the cost of feasibil- ity studies, business plans
Farm biosecurity for poultry producers
FARM biosecurity refers to those measures taken to prevent or control the introduction and spread of disease and pests to a property.
• Minimising the inci- dence and spread of mi- croorganisms of public health and food safety significance.
try groups have resources available to help poultry owners to develop bios- ecurity plans.
• National Water Bios- ecurity Manual – Poultry Production
The available resources, which can be found at, in- clude:
• Guide to biosecurity buffer distances table.
Fendona® Plus 60SC
Speci cally developed for use within poultry sheds, for the control of litter beetles and a range of  ying and crawling insects
High performance residual insecticide offering rapid knockdown
Low dose formulation provides the  exibility of a clean-out and maintenance application rate
For more information on Fendona Plus 60 SC,
visit or contact your local CCD Representative on 1300 791 009
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National Poultry Newspaper, October 2020 – Page 7

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