St David's Poultry Team Brouchure - 2022-2023

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If you have any questions regarding any of the areas discussed in this brochure, please contact your local vet or call Head Office on +353 (0)69 61033.

“St David’s Poultry Team is dedicated to working with our clients to deliver innovative whole farm health programmes for better flock welfare and performance.”
Liam Walsh Director


Welcome to our 2022-2023 brochure. I hope you find it informative and helpful.

St David’s Poultry Team was formed back in 2006, yet we have a long history of poultry veterinary work as the practice at Exeter was working in the South West poultry industry from the 70s.

Over the last 30 years the business has developed considerably. We are now the largest independent poultry veterinary practice, with more than 25 vets and 10 field technicians working from 15 bases across the UK and Ireland. Innovation has been the core of our approach to bird health. We strive to be at the forefront in introducing and developing the latest technology and alternative products, continuously running a number of trials to ultimately find the best solutions to today’s, and tomorrow’s, challenges.

Within our group of companies, we now have Applied Bacterial Control Ltd, a company focused on gut health and water sanitising in all farm species, Farmwater Ltd,

a company with a specific focus on clean water and chlorine dioxide application in the agricultural sector, and St David’s Poultry Supplies Ltd. This company provides veterinary services and poultry health equipment and products to the Irish poultry sector. This company was set up in 2009, and we look after a considerable amount of the Irish poultry industry. During the last 2 years of Covid we have opened 2 new branches in the UK and will continue to expand.

In my time as a vet in practice I have seen the change in approach, from a veterinary focus on the individual animal to the flock and now the total farm microbiome. This approach will be discussed in more detail throughout this brochure. With the price of feed so high now, it is more important that the management of bird health is integrated into the overall management of the farm business. This means that our vets and field team are trained to look at the return on investment to the farmer by better management, which we are sure during these difficult times will be vital.

Therefore, it doesn’t take me as a poultry vet to tell you as a farmer that the biggest threat to the egg and poultry meat industry over the next 12 months must be the price of feed and fuel. I have never seen so much pressure on our clients’ incomes, and so many price rises. The retailers are doing all they can to stop paying more for meat and eggs, and this is going to only end up preventing farms from operating. Then of course we end up in shortage, with the inevitable time lag to get back into production. All pretty depressing, so I will instead try to offer some hope!

There is no doubt in my mind that we can all be more efficient. The layer sector has for too long accepted a 75-80 week flock age and we should now focus on getting our birds to live longer and have an extended and more profitable egg production period. Feed is a big cost but so is the cost of pullets, down time of the farm, detailed cleanouts and of course the time a new flock takes to come into lay. There are challenges in achieving a target of 100 week flocks, but it is not impossible. We have flocks that have achieved this however it requires attention to the rear as well as the lay, and a focus on red mite control, feed quality and how we can best help the bird develop a competent and tip top immune system. We now provide various feed solutions to game birds, as well as layers and broilers, which use mixtures of nutraceuticals to ensure a healthy gut and in reality, the gut is the main site of the interaction of the microbiome and the bird. Of course, this adds costs, but efficiency increases profit. What we must not do is cut costs on such areas as red mite control as this will only reduce profitability further.

In broilers, the impact of good coccidiosis control is essential and poor control leads to huge financial losses. Cleanout, environmental management, and the type of coccidiostat used has in many cases not been a big enough focus. In some situations, the farmer is not involved in the decision on what coccidiostat to use and a much more tailored approach is needed.

We have spent considerable time with farms improving these areas and the impact on EPEF has been huge with 30-point increases. Gut health, microbiome health and tight (really tight) coccidiosis control will make a big difference to the bottom line. We have to get back to basics. The vet and the farmer need to refocus on cleanout as the big chance to change performance. In the future, we need our clients to be able to use feed additives which will suit their farm’s needs. It is interesting to see how feed mills in Holland for example, where competition is immense, will make up specific feeds for a farm. We have focused over the last 10 years in this country on using the water line as a route to influence bird performance, but this has shown us how difficult it is to keep water clean. In an ideal world, we would use a lot less in the water and focus on the feed. However, for that to happen we need vets, nutritionists and feed mills to work together to provide the farmer with another route to improve bird health and profitability.

Do the present challenges worry me? Of course they do. Their impact is so immediate and large. Am I worried about the medium-term challenges to the farm? Yes, in that it will make farms without the ability to improve efficiency likely to leave the industry. But above all I am optimistic that with the tools we have now and the knowledge we as an innovative vet practice have developed over the last decade, we can make farms more efficient and help them survive this crisis.

I look forward to your comments and wish you all the best for the months ahead.

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Glendarragh Office, Limerick

Challenges and Opportunities for the Broiler Sector

Our industry has seen a continual drive on bird welfare with an increase in the number of Better Chicken Commitment birds being grown. The paradox with this is these slower growing birds have a greater carbon footprint and this will be an area for industry and the consumer to consider going forward.

Our industry has rightly prided itself on the great work on antibiotic reduction that has been done. With this work continuing and the modern broiler becoming more efficient all the time, microbiome management is more crucial than ever. Part of this management will take the form of a more integrated approach to ‘farm health’ along with the use of new nutraceuticals that become available. We aim to cover some of the management approaches in this brochure.

There are several trials across the industry (many of which our team have been involved with) looking at in-Ovo gumboro vaccination and on farm hatching to determine if these technologies increase health, welfare and performance KPIs. In the coming months as an industry, we will have a better indication of the industry’s direction of travel.

The last few months have been tough across the broiler sector. The winter of 2021/2022 has seen the most Avian Influenza (AI) cases in the UK and Europe on record. Although there has only been one broiler case to date in the UK (April 2022), many broiler farms have found themselves in AI restriction zones leading to additional pre-slaughter inspection visits by vets and a reduction in the number of routine vet visits. As the number of AI cases begins to decrease, these routine visits should be possible again. It is unclear what next winter will bring but there will be no doubt opportunity in the coming months for industry and government to discuss lessons learned on both sides so that should we find ourselves in this position again, we are better prepared.

The war in Ukraine has added extra challenges to the broiler sector with the price of feed and gas rocketing. Whilst there has been some movement in the liveweight price, this has tended to be some time after the input costs have risen.

Despite the challenges, there is always opportunity and there are several success stories.

The Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) across the industry continues to improve and some farms are now in the low 1.4s. This is a phenomenal achievement and helps demonstrate how our great industry can continue to reduce our carbon footprint whilst continuing to feed the nation. The breed companies assure us that a 1.3 FCR will be achievable in the near future. The increased focus on carbon footprint has meant that many consumers have switched their shop from red meat to white meat leaving demand strong and there is no reason why this trend shouldn’t continue.

Although 2022 has had a rocky start, I am confident that through science led innovation, we will continue to strengthen and grow as a sector.

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Challenges and Opportunities for the Broiler Sector

Microbiome Management: What does it mean?

As a vet who started in clinical practice many years ago, the change in how I now approach unhealthy, or flocks with poor performance, has changed dramatically. This approach was to examine the animal, carry out a range of tests on that animal, and possibly others in the flock, then to make a diagnosis of usually an infectious disease.

The effect of the microbiome, made up of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa, on the animal health was recognised where abnormalities in populations created clinical symptoms. The overall effect of the total microbiome was not really studied until very recently. Competitive exclusion using adult gut bacterial populations was promoted due to the early work of Professor Nurmi in Finland and the idea that supplying a day-old chick or otherwise stressed bird with a bacterial cocktail became more accepted in the 90s. Antibiotic usage was still common then and the use of probiotic/ competitive exclusion products was quite niche in the UK and Irish Poultry Industry.

Occasionally, we would have a sales rep from a company, often based in a Scandinavian country, arrive at our Practice and talk about plant extracts, distilled essential oils, acids and fimbriae blockers. Looking back, I should have listened more to these reps and taken the subject more seriously, but when you have a range of antibiotics which are not expensive, easy to use, and most importantly give a good clinical outcome, why rush to alternatives?

Of course, in the last 10 years the positive effect of the various microbiomes inhabiting different parts of the body has become well recognised. The long-term effects of antibiotic usage and the worrying development of antibiotic bacterial resistance will have huge impacts on human health.

There is now a large volume of research into the avian microbiome to show how various bacteria make up specific eco systems in the gut, respiratory tract, skin and urogenital tracts. These bacteria work in a symbiotic way with the host bird and are now known to be transferred from the mother to the offspring even before hatching with an embryo within the egg having a changing and developing microbiome as early as 4 days before hatching. How these bacteria get there is not clear but what is recognised is that an impaired gut microbiome in the hen can lead to a challenged chick. We now focus on the mother’s gut health, even if it is not causing obvious clinical issues as this will pay dividends in the health of the day-old chick.

As research develops, we will see even more reasons to support and help nurture these micro-organism populations.

Some bacteria are even found to affect behaviour which is one of the reasons that specific fibre types in rations can change bird behaviours as it encourages changes in the bacterial populations in the gut. Specific bacteria in the intestine help with digestion, whilst others produce fatty acids which promote the gut immune system to improve coccidial immunity. Research in humans shows that the various cell types in the mother’s intestine actively collect specific bacteria from the lumen and transfer them to breast milk. Such an intricate interaction between the host and its bacterial population has evolved to allow for the newborn to have help in developing a maternal like gut flora shows the detailed links that are now being recognised. Competitive exclusion as promoted 30 years ago is now seen to work naturally in humans and other species. The range of interactions is huge and still not fully understood.

What I know now as a vet is that rather than give a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which creates so much collateral damage to the target microbiome, I need to be more specific and careful how I treat and focus on recovery. In some cases, antibiotics are essential due to the clinical severity of the case, but our role is to also help the microbiome recover quickly.

The young chick has already been in contact with a microbiome when inside the egg, both given to it by its mother as well as possible cross shell contamination. This is its first microbiome. It then hatches into an environment where there are already some pathogenic bacteria and may be next to a dead in shell chick with an anaerobic bacterial population or maybe a massive E.coli challenge. These new

What can alter the microbiome?

colonisers find niches in the developing microbiome of the chick (gut, mucus membranes, lungs etc) and might if pathogenic lead to disease or displace useful friendly bacteria.

From the hatcher to the lorry and onto the farm the chick is not living in a sterile environment, but hopefully maternal immunity and the level of challenge will allow it to survive and start developing its own beneficial microbiomes. In the house there is the microbiome left from cleaning, the microbiome in the water lines and the microbiome of the litter. Whether these are significant populations of beneficial or pathogenic bacteria will depend on the attention to cleaning detail and the history of the previous flocks. We all now recognise that a house and a farm has its own developed microbiome which in some ways might be beneficial but in others can lead to challenges. Some types of antibiotic resistance can be linked to some detergent resistance, so not all house microbiomes are positive to the chick.

In the same way we link nutrition to health, we need to link all of these microbiomes to the performance of the flock. It is here that the vet now must be more involved. We try to help the microbiome in the chick, or any other young animal, develop correctly and to do this we must also be certain that the microbiomes that impact the chick are also managed and where possible controlled. Cleaning with the correct product to the correct level is essential, as we all know, as is water hygiene. Proper and detailed testing of the sites’ bacterial populations are essential to either support a hygiene plan or indicate where changes are needed. Each site should have a focused hygiene plan based on the health and performance history of the site which the farmer’s vet is involved in designing.

Once we have a degree of management of the farm’s microbiomes it is now very important that we help the immature chick microbiome develop by seeding it with beneficial bacteria, trying to coax these primary colonisers to develop and finally by trying to remove bad bacteria. When I first started working in poultry, we used vaccines to help develop the immune system but really only focused on antibiotics to kill bacteria, rather like throwing a weed killer on the garden. Now we see we should seed, feed and weed the garden, and do all we can to manage the microbiome wherever it is and however it impacts on our patients.

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Microbiome Management: What does it mean?
Richard Ingestion of bacteria Age Diet Antibiotics Genetics pH Stress Environment Disease Immune function

Turnaround: Time to Reset the Health on the Farm

Litter beetles are an important reservoir of disease. No matter how well a shed is cleaned and disinfected, if litter beetles survive then they will carry many diseases for more than two weeks. For most farms a two-week turnaround is neither possible nor financially viable. Beetle traps are an excellent way of monitoring beetle numbers and there are many insecticidal products available such as CBM8.

The most obvious place to start thinking about microbiome management is the turnaround. When developing a turnaround schedule, we must get backto-basics. Our recommendations are based around the products and combinations we believe are best suited to various microbial loads in a shed, and the use of the correct product applied in the correct way is the foundation to good performance. The opportunity to clean the shed effectively at turnaround should not be missed and should be properly controlled. It should also be assessed with audits and TVC swabs.

As a start to all programmes, you need to be sure that the detergent you use on the equipment and building is of a heavy-duty nature, high foaming and cleans well. Disinfectants in general reduce the bacterial levels but do not make the surface sterile. Therefore, the better

the preparation through the detergent used, the more effective the disinfectant.

The choice of disinfectant is sometimes based on nonscientific reasoning, such as price, ease of collection, ease of removal of empty drums and even, “I like the supplier”. Careful consideration is required for the system you use for the one big opportunity to set the new crop up well. Any disinfectant used by a farm should be Defra approved. Looking at the Defra trial work, the two standout products that are currently available are Interkokask and Intercid.

Intercid is comprised of Glutaraldehyde and Formaldehyde which are particularly effective against Salmonella when used at the correct rate. Many ‘anticoccidiosis’ disinfectants are Defra approved against poultry bacterial and viral pathogens; however, many have no Defra (or equivalent) approval specifically for coccidiosis. Interkokask is one of the few approved anticoccidiosis disinfectants. Always ensure any anticoccidial disinfectant has approval specifically for coccidiosis.

Water lines need to be emptied and flushed using either Aqua-clean, if the pump system can be set to at least 3%, or Huwa-San if only 1% dosing is possible. The drinker line should be emptied onto the cleaned floor and then left empty until the day prior to fill. If there is a plan to keep water in the line, then after cleaning the shed the line needs to be disinfected again. Even if there is an in-crop water sanitising system in place we would also recommend the use of one of these products. We have tested them compared to others on the market and consider them to be superior. A fully automated Chlorine Dioxide system from Farmwater Ltd is the best on the market but comes at a high capital cost. The payback is very low chemical costs compared to Hydrogen Peroxide. The type of system you use needs careful consideration, and a site survey is the first step to defining a water hygiene plan.

Using a terminal application of formalin has been used successfully for decades and is cheap. Yet, as we all know it has major health issues and so we have moved to hot fogging with Halamid as an alternative option to our clients and it has proven very effective. This is a service we can provide and supply the chemicals for, as well as working with your cleaning company to offer this.

If a challenging microbial population of pathogens is left on the site, then all we are doing by not choosing well is increasing the risk to the farm’s future profit. Ultimately, there is always a balance between the time available, the cost of the programme and the financial return. After 38 years in practice, what is very clear is the better the cleanout, the better the subsequent performance. What is also clear is too many crops with shortcuts will take as long to recover as it took to get into the situation in the first place.

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Turnaround: Time to Reset the Health on the Farm

Layer Turnaround

Over the last 2 years, for many good reasons, we have seen some clients struggling to get good production in even relatively new sheds. Maybe due to staff shortages, and no doubt associated with income levels, there has at the same time been a move to only dry clean sheds with the possible late addition of some disinfectants onto what is basically a very soiled surface. This has slowly led to poor performance, poor peaks, and some increased mortality with E.coli on many farms, which can be very difficult to get back under control once established. Dry cleaning of free-range sheds is a waste of time and should only be a last resort where there are issues of waste water control or severe shortages of time.

Often, following poor cleaning, the levels of red mite on many sites remains too high and subsequent flocks become infected early on as they are under stress coming into lay, leading to more E.coli leakage from the intestine and more mortality. The problem goes on and everyone is stressed.

The greater the investment in ensuring your new flock is housed in a clean, sterile, oocyst and worm free environment, the greater the chance the flock will go on to perform well. Performance of a laying flock is reliant on many factors; the stress of disease challenge is a key factor and could be the deciding factor.

The Programme

An effective turnaround consists of the following steps:

1. Dry clean down. Remove all organic matter from the shed such as litter, feed and muck

2. Wash down. Pressurised spraying down the shed

3. Detergent . A high foaming detergent such as Alkaliene should be used to break down fat lipids present in the faeces and remove encrusted muck

4. Disinfection. A Defra approved disinfectant used. If you have a red mite issue, Interkokask used at a rate 3% is very powerful. Its unique formula contains chlorocresol and has shown excellent effectiveness used at an approximate rate of 11 litres in 350L of stock solution

Intercid was tested and shown to be very effective against salmonella. It is cheaper than Interkokask and is a very good base product to use. The increased concerns over salmonella infection in older birds makes it important to do as much as possible to reduce the challenge, as well as looking at ways of improving the bird’s resistance to salmonella as it gets older

5. Secondary disinfection. The use of Halamid fogging as a 10% solution as the final stage

Broiler Turnaround

The broiler farm has a much more rapid turnaround but a higher stocking density than most layers and so the loading of a site and changing the microbiome at turnaround is even more important. It is difficult to put an actual figure on the return on investment on a thorough clean out but we must not forget that there are many bacteria and viruses which impact on gut health and bird performance that we cannot vaccinate against, and with reductions in antibiotic usage the need for a targeted clean out is imperative. With a good cleanout we have seen more rapid returns to normal production, whilst on farms where the cleanout is rushed, you can expect maybe 3-5 crops before a crop performance is back to normal.

The Programmes

1. Normal Cleanout (following good crop, at least 8 days site clear, no recorded disease issues)

a. Remove litter and clean water lines

b. Wash all surfaces with Alkaliene detergent

c. Allow to dry then apply Intercid d. Ensure all plastic drinkers cups are well washed and disinfectant applied

e. Ensure drinker lines and cups are clean after litter down

f. If time allows, consider fogging with Halamid at 10% once the litter is in

2. Coccidiosis Cleanout (following coccidia challenged crop, 8 days clear and no other disease)

a. Remove litter and clean water lines

b. Wash all surfaces with Alkaliene detergent

c. Allow to dry then apply Intercid to high surfaces

d. Allow to dry, then apply Interkokask to low walls, posts, floors, drinker cups and plastic feeders. Keep wet for the recommended time

e. If possible, and insurance is agreed, carry out floor burning

f. Ensure drinker lines and cups are clean after litter down

g. If time allows, consider fogging with Halamid at 10%

3. Enhanced Cleanout (following for example a poor result, maybe a high bacterial or viral challenge)

a. Remove litter and clean water lines

b. Wash all surfaces with Alkaliene detergent

c. Allow to dry, then apply Intercid to all surfaces

d. Allow to dry then apply Interkokask to all surfaces and ensure wet for the correct time

e. Ensure drinker lines and cups are clean after litter down

f. Hot fog with Halamid at 10% before litter down

4. Emergency Cleanout (following normal crop but due to issues there is not enough time to wash. Use only once)

The emergency short turnaround programme should not be regularly used and relies on good surfaces and there being a dry litter from the previous crop.

a. Remove litter and clean water lines

b. Blow down all dust as far as possible

c. Apply lime plus Halamid at a dose rate of 50 parts lime to 1 part Halamid and if possible apply with a floor brusher to the floors

d. Mist the house with Intercid at 2% after litter down

e. If possible, heat house to as high as sensibly possible ensuring that post-heating, it is possible to reduce the house and floor temperatures to the correct level for brooding

Of course, other than the Emergency Cleanout, which should not be used more than once in a year, and also be followed, if possible, with a normal turnaround of at least 8 days, there is some overlap, and your vet can devise site specific plans with extra applications of products if there is a need.

Whatever your system, the team at St David’s can devise and supply a targeted turnaround programme specific to your challenges. Contact your vet or speak to our Field Services team on 01392 872932.

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Time to Reset the Health on the Farm Turnaround: Time to Reset the Health on the Farm

Managing the Broiler Gut Microbiome


As a profession, poultry vets have always been passionate about bird health, however, with the ongoing work to reduce antibiotic use and the increasing efficiency of our broiler chickens, we are increasingly looking at ‘farm health and microbiome management’.

Turnaround, disinfection and water quality are all essential areas of microbiome management. My focus here is on how we can manage the gut microbiome of the broiler chick, how to set it up and manage it correctly, as well as consider the challenges to the stability of that gut flora throughout its life.

The most important day in a bird’s life is the day of placement. A newly hatched chick’s gut is a blank canvas. The bacterial population of a bird’s gut is heavily dependent on what happens in the first few days of life; therefore this time period provides us with the greatest opportunity to favourably influence the microbiome of the bird and therefore the shed (via its droppings).

The most common method of influencing the early gut bacterial population is using probiotics to take up the space in the gut leaving less room for harmful bacteria. These can be given either in the hatchery or on farm. There are two groups of probiotics (defined and undefined cultures). Undefined probiotics such as Aviguard are essentially made originally from the faeces of healthy chickens and contain hundreds of species of bacteria. Defined products such as Lactobacillus (Biacton) contain only one bacterial species and are therefore much cheaper. Whilst on the face of it, an undefined product may give a better bacterial population, the cost can be prohibitive, and it is generally better to expose a bird (or human for that matter) to a probiotic daily for several days (hence Yakult is meant to be taken daily). As such many farmers tend to use a defined probiotic daily for several days as opposed to an undefined product for one day.

Feed and Water

Some companies are looking at using probiotics being sprayed onto the eggs before hatching in the hatchery, so that immediately after hatching the chicks are exposed to ‘good bacteria’. When a chick is tipped, in addition to its gut being a blank canvas, its stomach doesn’t make protective acid until it feeds. It is essential that a chick gets feed and water as soon as possible after placement, the longer without feed and water, the longer a time frame there is for harmful bacteria to have an easy journey from the beak to the gut. Good chick crumb availability (at least 2 rows of chick paper per drinker line and 70-100g crumb/chick) and good drinker management (ensuring the drinker pressures are correct and that the drinker height is correct) are very important. It is essential that the water provided is clean, as are the drinker lines. If a bird’s gut is bombarded with harmful bacteria from the drinking water, then this can disrupt a healthy microbiome.

As an industry we have typically measured the 24hour crop fill but the difference in a bird that starts 2 hours after placement vs one that starts 24 hours after placement can equate to a huge window of opportunity for harmful bacteria to reach the gut and subsequently the bird’s blood stream. 22 hours is 92% of a day. At the end of the crop 92% of a day’s growth can equate to 92g in bodyweight. At £1/kg liveweight, across a site of say 300,000 birds, 92g can equate to a lot of weight and money. Furthermore, a delayed start can lead to increased unevenness and generally poor early

gut development. A chick with poor gut development at 7 days will be much more susceptible to gut health challenges later in life. Chicks that are delayed in feeding will use up nutrients for maintenance rather than early gut development.

A day-old chick has a leaky gut wall (just like new-born mammals). Part of this is to allow antibodies from the yolk (which empties into the gut via the yolk sac stalk as the chick breathes) to enter the blood stream. Whilst a leaky gut wall allows antibodies to reach the blood, it can also allow bacteria from the gut to enter the chick’s blood stream too. If high numbers of E. coli reach the blood stream, we can get septicaemia (early mortality) and if Enterococcus reaches the blood stream, these bacteria can make their way into the joints to cause lameness later in the flock when the birds get heavier. Overheating and dehydration can increase the size of the spaces (tight junctions) between the cells lining the gut leading to increased leakage.

Bedding is another source of bacteria, and all bedding should be sourced from an approved supplier.

Seed, Feed and Weed

Once the chick has started, the good bacteria (seed) can be encouraged to reproduce via the use of organic acids (feed) (such as ABC Start - a unique blend of copper and organic acids) and harmful bacteria can be discouraged through the use of yeast wall-based products which bind onto the surface of harmful bacteria and stop them attaching to the gut lining (weed). This is known as the seed, feed and weed concept.

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Managing the Broiler Gut Microbiome

Gut Flora Stability

Throughout the life of a modern broiler, there will be a number of challenges to the stability of that gut flora:

Diet changes

In a perfect world, a broiler’s diet would change daily as it gets older (lower protein), however, this is not practical, and most companies tend to have 3-5 different rations for the life of the broiler.


Any live vaccine involves giving a weakened (attenuated) strain of the disease to the bird. Despite being attenuated, the vaccine virus (usually gumboro or infectious bronchitis) still challenges the bird’s immune system. Additionally, the water withdrawal during in-water vaccination means the bird doesn’t eat and therefore challenges the stability of the gut bacteria.

When a bird eats, the stomach makes acid which then enters the gut with the broken-down food. This acidifies the gut helping ‘good bacteria’ which are acid loving and discourages the growth of ‘bad bacteria’ which prefer alkaline conditions. The further down the bird’s gut the more alkaline the pH. There tends to be more harmful bacteria the further down the gut we look, with the caecae having the most harmful bacteria. These ’harmful bacteria’ do not affect gut health if they remain in the lower gut as food absorption takes place in the upper gut. Prolonged periods without feed can cause the upper gut to become more alkaline allowing harmful bacteria which normally live in the lower gut (without harming the bird) to move up into the small intestine where they can produce toxins and create inflammation reducing the absorption of nutrients. This causes two issues; firstly, the nutrients aren’t absorbed leading to a poorer FCR and secondly when the undigested nutrients reach the lower gut, they feed the harmful bacteria allowing them to creep up the gut.

Note feed outages, thinning and heat stress (which reduces appetite) can cause similar issues.


Coccidiosis is the biggest endemic disease of broilers. The parasite is very difficult to control and is therefore found in virtually all broiler sheds. The mainstay of our coccidiosis control is using in-feed coccidiostats. Whilst these products are effective in stopping clinical coccidiosis and associated mortality, sub-clinical coccidiosis, is rather common. Coccidia infect the cells lining the small intestine reducing the absorption of nutrients, compromising FCR and feeding harmful bacteria in the lower gut. Furthermore, the damage caused by coccidiosis causes the gut to make excessive mucus which acts as a food source for harmful bacteria such as clostridia which further inflame the gut!

From an evolutionary point of view, birds have a short gut in relation to their body size compared to mammals. This allows birds to be light enough to fly. To get away with having a short gut, yet being able to absorb enough energy to fly, in a bird’s intestine feed doesn’t move one way as it does in mammals, instead feed moves back and forth up and down the gut and between the gut and stomach to maximise absorption. This is known as retro-peristalsis. Unfortunately, this process is vulnerable to stress (in the wild if a bird was stressed it would empty its gut to be light enough to fly away from say a predator). In modern broilers, stressors such as those listed above interfere with peristalsis causing a reduced number of times feed passes along the absorptive part of the gut negatively affecting FCR and again allowing undigested nutrients to reach the lower gut undigested therefore feeding ‘harmful bacteria’.

In order to counteract the above stressors, there are a number of interventions we can make. Whilst obviously reducing stress is key, many of the above stressors cannot be prevented, but we can manage them.


In water, acidification is the most useful of them all, this helps the bird counteract the effects of reduced feed intake (from say thinning, vaccination, heat stress etc) or from a challenge to the bacterial population from ration changes and should be given after the event in the case of thinning or vaccination or a few days either side of ration changes. ABC pH (containing Formic and Propionic acids) is an effective and cost-effective way of acidifying the gut. The benefits of organic acids can be bolstered through the strategic use of probiotics (for older birds, undefined probiotics tend to be too expensive but defined probiotics such as Biacton are cost effective). Some probiotic products such as Galliprofit produce compounds in the gut that help to destroy harmful bacteria. Other probiotics help produce large amounts of acids in the gut having a similar effect to in-water acidification.

Essential Oils

As discussed, coccidiosis represents the greatest challenge to gut health. There are a number of nutraceuticals designed to help your flock through their coccidiosis challenge. Necox and Coccilin V Plus are two essential oil-based products which have been successfully used across a number of farms to mitigate the intestinal effects of coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is incredibly difficult to control at turnaround and a disinfectant specifically approved to control coccidiosis should be used. Timing of such products is key and only through routine gut health checks on farm can we determine when the peak gut health challenge is likely to be. This differs between farms.

Salmonella Control

Exotic salmonella species can be controlled through the use of probiotics (such as Aviguard) to competitively exclude salmonella and through the use of buffered organic acids (such as ABC pH in water or Formaxol in feed) which discourage the harmful salmonella bacteria. Intercid disinfectant is one of the best products on the market to control salmonella.


It is important that systemic viral diseases such as gumboro (which damages the immune system) and IB are controlled and monitored. Regular PCR testing can often pick up an issue before they become clinically evident.

All of these factors need to be considered in how they affect the microbiome population on a farm. Most farmers control the microbiome through various third parties e.g. a disinfectant supplier, their vet, their nutraceutical supplier (not necessarily their vet), their chick supplier and their feed supplier. In many cases the above approach works well. However, because the third parties are often not joined up, sometimes the interventions put in place are not always complementary and are in some cases antagonistic.

An integrated approach to microbiome management offers customers the opportunity to have a total farm approach to the health of their flocks which includes products, medicines and advice.

We can provide bespoke support packages put together and managed by a vet who will review the health and performance of the farm on a quarterly basis and will draw up and review the farm’s microbiome management. Packages can be tailor made to suit all farms and can offer a combination of the below:

• Water hygiene solutions

• IB and gumboro vaccines

• Quarterly IB and gumboro PCR tests

• Regular gut health assessments

• Quarterly vet reviews to examine health and performance data

• Terminal hygiene products and audits

• Probiotics, organic acids and essential oils.

• Salmonella control

Contact us to discuss your farming needs and possible microbiome packages.

16 17 Managing the Broiler Gut Microbiome Managing the Broiler Gut Microbiome

Results using a Premix for Enterococcal Lameness


Across the broiler sector and this group of farms, there was a considerable amount of lameness caused by enterococcus.

This started around day 13 and would continue to the end of the crop, with mortalities between 15%-20% per shed. Antibiotic usage in the face of the problem was found to be ineffectual, although it did offer the farm a temporary reduction in the number of daily culls. The only course of action that reduced the lameness was to start the birds on Lincospectin. This is not a long-term strategy and as using prophylactic medication is against Red Tractor rules, a different approach was needed.

As the enterococcus was not the same bacteria across the UK and across the different farms, despite coming from the from the same hatcheries, vaccination was not an option. In addition, it wasn’t isolated to any particular parent flocks that could be taken out of production.

As the antibiotic in the chicks stopped the lameness occurring later in the crop, then we can assume the bacteria was entering the joints at this very early stage in life. As already suggested, it didn’t appear to be a particular enterococcus although it would still need some virulence factors to be able to colonise a joint and evade the chicks’ defences. Enterococcus is a normal coloniser of the chick’s gut at this age, and along with E.coli, they are the main types of bacteria found straight after hatch.

Our Approach

Our approach was to ensure that the bacteria stayed in the intestinal tract and wasn’t translocated into the blood stream; to maximise the biodiversity of the intestinal tract to reduce the numbers of potential pathogenic bacteria and to encourage a healthy biome, which is known to be beneficial to the health and integrity of the gut lining and to the normalisation of the immune system.

If we could achieve this, it has been shown that the gut tight junctions between the intestinal cells are much improved and the “leakiness” is reduced. In addition, having the right bacterial blend has been shown to be locally anti-inflammatory.

With this as our objective, together with Premier Nutrition and ABN, a premix was formulated with probiotics with known activity against enterococcus, and a reduction in lameness in controlled studies, along with a fimbriae blocker/prebiotic, an essential oil extract, a precursor of Vit D3 and a protected short chain fatty acid.

This was fed to all the farms out of one mill and was to start with a full rotation. This has subsequently been extended due to the encouraging results.

The approximate price was 0.5p/bird, which is significantly less than using Lincospectin at the start.


The initial feedback on the feed was an increased uptake in the first few days of life from the paper, possibly attributed to the essential oil smell. We have found this in other species of birds too.

Although not all the farms in the region have completed their full crop cycle on the product, what we can say is that there has been no antibiotic usage for early lameness in any birds. In addition, the antibiotic usage has dramatically fallen across the board not only for legs but also for intestinal health and mortality. Looking at the figures it also appears to add at least 2% to the 7 day weight of the broilers and 4% to the Hubbard 87s (see the table below).

It is also worth noting that the kill age for the broilers has significantly reduced, whilst still at the same target weight. There are obviously other mitigating/contributing factors throughout the growth cycle, but all these small gains contribute to the overall performance. Early results also suggest a reduction in FCR but more numbers are needed before the results can be published.


Although the headline first week mortality is not greatly different, we are looking at the total cycle mortality rate which together with FCR looks to be a lot better at this stage. As we get these results, we will be able give a complete summary. The most significant improvement at this stage is the huge reduction in antibiotic usage and the effect of that on the development of a more normal microbiome.

Kill weight Average age 1st week weights 1st week mortality (%) Antibiotic treatments

Feed Trial Birds 2.37 kg 35.3 194g 1.78 14 houses, none treated for legs

Previous 2 months before feed change 2.4 kg 36.4 190g 1.5 125 houses

2021 average 2.42 kg 37 185g 1.5

Average for the same period last year 2.39 kg 36.9 188g 1.6

Hubbard 87s

7-day weight (g) 7-day mortality (%) Antibiotic treatments

Feed Trial Birds 153.5 1.35 No antibiotics used

3 months leading up to the trial 145.8 1.23

2021 average 150 1.29 11 houses treated with antibiotics because of leg issues

Average for the same period last year 149 1.35

18 19 Results using a Premix for Enterococcal Lameness

Cleaner Water, Better Performance:

The Importance of Good Water Hygiene

It is well documented that providing clean water to poultry is imperative for efficient production and for optimising bird health. Water is the basis for a multitude of physiological processes that sustain the growth, health and welfare of the bird. In poultry production many of the more common ailments or production issues seen can be attributed to poorly controlled water quality and a contaminated supply to the birds. The consumption of free-living bacteria from water systems directly interferes with the bird’s complex gut microbiome leading to sub-clinical disruption and depletion of gut integrity. To achieve successful bird microbiome management, we must ensure water quality is not compromised.

Determining Water Quality

Water quality is determined by both biological and chemical parameters and can fluctuate depending on whether it is mains or privately sourced. Biological parameters include microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa will negatively affect bird health when present. Potable drinking water must show to contain zero levels of both microorganisms and harmful chemicals, and we must strive for this level of quality for our poultry.

It is important to understand that all sources of water can be or become contaminated and that mains water won’t necessarily mean clean water. One of the greatest influencers of microorganism contamination in water is the presence and abundance of biofilm. Biofilm can be visualised on the inside of pipes where water is present

as a slimy, often green layer. It is a complex matrix of bacterial cells that are adhered together by a natural forming extracellular mucopolysaccharide layer forming an impenetrable 3D ‘city’ of microorganisms. Once established, many biocides fail to penetrate biofilm and the bacteria are free to proliferate. In warm, low flow conditions this biofilm can generate quickly and will soon become a source for waterborne bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Pseudomonas. In many scenarios it is the biofilm present in storage tanks, underground pipework or poorly cleaned drinker lines that becomes the major source of water contamination leading to compromised bird health. If the biofilm is not monitored and removed, production and performance will be negatively affected. We see compromised gut health as a direct result of consuming foreign pathogens and often a decreased water intake because of taste, restricted flow and bacterial load. We know water intake is correlated to feed intake so if water is compromised, you’re going to lose out on either egg production or growth rate.

The chemical composition of water can influence the growth of biofilm and abundance of bacteria. Private water sources are subject to far greater fluctuations in composition across the seasons than mains. Higher levels of components such as Iron, Manganese, Calcium and Nitrates will influence both water pH, palatability, and biofilm presence.

Monitoring Water Quality

It would be advised to regularly monitor water quality on farm with both bacterial TVC (Total Viable Count) and chemical analysis. The comparison of results from varying points along the water system, such as pre-storage tank, storage tank and end of drinker lines, is crucial to help determine where on the farm contamination may be occurring or cleaning could be overlooked. Water collection techniques are important as contamination can occur during testing that will skew and falsify results.

If you suspect or identify that water quality is being compromised on farm, then actions and investment must occur to resolve the issue. Production results and bird health will improve with increased water quality.

Options for Water Sanitisation and

Line Cleaning

The options available for water sanitisation and line cleaning can be overwhelming. Take time to do your research and my advice is to stick to these general rules:

• Ensure preliminary testing is accurate and that the results are clearly interpreted

• Set clear goals and areas that need to be improved –e.g. removing biofilm in lines

• Set out a clear investment timeline

• Complete accurate costings of products both for short and long-term use

• Plan out regular re-testing and analysis to ensure your goals are met

Farm water quality can be improved and sustained by the addition of chemicals to the water system. There is a difference in action between line cleaners, disinfectants and complete line sanitisers. Disinfectants will effectively kill waterborne microorganisms but will reduce in efficacy rapidly with the presence of organic material such as biofilm. Line cleaners that contain only hydrogen peroxide are effective at removing biofilm but are less effective at combating free living bacteria in the water. Enriched hydrogen peroxide products such as Kanters Aqua-clean have a good all-round action against both biofilm and free-living microorganisms.

20 21
Water Hygiene
Cleaner Water, Better Performance: The Importance of Good

Chlorine Dioxide Solutions

An example of a complete water sanitisation chemical would be the powerful biocide chemical chlorine dioxide (ClO2). For many years water companies have treated municipal water with ClO2 as it is a highly effective biocide and excellent at removing biofilm at very low concentrations. Typically used in large-scale applications it is the mainstay of hospital and school water treatment plants. Chlorine dioxide is a volatile gas that can have severe implications to human health if ingested or its derivatives (Chlorite, Chlorate and Chloride) are absorbed. In the presence of organic matter such as biofilm or microorganism chlorine dioxide breaks down into Chlorites and Chlorates and does not form smelly, chlorine compounds. It is highly effective at low concentrations reducing chemical costs and can be used over a wide pH range. It has no taste or odour in water.

Despite the formulation of ClO2 being well documented the quality of the reaction can change significantly due to the method of production used, and this can result in fluctuations of the quality of ClO2 produced. Safe and accurate production of ClO2 until recently has only been manageable in sophisticated large-scale reactors. Newer methods of ClO2 generation are now appearing on farm, such as FarmWater’s generation unit, that enables cost-effective, safe and efficient ClO2 production on-site. The FarmWater reactor generates quality ClO2 in such an accessible way that it is enabling an ever-widening array of small-scale applications, such as layer and broiler poultry units and other livestock production sites. Direct injection of ClO2 made on demand and on-site provides an uninterrupted ability

A typical broiler chicken drinks over 4 litres of water in its life. This makes water the biggest input into a bird. The warm temperatures in a chicken shed means that bacteria can quickly build up in a drinker line, if a bird’s gut is bombarded with harmful bacteria from the drinking water, then this can disrupt a healthy microbiome.

to ensure water quality is maintained. On farms that have multiple laying houses, for example, a unit like this can be installed at the water source to the farm and be effectively treating the water and pipelines to the entire site. This negates the need for multiple house pumps and cleaning regimes.

We are seeing far greater interest and investment in water quality treatment plans across the poultry industry. Typically, water contamination is more prevalent on sites using private water sources or where we have seen gradual expansion of production, with buildings being added, resulting in complex water pipe networks. The presence of old storage tanks and re-purposed water lines increases the likelihood of biofilm formation and a compromised water quality.

Poor water quality will have subclinical and/or clinical implications to poultry health across all sectors of the industry. Here at St David’s Poultry Team, we understand that careful water management and accurate testing forms the basis of any water treatment plan. We offer a range of site-specific water treatment solutions that, coupled with integrated veterinary support, will help you achieve the optimum water quality and bird health.

22 23
Water, Better Performance: The Importance of Good Water Hygiene

Minimising the Impact of Heat Stress

Should the environmental temperature continue to rise despite efforts by the bird to cool down then the consequences can be fatal. The normal internal temperature of a chicken is 40-42˚C and when it reaches 4547˚C the bird will die. The closer to the bird’s body temperature the air temperature is, the less efficient heat loss is. When the shed reaches 27˚C, with fully feathered birds in it, heat loss is considerably impeded and when 37.8˚C is reached the bird is completely unable to cool down.

Using the Heat Index

Mitigating Heat Stress

• Ensure all fans are working efficiently

• If necessary, reduce summer stocking (always know your shed’s ventilation capacity)

• Have an up-to-date heat stress plan

• Maximise air speed over the birds (for broilers 1-3 m/s is recommended in hot weather and in other poultry 0.7 m/s is the recommended minimum. At 1 m/s there is little benefit from air speed, but at 3 m/s the wind chill effect is approximately 6˚C). In most modern houses, tunnel ventilation is used to achieve this. Higher airspeeds remove warmer more humid localised air over the birds and increase cooling achieved through evaporation. It is also important to have an even airspeed over the shed. Note: Be careful in younger birds which are not fully feathered with high air speeds as these can conversely chill them

• Some farms use misting systems to reduce the temperature. Whilst these can drop the temperature, for every 1˚ drop in temperature, we get an increase in humidity of 4.5%. Always use the heat index as a guide as to whether the misting system will help or hinder your flock. In dry heat, misting systems are helpful but in humid heat they can make heat stress worse

• Discuss with your area manager about the position of enrichment bales to ensure they are not impeding airflow

• Some farmers lift the feeders slightly to allow for good air flow under the pans whilst ensuring birds can still access feed

As summer approaches, the risk of heat stress in your flock increases – a condition that can have a huge impact on bird health, welfare and performance.

All birds will have a given target environmental temperature depending on their age, breed and the relative humidity. Whilst birds are in their thermoneutral temperature range (i.e. their internal body temperature is maintained at a constant level and their body is not stressed) they lose heat through three methods: conduction, convection and radiation. As the temperature increases beyond the ideal level, evaporative cooling becomes important (the evaporation of moisture from the chicken’s airways helps cool the bird. Panting increases the air movement over the respiratory surfaces to increase cooling). From a practical aspect the bird changes its behaviour to help lose excessive heat (the following bullet points are an extract from the Defra Heat Stress Solving the Problem document):

Signs to look out for:

• Increased panting

• Increased resting to reduce the heat generated by activity

• Reduced feed intake (this reduces the metabolic heat generated by the bird)

• Increased water consumption

• Darker skin colour - blood is diverted from internal organs to the skin

The above measures by the bird will lead to reduced growth/egg production through reduced feed intake and lower activity levels. Indeed, panting excessively can lead to dehydration and too much loss of CO2 from the bird’s blood. Excessive CO2 loss can cause the blood to become more alkaline. This alters the levels of potassium, chloride, sodium, and phosphates in the blood. This imbalance in a bird’s electrolyte levels can impact bone development causing lameness or in laying hens, the shell quality deteriorates.

Humidity has a large impact on the cooling generated by panting. At low humidity birds can lose much more moisture through panting and can therefore tolerate much higher temperatures than at higher humidity. To work out the impact of humidity, a number called the heat index is used. Heat index = temperature in Fahrenheit + Relative humidity. If the heat index exceeds 160 then a bird will suffer heat stress.

On a day when the temperature is 27˚C (80˚F), if the humidity is 50% then we have a heat index of 130 and the birds will be able to cope. However, if the humidity is 80% then we have a heat index of 160 and the birds will struggle. Therefore, humidity is very important. As a rule of thumb for every 10% the humidity increases, the temperature the bird perceives rises by 2˚C. Most heat stress related fatalities occur in the evening rather than during the afternoon, because in the evening although the temperature is lower, the humidity is higher.

• Ensure the shed is well insulated

• Try not to disturb the birds during the hottest part of the day

• Try to cool the birds more at night so that they can tolerate hotter day time temperatures

• Due to the dehydration caused by heat stress and the imbalance in electrolytes it is advisable to give the birds Heat Stress Plus. Heat Stress Plus contains electrolytes to help improve the electrolyte balance in the bird’s blood stream thus maintaining leg health/eggshell quality and will encourage the birds to drink. Additionally, it contains antioxidants to help the bird’s body cope with harmful metabolic by-products

• Heat Stress Plus should be used at 1ml/litre of drinking water prior to, during and immediately after periods of hot weather. If temperatures exceed 30˚c then the usage rate can be increased to 1.5ml/litre

Good sources of further information:

Ross Broiler Management Handbook:

Ross Environmental Management in the Broiler House: Environmental_Management_in_the_Broiler_House.pdf

24 25
Minimising the Impact of Heat Stress

Combatting Bacterial Lameness in Broilers

Water Hygiene

Standard water sampling techniques give indications of water quality, but they are poorly sensitive in their ability to identify bacteria hidden deep in the drinking system, i.e. within biofilm. During the crop cycle we are restricted in terms of our ability to deep clean drinking systems as we do not want to cause aversions or taste issues, so intercrop hygiene is critical.

As our water systems are vented (breather pipes) this is a potential route bacteria will enter the water lines during the crop, so the potential for carry over of lameness causing bacteria is real.

Your choice of water sanitation is imperative. The use of hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide is the only way you will remove biofilm from your lines, and it is this biofilm which will harbour bacteria and even viruses into future crops if left in place. Please remember that not all water treatments remove biofilm, and its removal is imperative in the breaking of this lameness cycle.


Now that we have our sheds and equipment clean our next target is the microbiome of our poultry shed and the birds that reside within it.


Stress in poultry can be broadly broken down into physical and psychological. In terms of bacterial lameness, it is primarily physical stressors we are interested in. Avoidance of physical stressors in our broiler chickens is down to the highest standards of management for the duration of the crop.

Bacterial lameness in broilers is multifactorial in term of cause, but in recent years lameness caused by the bacterial species enterococcus has had a major impact on broiler performance, welfare, and antibiotic usage. It is by far the most concerning cause of lameness in our meat producing chickens at present. While much effort and time will be focused on trying to identify the source of introduction of this lameness into farms, we should focus on how to remove potential stressors and bacterial loads while promoting a healthy microbiome.

Terminal Hygiene

If it is one thing I know and firmly believe, it is the importance of the highest standards of intercrop hygiene. Lameness causing bacteria will persist from crop to crop and potentially for years if the terminal hygiene is of a suboptimal standard.

Sheds and equipment need to be cleaned thoroughly prior to application of disinfectants and the use of detergents to remove grease and grime is essential. Of course, the disinfectants used is critical, but often overlooked or disregarded are dilution rates and contact times.

Finally, fumigation of the house will ensure even the smallest of cracks and crevices are reached by an effective dose of disinfectant.

Post cleaning and disinfection auditing is essential to determine the effectiveness of your efforts.

The broiler microbiome accounts for all micro-organisms associated with our broiler chicken, the relationship between the microbiome and the chicken can be good (symbiotic) or bad (pathogenic). If we have bacterial lameness in our birds, we can then assume we have a poor relationship between the microbiome and chicken, so we need to change this balance.

The microbiome found in our chickens’ guts helps in the beneficial development and maintenance of intestinal cells, exclusion of pathogenic organisms as well as digestion of nutrients and much more. Alterations in the microbiome can be a result of undigested feed finding its way into the hind gut, leading to a disruption in balance between the microbiome and host which can have devastating effects on performance, as well as disease causing processes such as bacterial lameness.

There is no “one solution that fits all”. The use of probiotics, prebiotics, competitive exclusion products and organic acids are most used in broiler production either alone or in combination. We want to develop a healthy microbiome which will support an efficient digestive system and a competent immunity.

• Brooding newly placed chicks in the correct conditions with readily available high-quality resources

• Ensuring water quality is maintained for the duration of the crop, with continuous or regular effective water sanitation

• Environmental management is critical – excessive moisture, temperature variation outside of thermoneutral zone, wet litter, elevated levels of dust and/or ammonia will have adverse effects on our chicken’s microbiome

• Managing feed transitions and coccidiosis challenges with gut health support strategies

Ultimately, I cannot stress enough that there is no “one solution fits all” approach for dealing with bacterial lameness, it needs to be a holistic approach.

26 27 Combatting Bacterial Lameness in Broilers

Client Spotlight

Client: Will and John Raw, North Yorkshire

Farm Type: Independent Grower

Number of Birds: 210,000

Main Disease Challenges:

Transmissible viral proventriculitis and coccidiosis

Lead Vet: Charlotte Norman BVSc MRCVS

Local Practice: Northallerton


Improved turnaround, biosecurity, brooding and prompt treatment/routine visits

“When we started working together, there was an antibiotic mindset change occurring, initiated by my colleague. I continued his work in supporting their move away from reactive treatment with medication and onto a structured investigative plan. We initiated a routine full site visit and post-mortems for every shed once a crop, focused on peak cocci challenge stage. This allows us to be very targeted in identifying challenging houses, for example those with a high cocci burden, evidence of viral challenges or high subclinical femoral head necrosis which may develop after thin. We could then implement either preventative management alterations, nutraceutical treatment or medication where necessary. It also helped us gain a deeper understanding of the typical disease presence and management difficulties on site.

For this site, the main disease challenges are transmissible viral proventriculitis and coccidiosis. The main management difficulties were managing old drinkers, wooden sheds and presence of litter beetles and uneven lighting. Over the years of working together, we have prioritised areas for investment across the sheds and made continual small changes to

improve bird welfare and performance. For example, the terminal clean and disinfect is carried out by Will himself and includes fogging to ensure the disease burdens in the older wooden sheds is reduced as much as possible.

They have also been investing in new drinkers and lights gradually, which have required a change in management once replaced. Regular brooding reviews are helping to ensure we reach a good 2-hour crop fill and prevent immunosuppression from overheating or dehydration, which also helps the birds manage the viral challenges on site.” Charlotte Norman


2019/20 2020/21

EPEF 373 411

FCR 1.65 1.54

Mortality 3.93 2.48

Tmls (total mean lesion score) 0.79 0.47

Recent data collation on site has identified the total mean lesion score across the sheds has reduced for 3 years running. We are very pleased that their results on site have been consistently over 400 EPEF since working together, with the majority between 410-420.

“We were hoping to improve overall performance on site, and we had been having cocci issues for a number of crops and thus, lower EPEFs than we hoped to be achieving. Since working with Charlotte, our performance has been fantastic, we are consistently producing birds above target and our EPEFs are up by around 20 points. Over the last 7 crops with Charlotte our lowest EPEF has been 398 and the bulk of them have been well over 400. Something which when joining St David’s, I didn’t think was possible.

By doing routine gut health scoring, our cocci issues are now very much reduced, leading to a significant drop in antibiotic usage and improved bird welfare. Charlotte really does feel like one of the team working with us to improve performance and welfare of the birds, she is always happy to help and only ever a phone call away. Through regular visits and monitoring we are catching any potential bird issues before they become problems.

St. David’s provides an entire service for your poultry needs, the entire team are exceptionally knowledgeable and always friendly and willing to help. Through working closely with the team, we have made subtle changes to nearly every aspect of our operation (cleaning and disinfecting, chick start, gut health, food and water), which are now really paying off with consistent results year-round.”

28 29 Client Spotlight
Will Raw

Reduce Abattoir Condemnations, Reduce Food Waste

Abnormal Colour/Fevered/ Septicaemic

This is one of the most frustrating conditions seen as a vet. The category covers a plethora of conditions and it can be tough to determine exactly which one is at play. Some abnormal coloured carcasses are from birds with underlying bacterial infections leading them to have septicaemia. This is detected at the whole bird inspection point and such birds are rightly rejected.

With a growing global population, there is ever increasing pressure on the agriculture and food sectors to minimise waste in the supply chain. One area where this can be done is through minimising abattoir rejects. The UK average has historically been just over 1.3% but can vary depending on several factors including processing age.

For all large-scale abattoirs in the UK, meat inspection is overseen by the FSA with an official veterinarian being on the ground when the plant is running. The decision to reject or not is done by the FSA, not the abattoir owners. These figures are put onto an online system and a report is generated with the numbers of condemnations in each category. If the numbers of condemnations exceed a target in a given category, then Defra are alerted, and a trigger report is generated. A red trigger is given for severe cases and a yellow trigger for less severe cases. In some cases, a Defra visit will take place on the back of the report.

In most abattoirs there are two inspection points; the whole bird inspection point, which is done just after plucking, and the evisceration point, whereby the bird is inspected after the innards have been removed (note the innards are presented alongside the carcase). If the reject levels are higher than expected for a flock, then the levels should be discussed with your vet or area manager. When looking at the condemnation rates for your farm it is important to have the breakdown as to what specific categories the rejects occurred in as each category can have different causes.


Ascites is a build-up of fluid within the body cavity of the bird and tends to be detected at the whole bird inspection point. Affected birds appear to have a large abdomen. Such birds may not bleed out correctly and therefore are rejected. These birds tend to have heart failure, and this can be associated with ventilation issues, temperatures outside the bird’s optimum range or rapid growth. In many cases the issue cannot be seen on farm. On farms whereby ascites is an issue it is important to review temperature profiles and ventilation rates.

Birds with ascites may also have abnormally coloured carcasses and be rejected as abnormally coloured rather than as having ascites. Dehydration can cause abnormal colouration of the carcass as can outside temperatures during transportation. Due to the array of possible causes of abnormal colouration of carcasses, whereby this is a persistent issue on a farm, then you should ask your vet to go to the abattoir to watch your next flock be processed to help better understand the cause.


Cellulitis is a plaque of pus under the skin near the vent and is detected at whole bird inspection. The exact cause of cellulitis is difficult sometimes to determine and when looking at cellulitis issues on a farm, it is important to consider the risk factors for the development of cellulitis.

You need a bacterial challenge - this usually comes from the environment and can be linked to a poor cleanout or to poor water hygiene. You need scratching wounds - this can come from birds scratching if they are being walked too fast, during bedding up or if the feeder run times are not quite right.

Underlying viral challenges such as Gumboro disease can challenge the immune system leading to increased rejection for several categories including cellulitis. It can be difficult to look for cellulitis on farm due to feather cover of the affected area. Scratches can be looked for by parting the feathers just under the vent and around the flanks but not all scratches lead to cellulitis. Note scratches alone are not a cause for rejection.

Water hygiene and terminal hygiene should be reviewed. Attention should be paid to bird activity during walking, bedding and feeding.

Myopathies (including Wooden Breast)

Myopathies are a group of conditions that describe abnormal meat quality. There are several myopathies out there but the most common one is wooden breast (also known as hard breast). Wooden breast is associated with a firmer breast then normal and can result in a slightly different shape of the breast to normal.

The condition is picked up mostly at the whole bird inspection point. In mild cases the bird can be treated as normal but in severe cases (where there is any small bleeds or accumulation of fluid on the breast) then the bird must be rejected. There are several risk factors for wooden breast; genetic (note the condition has been seen in several breeds), ventilation, rapid growth rate (often during specific points in the bird’s life).

To reduce the risk of wooden breast it is worth discussing the issue with your area manager or vet as the risk factors will vary depending on the farm.

Irrespective of the cause of high rejects, they warrant investigation due to the impact on bird welfare, flock economics and food waste. Always discuss increased reject levels with your vet and/or area manager.

30 31
Reduce Abattoir Condemnations. Reduce Food Waste.
On farms where cellulitis is an issue the Gumboro status should be determined and vaccination should be audited where appropriate.

Extending the Life of a Layer

full laying potential, while allowing her to maintain production levels and continue to produce a high-quality robust shell.

Challenges to the bird vary depending on the age, stage of reproduction, management system, the presence of physiological and environmental challenges such as disease, (heat)stress, high ammonia levels etc.

Supporting longer productivity

Maintaining production for an extended period does not come without risks. It is imperative to be aware of the waning immunity status, gradual increase in egg size and reduction in shell quality. The focus from the very beginning of the pullet’s life needs to be on providing her with the necessary support to make an extended laying cycle achievable.

Within the current global economic and environmental situation and the associated challenges, the development of ‘longer life’ laying hens becomes much more of a priority.

A decline in egg numbers combined with a deterioration in shell quality are the main reasons for currently replacing flocks at around 74-77 weeks of age. These birds are essentially healthy, and if their egg production cycle can be lengthened without loss of shell quality there are significant welfare, as well as economic benefits, to be gained.

There are obvious benefits such as more efficient use of diminishing resources, the reduction in pullet depreciation, the number of empty days on an annual basis and an overall reduction in carbon footprint.

Financial returns

Looking at the average depletion age of flocks in the UK and The Republic of Ireland (currently 76 weeks) and comparing the financial figures with a flock that stays in production up to 90 weeks, we can estimate the financial benefit of the longer living hen. Using £4.80 as the pullet price and £400 as the cost for a tonne of feed we estimate a reduction in pullet depreciation of £0.03 per dozen eggs resulting in a financial benefit of £0.18 per bird. However, there are other factors which may contribute towards increased profitability which are less easy to evaluate. These often differ between flocks and include greater average egg size and an increased number of eggs laid per bird amongst other factors

This persistency in lay however cannot be achieved without knowledge and consideration of the bird’s physiology. This will then enable us to understand how she can be supported and helped to develop to her

We believe that by understanding both the physiological and nutritional needs of the hen we can prepare her for a long and productive life. This allows you as a producer to take advantage of the ever-improving genetic potential of the modern commercial layer.

For the hen to be able to come into lay with minimal stress the hens must have attained target body weight at 14-16w. This plus the proper protein to body fat ratio to allow them to react to light stimulation appropriately and to sustain her physical requirements as egg production rises rapidly. Be under no illusion this is a hugely stressful event during which time the birds’ immune system can become significantly compromised. We are all familiar with the dreaded post peak drop as the hens slowly but surely run out of energy. Managing egg size and opting for a flatter egg curve aid in sustaining a longer laying cycle.

Maintaining energy levels

Aspiring to have continued good production and shell quality beyond 90 weeks, these energy levels must be maintained along with protein to body fat ratios. This means we can manage egg size to the desired specifications.

Good skeletal development with a ready source of Calcium which can be repeatedly mobilised from the medullary bone and replaced requires careful management of Calcium intake and a very stable gut microflora. This is particularly important in the rear gut. As the hen matures her requirements change and so too should the nutritional support provided in order to help her sustain intestinal health, shell quality, egg size and production level.

32 33
Extending the Life of a Layer

Support options

The following support options are available:

• Nutraceutical support in the first days of life to facilitate a good feed and water uptake as well as laying down the basis for initiation of the immune system development and support

• Supporting the pullets’ skeletal development during the growth period to ensure a good frame size, bone development and uniformity

• Providing ongoing support which allows the immune system to develop efficiently and potentially help improve the immune response of the pullet

• Providing intestinal support during key periods in the hen’s life so she can better maintain her energy levels and body condition allowing her to sustain production for longer

• Providing essential nutraceutical support to the older hen to help maintain good shell quality for longer

• Providing supportive intestinal management of the hens post 60 weeks to reduce the risk of salmonella colonisation.

Microbiome management

The part played by the microbiome (the intestinal microflora) is becoming better understood both in animals and people. The benefits of a well-balanced and stable microbiome are found in an improvement in general health and a well-developed and competent immune system.

With years of experience in seeding the avian gut with the most beneficial bacteria and supporting the growth of these in preference to less favourable bacterial species to facilitate colonisation we have developed a great understanding of how the bacterial flora in the gut can influence welfare and productivity. We aim to provide sustainable, holistic, farm specific and cost- effective strategies and solutions.

Many studies have shown that the presence of favourable bacteria in the intestinal tract can significantly improve resistance to pathogen colonisation. By ensuring the intestinal environment is suitable for the growth and replication of the beneficial bacteria, the ‘healthy’ microbiome can be sustained.

Gut health

The gut is the first port of entry for a variety of external pathogens and forms an important barrier between the outside world and the internal bodily systems. When unstable, the gut can be a source of systemic toxins and bacteria due to leakage through the intercellular junctions of the gut lining following the reduction of the barrier function offered by the tight junctions. These junctions can be amongst others affected by stress, (myco)toxins and mechanical challenges occurring in the gut over time. These toxins and bacteria become blood borne and can lead to a systemic infectious process (septicaemia) which is costing the hen energy to fight infection, potentially leading to a loss in productivity, not to mention the potential expense of therapeutics.

Most beneficial bacteria thrive under acidic conditions whereas potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridia and Campylobacter are averse to these conditions.

It is important to appreciate that during the hen’s life the nutritional and physiological needs change significantly with the growth requirement only being present for the first few weeks at the onset of egg production.

Attention to detail, good management and nutraceutical support can provide the follow-on support required for the extension of the laying cycle. Energy required for maintenance in the post peak production period depends on body weight and feather coverage and therefore increases with hen age.

Once the hens get over the 50-week mark additional support is advised in order to sustain eggshell quality alongside production and the birds’ health for the duration of the laying period.

However, the nutraceutical support programme is one of a variety of tools required to make extending the birds’ laying cycle possible. A holistic approach is required which incorporates both veterinary support tools such as responsible antimicrobial usage and effective vaccination programmes as well as on farm factors such as stress management, vermin control, pest management, brooding conditions etc.

We can advise on a variety of tailored support strategies to help accomplish an extended laying cycle. Please feel free to contact us if you wish to find out more about our support programmes.

34 35 Extending the Life of a Layer

Red Mite: Implications and Control Strategies

Health/welfare implications and economic losses

Even a low mite burden in a shed will have negative effects on a flock. However, without treatment numbers will grow and clinical signs will become more obvious. These may include:


Red mites will irritate and stress the birds as they feed, and studies have shown a 1.5x increase in corticosterone and 2x increase in adrenaline (two stress hormones) within affected birds. Stressed birds are more likely to feather and vent peck. In addition, stress will cause immunosuppression (and therefore increased susceptibility to other diseases) and reduced egg production.


Typical mite densities in an infested shed range from 25,000 – 500,000 red mite per bird. With these numbers feeding every night the bird may lose up to 3% of its blood volume, causing anaemia over time. Mildly anaemic birds will have pale combs and wattles, may be lethargic and will become immunosuppressed. In severe cases birds will die.

Economic losses

North of England and Scotland

Dermanyssus gallinae, commonly known as red mite, are recognised as the most damaging parasite of laying hens worldwide. The UK, where the majority of flocks have a red mite infestation, is no exception. An infestation will have a cascade of negative effects on bird health and welfare, as well as the economic performance of the flock. For example, even a relatively low number of red mite will cause physical irritation, raised stress levels and increased vent/feather pecking. As numbers increase, egg production will be affected, birds may become anaemic and mortality will rise. In addition, red mite have been implicated in the spread of pathogens such as Pasteurella, Erysipelas, E.coli and Salmonella.

Introduction to a shed

Even new layer houses can succumb to red mite infestations. A broad range of avian species are natural hosts for red mites and therefore wild birds can easily introduce them to a flock which was previously mitefree. Red mites are able to survive for 9 months without a host and therefore may be present in the range prior to stocking of the shed. Another possibility is a biosecurity breach and introduction from a poultry flock with an existing infestation; of particular concern are any equipment/tools which have been used in another poultry house and may harbour mite.

Blood spots on eggs

Red mite will commonly feed around the cloaca of a laying hen, causing damage to the delicate skin. This can mean that eggs will sometimes get small streaks of blood deposited on the shell as they are laid, resulting in downgrading of the eggs.

Transmission of disease

As they move from bird to bird whilst feeding, mites are able to directly inoculate pathogens from one bird into the bloodstream of another. Studies have shown that Pasteurella, Erysipelas, E.coli and Salmonella can all be transmitted by red mite.

It is not surprising that the disease manifestations discussed above will translate into significant economic losses over the lifetime of a flock. This is predominantly a result of decreased egg production, increased egg downgrades, increased mortality and reduced feed conversion rate (FCR) (particularly important with current high feed prices). One 2017 study from the Netherlands estimated a €0.60 loss per hen across the country, and this figure can only have increased over time. It should be noted that this is an average figure and severely affected flocks may experience substantially higher losses. For example, average egg production which is 5% below breed standard in a flock, due to a high mite burden, will translate into £1400 per 1000 birds lost in egg sales (assuming depletion at 80wks and 91p/doz). This is before mortality, increased seconds, reduced FCR and overall poorer flock health status are taken into account.

Zoonotic potential

Red mites will feed on humans when no avian hosts are available. When they feed on humans, bite reactions may or may not occur, but may show as pruritic erythematous papules, vesicles or dermatitis.

36 37
Red Mite: Implications and Control Strategies

Control strategies

The best control strategy for red mite is to keep it out in the first place through strict biosecurity and wild-bird deterrents on the range. However, after several years in operation most laying sheds will find themselves with a red mite infestation. Unfortunately, when this happens, complete elimination is seldom possible, and strategies must focus instead on controlling red mite populations at a low level which will cause minimum discomfort to the birds. The options described below are usually best employed in combination and in consultation with your poultry vet.

Terminal cleaning and disinfection (C&D)

A good terminal C&D programme is essential for reducing the red mite population on-site to a minimum prior to new pullets arriving. This should consist of a thorough wash-down, application of a detergent, another wash-down, drying and then application of a disinfectant active against red mite eggs (e.g. Interkokask). Care must be taken to ensure that any disinfectant is applied to a dry surface and at the dilution rate specified to kill mite eggs.


This is a unique prescription-only in-water medication which is very effective at killing red mite, even if they are at high levels in a shed. It must be given as two 12hr treatments separated by 7 days – the aim of this is to kill adult mite in the first treatment, then the next generation of mite as they emerge 7 days later. If used properly this product will kill >99% of mite in a shed, however over time mite will gradually return and more than one treatment over the lifetime of a flock may be required. Each treatment is relatively expensive, however when the full economic impact of red mite infestation is taken into account it is usually a costeffective option.

Insecticide spray-on products

In the past these products were the mainstay of red mite control, however in recent years resistance has developed and many formulations have been removed from the market. However, they are still useful at controlling low to moderate infestations, particularly if a product with residual action is chosen and the shed system allows for easy spraying of hot-spot areas. We always advise rotation of products used to reduce risk of resistance build-up. Care should also be taken to ensure any products used are approved for use in the presence of laying hens.


This is a non-insecticide spray-on product which kills mite using a mechanical immobilising action. It also has the advantage of being non-toxic and non-irritant to birds. Unlike some insecticide spray-ons it has no residual action and should therefore be sprayed at lights-out to maximise contact with active mite. Spraying should be repeated after 7 days.

Diatomaceous Earth

This material exists under various brands and can be spread around the shed and in dust baths/scratch areas. It physically desiccates the mites in direct contact with the powder and as it damages the exoskeleton the mites cannot develop resistance to the powder. Diatomaceous Earth is useful in controlling low level infestations, however may be less effective at treating a high mite burden. Care must be taken to ensure any products you use in this category are approved by your farm assurance bodies.

Predator mites

These are a proven way of biologically controlling red mites and have been available on the continent for several years. The Androlis and Taurrus mites will feed upon red mites therefore keeping populations under control. They are applied to specific areas of the house from where they will start to migrate and actively seek out red mites. As with red mite, the predator mite is sensitive to insectides, so it is advisable not to spray the house for 4 weeks prior to the release/distribution of the predator mites. House temperature should be around 20°C, and humidity should be around 65 – 75%. Success of the treatment is usually visible after two to three weeks.

The Future of Red Mite Control

Due to changes in regulations, there is frequent movement in the availability and/or approval status of many commercial red mite treatments, in particular insecticide-based spray on products. In addition, due to the considerable economic losses associated with red mite infestations of commercial enterprises, new red mite products with varying degrees of efficacy are frequently added to the market.

A vaccine for red mite, following the principles of the anti-tick ‘TickGARD’ vaccine, has been in development for several years and research is ongoing. Depending on its efficacy and price, it may make a valuable contribution to red mite control in future.


Red mites have been the scourge of the laying industry for years and it is very rare to find a site without an infestation. If untreated, they will have severe impact on bird welfare and health, not to mention the eye watering economic impact which only mounts as the flock ages. In times of high feed and production costs it is more important than ever to have the best FCR, lowest mortality and highest possible egg production.

38 39 Red Mite: Implications and Control Strategies Red Mite: Implications and Control Strategies
Predator mites feeding on red mite. Photo courtesy of AP-PI.

Preparing for No Beak Tipping

• Stress. Identifying and reducing stress levels in laying flocks will produce the most beneficial performance results. The ability of the flock to respond to the most well considered nutritional and environmental management will be severely prejudiced by being unsettled and nervous.

• Rearing. Routines developed in rear must be considered when transferring flocks to laying accommodation. Creating a familiar and welcoming environment is the foundation that flock performance can be built on. Remember that until the first egg is produced, the flocks are still in the rearing phase and management needs to be respectful of this.

• Behaviour. Ensure that hens have the ability to express normal behaviour, adequate friable litter for foraging, provision of grit and destructible enrichment such as lucerne bales, pecking blocks and rope.

• Feed deficiencies. Make sure feed is fit for purpose and provides for the birds’ requirements at each stage of production. Grist composition and physical presentation are just as important as nutrient levels and balance.

• Social hierarchy Vital that birds are reared in the same social groups that they will be in on laying farm.

Considerations for Producers

The introduction of a ban on Infrared Beak Treatment (or beak tipping or trimming) has been mooted by successive governments for 20 years. A practice that was originally intended as an interim measure to reduce / prevent feather pecking whilst a long-term solution was agreed, is now commonplace, amongst layer producers.

Despite studies and research, the industry has been unable to agree a way forward voluntarily, and with bans already in place across Europe, the prospect of legislation being introduced in the UK looks increasingly likely, with some industry experts suggesting this could happen as early as 2023 – although there will probably be a transition period.

There is no doubt that when routine beak tipping ceases, the risk of severe feather pecking increases and poses a significant threat to the bird’s health, welfare and financial performance.

Once established, damaging flock behaviour can be difficult to control. Early identification and action are vital to protecting and maintaining welfare and flock productivity.

Having the appropriate systems, plans and training in place to mitigate these risks will be key. Acquiring the experience and knowledge to identify the triggers enables planned interventions to prevent problem behaviour escalating. Often by the time feather loss is seen, the initiating causes / triggers occurred several weeks previously.

• Environmental. Ensure a good house environment including clean water supply, good air quality and correct feed. Maintain good biosecurity to prevent infections sapping the flock’s productive energy.

• Stress at placement . Ensure adequate litter at placement. After many years of experience working with pullets and layers, I cannot stress how strongly I feel about the provision of litter at placement. Of course, I am aware of the concerns relating to floor eggs, but we need to recognise that many factors lead to floor eggs and we have to identify and address all these issues. Whilst litter provision might have been minimised in birds with trimmed beaks, I am very concerned that insufficient litter in the early days of a flock will lead to pecking issues as the hens redirect their natural foraging behaviour. We need to look at each farm and come up with a tailor-made solution to ensure bird welfare and performance are optimised.

• Managing change. Any changes that the flocks experience have the potential to cause stress. Managing flocks efficiently and effectively will always require fine tuning of the environment and inputs. Changes introduced gradually whilst carefully monitoring flock reaction and providing support with multivitamins will ensure that the effects are beneficial rather than detrimental.


The removal of Beak Tipping as a management tool will be testing for flock keepers. As with other regulatory changes however, the industry has proved that it is resourceful, innovative and determined, adapting to change and continuing to develop novel techniques to maintain and improve economic viability. A new and holistic approach to nutrition, housing and management will be needed to address this demanding challenge. St David’s are in a unique position to collate on farm experience and research across the industry in the UK and globally, providing farmers with unrivalled access to the techniques required to maintain flock health and profitability in these changing times.

40 41
Preparing for No Beak Tipping

A Modern Approach to Blackhead in Turkeys

Case: Recovery from Blackhead

Commercial Grow Out Turkeys


One house on a site of 79-day old commercial stag growout turkeys presented in early autumn 2020 with concerns over increased mortality for three days running and a spike in water intakes. The birds had been transferred from the brood farm at 38 days and there had been no previous issues to date, and the environment was well managed. Daily mortality on the day of presentation was 0.3%, with a cumulative mortality of 2.1%. On examination, all of the birds were very quiet, and some individuals seen hunched up; who were a good size and did not appear outwardly dehydrated or running a fever. The water chart showed by day 76, the intake had increased to 170% of target and remained high.

Post-mortem examinations of dead and culled birds showed classic blackhead pathology, large caecal cores with severe erosion and thickening of the caecal wall and birds had subtle ‘target’ lesions all over the livers (images 1 and 2). Samples taken for histopathology and PCR testing later confirmed the diagnosis of blackhead. Some of the sicker birds also showed evidence of E.coli infection, secondary to the gut wall damage.

Blackhead remains a significant threat to the UK turkey industry and outbreaks appear to be occurring more and more erratically, with less consistency in the age of onset, system type, severity of symptoms and geography. We have even seen the disease on new sites with high standards of biosecurity. There was a higher than usual incidence in 2020-21, and we saw clinical disease as young as 25 days. Yet, in the winter of 2021-2022, we have then seen very few cases.

Blackhead is one of those diseases that, as vets, we can’t give you all the answers - perhaps due to its complex lifecycle and its ability to keep defying past research. Historic treatments with in-feed antibiotics have never been overly successful at targeting the primary disease and more act to improve appetite and prevent

secondary infection for a limited period. Many cases end in continued culling and even early depopulation on welfare grounds. Mortality and morbidity can be as high as 100%. St David’s Poultry Team have been at the forefront of trialling new solutions and have applied new evidence from Europe on tackling Histomonas meleagridis, bringing an essential oil product containing predominantly oregano extract to our armoury.

Parazilin is a liquid given via the drinking water for 5 days as a targeted supportive product when clinical disease is identified and has produced some outstanding results in several significant blackhead outbreaks on commercial turkey grow out sites and is relatively inexpensive. We have also learned some useful lessons around product administration and timing.

The birds were started on Parazilin via the drinking water and advised to cull birds that were too sick to reach feed and water and likely to have secondary E.coli infection.

Following the use of Parazilin, mortality peaked on day 82, with 3.8% daily, with the majority being cull birds, bringing cumulative mortality to 10.4% (image 3). By day 83, day 3 of usage, daily mortality had dropped to just 0.7% and bird demeanour was much improved, and water was down to 110% of target intake.

42 43
A Modern Approach to
in Turkeys
Image 1 – Classic blackhead lesions in this case, with large cores in the caecum, eroded and haemorrhagic caecal wall where the histomonas live. Image 2 – Classic target lesions seen in the livers caused by the protozoa traveling through the blood stream to the liver

Daily Mortality

Associated Companies

Parazilin usage

Image 3 – Mortality graph, showing peak disease challenge and then reduction following usage.

The birds were re-examined on day 85 and having only used the product a handful of times before, we were amazed at the improvement seen in the birds. Demeanour was good, birds were now active and bright, and there were a low number of sick birds requiring culling, and no dead birds. On postmortem examination, we were even more surprised to see how the once large caecal cores seen, were showing signs of breaking down and normal intestinal contents returning and liver lesions appearing to reduce and liver lesions appearing to reduce and appear more ‘historic’ in just 5 days (image 4).

The birds went on to make a full recovery with no reoccurrence of disease.

79 days 85 days

Core breakdown Reduced erosion Return of digestive contents

Historic liver lesions?

Image 4 – images showing before and after usage, within 5 days, caecal cores had broken down and liver lesions improved


Although recovery with oregano extract may not always be quite as dramatic as seen on this farm, experience is telling us that the earlier in the disease process it is started, the better the outcome. Since using this product, I have not had a client who has needed to depopulate due to severe disease. More recently we have added in the advice to use blackcurrant squash in order to improve the palatability and have since seen an even better response to the product. In-feed options are also available and work well for control on high-risk sites.

ABC provide a combination of systems, solutions and products to the poultry, pig and dairy industries.

ABC specialises in the administration of acidifiers and water hygiene and how these products can be best utilised to promote a healthy gut bacteria population. ABC can provide a range of options from standalone sanitisers and organic acid-based products, to a fully automated system that delivers clean water and promotes gut health in one process.

1. Automated system

Two-pump automated dosing system, that treats every litre of water that passes through it, with a blend of acids and chlorine products. The system is managed by the ABC team including all chemical handling and full training of farm staff. It is easily adjustable and monitored on farm to allow for fluctuations in water quality.

2. Sanitisers

Thorough cleaning of the drinker lines prevents the build-up of biofilm, and animals being exposed to harmful bacteria. Our water hygiene products, Aquaclean and Huwa-San are proven to be highly effective at removing biofilm and maintaining clean drinker lines.

3. Acidifiers

The acidification of drinking water promotes gut health in several ways, helping control pathogenic bacteria and promoting the ‘good’ microflora. Our organic acid products – ABC Start and ABC pH have been developed to target specific bacteria at the relevant times in the cycle.

The specially developed FarmWater system uses Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2), that has been successfully used as a water treatment disinfectant for several decades. However, until recently, safe and accurate production of ClO2, has only been manageable in sophisticated large-scale reactors.

FarmWater’s range of ClO2 generators enable cost-effective, safe and efficient ClO2 production on livestock sites. They are highly efficient, mixing the two components so accurately that after 20,000 hours of on farm trials, they consistently use 75% less chemical than other generators in the market.

FarmWater provides water hygiene solutions to poultry, pig and ruminant farms, and offers a complete service including site surveying, installation, ongoing support and monitoring.

44 45
38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 AGE 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85
90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
Number of birds Percentage daily mortality Age of birds
4.0% 3.5% 3.0% 2.5% 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% 0.5% 0.0%
Dead Cull Total DM% A Modern Approach to Blackhead in Turkeys
Age Dead Cull Total DM% Rolling CM 75 0 1 1 0.0% 0.9% 76 1 2 3 0.1% 1.0% 77 7 2 9 0.4% 1.4% 78 7 0 7 0.3% 1.8% 79 7 0 7 0.3% 2.1% 80 0 43 43 2.0% 4.1% 81 3 52 55 2.5% 6.6% 82 6 75 81 3.8% 10.4% 83 1 15 16 0.7% 11.1% 84 0 8 8 0.4% 11.5% 85 0 16 16 0.7% 12.2%

Poultry Pharm Non-prescription Product Range

Detergents and Disinfectants

Alkaliene 5L/25L

• Heavy duty fast cationic cleaner

• Ideal first stage cleaner

• Effectively removes grease, dirt and organic matter allowing for disinfectants to work effectively

• Effective against biofilm

• Reduces wash water requirements


Interkokask 10kg

• Defra approved veterinary disinfectant with special formula which includes chlorocresol, a lipid solvent that breaks through the protective triple outer protein/lipid/chitin layers found in many pathogens and parasites, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa such as cryptosporidum and coccidial oocysts

• Regular use of Interkokask can slow down development of resistant strains of coccidian


• Interkokask Concentrate 10kg also available

Intercid 10kg

• General purpose disinfectant

• Bactericide, viricide and fungicide

• High cleaning efficiency with low odour

• Tested and shown effectiveness in APH comparison tests 2011/2017 against salmonella and biofilm

• Used to clean hosing, boot tread mats and foot dips.


Halamid 2kg/25kg

• Defra approved disinfectant

• Unique product based on Chloramine T in a white powder form

• High water solubility and highly cost effective

• Effective against bacteria, viruses and fungi

• Safe to handle and non-corrosive

Kills cocci!

Acids and Water Sanitisers



• Powerful drinking system cleaner and disinfectant

• Stabilised hydrogen peroxide

• Safe for equipment and birds

• For removal of biofilm from drinker lines

• Routine clean out of drinker lines between production cycles

• Use on housing, equipment, vehicles and footbaths

• Apply by spraying, nebulisation or fogging

Stalosan F 15kg

• Stalosan F® is a dry powder dessicator and disinfectant

• Reduces bacteria, fungi and moulds optimising sanitary conditions

• Offers a high level of acid minerals which decompose harmful pathogens

• Reduces moisture and ammonia levels

• Can be used around drinkers

• Creates hostile environment for coccidiosis

• Has been found to deter parasites including ticks

Competitive Exclusion


2000/5000/10000 bird sachets

• Used whenever there is a need for establishment or re-establishment of the normal intestinal bacteria. In stress situations, the normal intestinal bacteria may be disturbed, which can result in pathogenic bacterial taking hold

Product Usage:

• For use in growing and adult birds

• Dissolve the entire contents of the packet in an amount of water corresponding to the usual water consumption of 4 to 8 hours and give this amount as the only source of drinking water during an appropriate time of day

Speak to your vet or visit the website for more information on application.

• With leaking drinking nipples

• Before and after vaccination and medication

• After the use of vitamins or other additives

Speak to your vet or visit the website for application information.

Ultimate Acid 25kg/250kg

• Based on synergetic combination of organic acids such as formic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid and sorbic acid

• Contains trace elements of copper and zinc

• Used for good intestinal function during starter period, before and after feed changes, after medication to support the protein and amino acid digestion within the gastro-intestinal tract

• Its effect on gut pH, makes it useful in controlling E.coli

Product Usage:

• 1000ml per 1000L of drinking water

Pro-Mac 10kg

• Energy boost with additional nutrients

• Rich formulation containing amino acids, minerals, vitamins, organic acids, glucose and essential oils.

• Demonstrated to have a positive effect during specific moments in the production cycle

• Supports the immune system

Product Usage:

• 1L per 1000L of drinking water

46 47
Developed and trialled by St David’s Poultry Team
Bulk order prices available
to your vet for more information on these products or visit Poultry Pharm Product Range
Effective against salmonella

In-Water Microbiome Management

Biacton+ 1kg

• Supplementary feed for liquid application with a high content of live lactic acid producing bacteria, blended with a soluble carrier

• Direct inhibition of potential pathogens including Clostridium sp., Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli, etc.

• High production of lactic acid into the intestinal content

• Stimulation of acid production bacterial already present in the intestinal content

• Support the local immune defence in the gastrointestinal tract

• Soluble in water though there is also a feed additive version available

• Licensed for use in broiler, laying hens and turkeys

Product Usage:

• 34g per 1000L of drinking water

• Best given in the first 10-14 days of life

See the website for further information on application.

Biacton/ZooLac COMBO 30g

• Part of our probiotic range. The active part of the Biacton component is a selected strain of lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus farciminis. The strain is powerful in the gut, resulting in the composition of the microbiota in an acidogenic direction, and a significant change in the chemical environment of the intestines. This directly inhibits potential pathogens.

• The ZooLac component contains a special strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus. ZooLac is a novel bacteria product which has a protective coating on the newly emerging enterocytes and blocks the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria. If the bacteria cannot adhere, they cannot colonise the gut

Product Usage:

• 100g per 1000L of drinking water for 7 days

Essential Oils

Coccilin V Plus 2L/5L

• Advanced formula of perfectly balanced flora essential oils and vitamins

• Helps to maintain the homeostasis of the digestion system

• The composition of Coccilin V Plus (allicin and carvacrol in particular) has beneficial effect on digestion processes, especially in cases of indigestion and feed consumption disorders

• B vitamins are useful where there is evidence of deficiency and increased losses

• This product has been used where coccidiosis challenges are suspected

Product Usage:

• 500ml per 1000L of drinking water in half of daily water intake for 5 days

Herbivit Plus 5L

• Specialised mixture of vitamins, amino acids and micro elements which helps to maintain metabolic balance of the bird

• A full range of amino acids and vitamins: A, D3, E and K positively influences production results, especially in cases of growth disorders and increased demand for nutrients.

• A set of B vitamins (B1, B5, B6, B12) combined with chlorine, betaine, and carnitine facilitate the functioning and regeneration of the liver and gallbladder

• Also contains highly absorbable chelates of zinc, manganese and copper, therefore providing support to the immune and digestive system

Product Usage

• 500ml per 1000L of drinking water in half of daily water intake for 5 days

Viovit Orego Plus 2L

• Viovit Orego Plus is a highly concentrated mixture of herbal extracts including oregano

• Effective digestion support

• Intended for use where there is evidence of disorders in food intake, digestion and assimilation of the feed

Product Usage:

• 200ml per 1000L of drinking water in half of daily water intake for 5 days.

Biostarter 2L

• Contains a rich composition of anise oil, vitamins, electrolytes, prebiotics and energy

• Created to provide early flock support and stimulate the development of gastrointestinal structures to support against disorders

• Electrolytes, betaine and sorbitol are used to supplement the levels of electrolytes and energy substances that are often unstable in the period between hatchery and placement

• Vitamin C and D3 are additional support for bird immunity when immune challenged

Product Usage:

• 500ml per 1000L of drinking water, constant application for 3-5 days.

Parazilin 5L

• Concentrate of herbs and active substances supporting the reinforcing the protective capacities of the gastrointestinal tract

• Support for birds with protozoal infection such as Hexamita and Blackhead

Product Usage:

• 500ml per 1000L of drinking water, 24h a day for 5-7 days

Necox 5L

• Liquid feed additive to support intestinal health

• Blend of specific plant extracts, electrolytes, xantaamgum and dextrose

• Helps regenerate and protect microvilli and intestinal structures

• This product can be used when coccidial challenges are suspected as coccidiosis disrupts the balance of the gut

Product Usage:

• 300-500ml per 1000L of drinking water. Use for 24 hours per day for 3 days

48 49 Poultry Pharm Product Range

Pecking Blocks Red Mite Control

Natu-Pek Pecking Block


Utilising the proven Alltech technology, this block is a unique, welfare enhancing product containing a mixture of natural and supplementary ingredients

• It has been developed as an effective solution to reduce injurious pecking whilst promoting natural behaviours

Including the following Alltech developed components:

• Actigen® - To improve gut health and enhance immune response

• De-Odorase® - Extracts from Yucca plants which are known to help bind and reduce ammonia levels

Key Features:

• Contains all natural ingredients

• Abrasive finish to reduce excessive growth of the beak

• Distinct smell attracts the birds

• Does not interfere with the bird’s existing nutritional programme

• An audit friendly item for enrichment

• Simple and easy to install - can be suspended from the ceiling or raised off the ground in a dry scratch area

• Can be broken down into smaller sizes

Dergall 1L

• Novel approach to red mite management. Dergall is a unique product which immobilises red mites by mechanical means rather than systemically. It is activated when mixed with water creating a microscopic network on surfaces which traps and suffocates the red mites

• Non-toxic and insecticide free, included on the Lion Code Insecticide/Acardicide list

• Does not promote creation of resistant mite/insect populations by continuous exposure

• No residue risk for birds, eggs, operatives or the environment

• Improves general health conditions, by reducing stress caused by red mites

• Helps to reduce the risk of bird to bird and bird to human transmitted diseases

• Can be applied any time during production

• Uses standard application equipment

• No negative impact on hatchability

• No change in behaviour patterns of the birds

• Frequency of Application depends on level of infestation

Product Usage:

• Mixed to a 0.6% solution before using. 1 litre makes 166 litres of spray on solution. This product has a knock-down effect along with continued action on surfaces for 2-3 days. We advise to spray it at the end of the day to maximise the efficacy of the product, so red mites come into contact with it as soon as they are active after lights are out

Vitamin Supplements

Product Uses 50 Week Plus

Bone and leg issues in broiler/breeders

Poor laying persistence

Poor eggshell quality

Poor bone/shell mineralisation

Poor uniformity

Fast growth


Amino Plus

Vent pecking


Housing change

Liver Tonic

Poor FCR

Poor feed intake

Energy Plus

Reduced nutrient digestion / absorption


Fatty Liver

Heat stress/high temperatures

Heat Stress Plus

Panting/wing spreading


Wet/frothy droppings

Poor water consumption


Solulyte Plus

Wet/frothy droppings

Poor absorption of fluids/electrolytes

Growth support post vaccination

Feed change

General poor condition

Multivit Plus

Vitamin deficiency/gut malabsorption

Poor hatchability

Use after peak lay

Rapid D Plus Early growth for bone development

51 Poultry Pharm Product Range Poultry Pharm Product Range


• Complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff containing a blend of calcium, minerals and vitamins designed to support egg and shell quality in laying birds over 50 weeks and in incidences of poor laying persistence

• Has been used incidences of leg and bone issues

• Feed continuously via a suitable drinking system during periods of optimum growth or following the discovery of shell problems or when layers are 50 weeks of age and there is potential increases in seconds

Product Usage:

• 1000ml per 1000L of drinking water. Use for 2 days per week during lay after 50 weeks of age to help shell quality issues. Use for 2-3 days per week during periods of poor egg shell quality

Amino Plus


• Complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff containing amino acids, electrolytes, vitamins and trace elements

• Supports early growth and development, particular when correcting an amino acid deficiency or imbalance

• Additionally, Amino Plus helps calm birds through the provision of magnesium

Product Usage:

• 500ml to 1000ml per 1000L of drinking water

• Use for 2-5 days during fast growth period or periods of challenge, particularly:

• Vaccination

• Nutritional imbalances

• Transport

• Change of housing

• Exhaustion

• Pecking

Energy Plus 1L

• Complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff providing metabolisable energy, liver support, and specific plant extracts to aid healthy digestion

• Use especially during or following reduced feed intake, poor feed utilisation, where birds appear depressed or where energy supply is sub-optimal to maintain normal growth

• Helps feed conversion rate during first days of life, at peak performance and growth, diet change or periods of risk from poor digestion of feed

Product Usage:

• 500-1000ml per 1000L of drinking water. Use for 5 days

Heat Stress Plus 5L

• Complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff containing electrolytes, energy, vitamins, antioxidants and specialist ingredients to help reduce the effects of high ambient temperatures on performance in broilers, layers and game birds. Stress symptoms caused by dehydration materialise rapidly, quickly raising mortality rates

• Heat Stress Plus aids acclimatisation to large variations in environmental temperature. Use particularly during catching and transport as part of a proactive management programme

Functional ingredients:

• Vitamin C - Supports maintenance of the bird’s internal body temperature by helping facilitate the response to higher ambient temperatures

• Electrolytes - Provided to help encourage water consumption and maintain salt balance which can be shifted during dehydration

• Betaine - Helps to maintain hydration and support a healthy gut during dehydration

• Energy - Provides sustenance to encourage active drinking behaviour while supporting activities associated with reducing overheating, for example wing spreading or panting

• Natural antioxidants - Assists normal immune function to support gut integrity to maintain digestion and nutrient absorption which may otherwise affect performance. Contains antioxidants to help neutralise free radicals

Product Usage:

• 1000ml per 1000L of drinking water prior to, during and immediately post internal temperature fluctuations above 25 degrees celsius

• At temperatures above 30 degrees celsius use 1500ml per 1000L of clean drinking water

• Use for 3-5 days during periods of dehydration due to excessive water loss

Solulyte Plus 5L

• Solulyte Plus is a complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff, suitable for game birds, laying hens and broilers

• Contains a blend of electrolytes (minerals/body salts) and flavours for strategic use, to optimise water consumption and supply essential body salts

• Electolytes are vital for physiological processes within the body, Solulyte Plus gives a comprehensive range of electrolytes to be given during heat stress, before or after transportation or at times of disease challenge and during post disease recovery

• Solulyte Plus contains sodium, chloride, potassium magnesium sulphate and citric acid

• Has unique flavours and sweeteners that act as an attractant while also improving palatability and supporting the desire to drink

Product Usage:

• 2000ml per 1000L of clean drinking water

Multivit Plus 1L/5L

• Complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff containing vitamins and natural antioxidants to help support performance and health in broilers and layers

• Production can generate metabolic and physiological stress, increasing the production of damaging cell reactive free radicals. To help ensure valuable nutrients are utilised for growth, free radical effects can be minimised by the action of antioxidants

Product Usage:

• Dilute 375ml per 1000L of clean drinking water

• Use for 3-5 days during times of stress, recovery from disease or after medication or vaccination

• For chicks, use at chick start for first 2-3 days of life.

Rapid D Plus


• Rapid D Plus is a complementary concentrated liquid feeding stuff for poultry.

• Use Rapid D Plus at chick start, at peak growth when Vitamin D3 uptake is required with rapid effect

• Vitamin D assists uptake of calcium from the intestine to ensure strong bones

Product Usage:

• 1L per 1000L of drinking water for 3 days

52 53 Poultry Pharm Product Range Poultry Pharm Product Range
50 Week Plus

St David’s Poultry Team is made up of 25 veterinary surgeons and 10 Field Services Technicians who work across our 15 practice bases, that are located throughout the UK and Ireland. Each region is managed by one of our Regional Lead Vets.

Head Office UK

Working beyond the UK and Ireland

Our team also has extensive experience in international poultry consultancy work. We do this primarily with our clients in the Middle East and Europe, however we can also provide a complete consultancy service to our larger UK based clients who need everything from a start-up operation to a hatchery investigation. We also have consultants with years of practical experience in farm management, laboratory design and management, and a wide range of other poultry-based husbandry advice.

The structure of the team allows us to provide a local, responsive and personal service, but with the ability to draw on the wider expertise across the country.

Nutwell Estate, Lympstone, Exmouth, EX8 5AN  +44 (0)1392 872932  

Head Office Ireland

 Glendarragh, Newcastle West, County Limerick  +353 (0)69 61033  

Combining over 250 years of poultry veterinary experience

St David’s Poultry Team is the leading independent poultry veterinary practice in the UK and Ireland. We offer a complete veterinary service across the whole sector; from pullet rearers, commercial egg laying companies and layer farms to broiler breeders and rearers, hatcheries and broiler farms, as well as providing a complete veterinary service to the turkey sector.

St David’s Poultry Team was founded in 2006 by Directors, Richard Turner MA VetMB MRCVS and Alan Beynon BVM&S MRCVS, who combined have over sixty years’ experience in the industry. In 2009, Richard, Alan and Liam Walsh, founded the Irish company. We are proud to be an independent practice which allows us the freedom to choose the best clinical care paths and areas to invest in without corporate influence or barriers.

Our team have a hands-on approach when working with our clients, providing tailored health programmes suited to their individual farm needs. We focus on offering proactive and practical advice, rooted in providing preventative care and strategic health plans. We work with our clients to reduce the use of antibiotics, working closely on the ground to identify areas to manage, and assisting clients in the implementation of innovative treatments to improve results and support them through the challenges of modern poultry farming.

Working with a large proportion of the UK and Ireland’s broiler industry and having responsibility for the majority of the layers across the UK, our poultry veterinary surgeons and field services team are on the ground supporting our clients through regular site visits and routine monitoring, though it is the personal on farm service provided to all farms, whatever their size, that defines the veterinary care from St David’s Poultry Team.

South of England St David's Poultry Team Ireland Newcastle West, Co. Limerick T: +353 (0)69 61033 Monaghan, Killyconnigan, Co.Monaghan T: +353 (0)47 83765 Nutwell Estate Exmouth EX8 5AN T: +44 (0)1392 872932 Fonthill, Berwick St Leonard SP3 5UA T: +44 (0)1747 820094 Bampton, Tiverton, Devon EX16 9NG T: +44 (0)1392 872932 T: +44 (0)1636 360005 T: +44 (0)1223 953336 1A Gregory Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP27 7DF Signature House, Great North Rd, Newark, NG24 1BL East of England The Hayloft Far Peak, Northleach, GL54 3AP T: +44 (0)1285 720516 West of England and Wales Wharton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0NX T: +44 (0)1568 615967 North of England and Scotland Sockbridge Hall, Tirril Penrith, CA10 2JH T: +44 (0)1609 749155 Maxwell House, North Yorkshire, DL7 9LN T: +44 (0)1609 749155 Northern Ireland Dungannon Co Tyrone BT71 6JT T: +44 (0)28 8772 2225 Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT42 3HB T: +44 (0)28 2564 7174 T: +44(0)1939 555025 Trench Farm, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5PJ Midlothian Innovation Centre, Pentlandfield, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RE T: +44 (0)1315 107322 Locations About Us Ireland Veterinary Team Aonghus Lane MVB MRCVS Colman Kelliher DVM
MRCVS Rebecca McAllister BVSc MRCVS Dana Simpson DVM MRCVS
Ryan Houston MVB MRCVS
54 55
Ireland Board of Directors Liam Walsh Director Richard Turner MA VetMB MRCVS Director Alan Beynon BVM&S MRCVS Director Margaret Hardy BVetMed MRCVS Northern Ireland Director

St David’s Poultry Team is made up of 25 veterinary surgeons and 10 Field Services Technicians who work across our 15 practice bases, that are located throughout the UK and Ireland. Each region is managed by one of our Regional Lead Vets.

Northern Ireland

Ballymena, Co. Antrim, BT42 3HB T: +44 (0)28 2564 7174


872932  

Combining over 250 years of poultry veterinary experience Ireland

North of England and Scotland

Midlothian Innovation Centre, Pentlandfield, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RE

+44 (0)1315 107322

Sockbridge Hall, Tirril, Penrith, CA10 2JH T: +44 (0)1609 749155

Maxwell House, North Yorkshire, DL7 9LN T: +44 (0)1609 749155

East of England

Signature House, Great North Rd, Newark, NG24 1BL

1A Gregory Road, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP27 7DF

St David’s Poultry Team is the leading independent poultry veterinary practice in the UK and Ireland. We offer a complete veterinary service across the whole sector; from pullet rearers, commercial egg laying companies and layer farms to broiler breeders and rearers, hatcheries and broiler farms, as well as providing a complete veterinary service to the turkey sector.

St David’s Poultry Team was founded in 2006 by Directors, Richard Turner MA VetMB MRCVS and Alan Beynon BVM&S MRCVS, who combined have over sixty years’ experience in the industry. In 2009, Richard, Alan and Liam Walsh, founded the Irish company. We are proud to be an independent practice which allows us the freedom to choose the best clinical care paths and areas to invest in without corporate influence or barriers.

Trench Farm, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5PJ

T: +44(0)1939 555025

West of England and Wales Wharton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0NX T: +44 (0)1568 615967

The Hayloft, Far Peak, Northleach, GL54 3AP T: +44 (0)1285 720516

Our team have a hands-on approach when working with our clients, providing tailored health programmes suited to their individual farm needs. We focus on offering proactive and practical advice, rooted in providing preventative care and strategic health plans. We work with our clients to reduce the use of antibiotics, working closely on the ground to identify areas to manage, and assisting clients in the implementation of innovative treatments to improve results and support them through the challenges of modern poultry farming.

Working with a large proportion of the UK and Ireland’s broiler industry and having responsibility for the majority of the layers across the UK, our poultry veterinary surgeons and field services team are on the ground supporting our clients through regular site visits and routine monitoring, though it is the personal on farm service provided to all farms, whatever their size, that defines the veterinary care from St David’s Poultry Team.

Working beyond the UK and Ireland

Head Office Ireland  Glendarragh, Newcastle West, County Limerick  +353 (0)69 61033  

Our team also has extensive experience in international poultry consultancy work. We do this primarily with our clients in the Middle East and Europe, however we can also provide a complete consultancy service to our larger UK based clients who need everything from a start-up operation to a hatchery investigation. We also have consultants with years of practical experience in farm management, laboratory design and management, and a wide range of other poultry-based husbandry advice.

South of England
St David's Poultry Team Ireland Newcastle West, Co. Limerick T: +353 (0)69 61033 Monaghan, Killyconnigan, Co.Monaghan T: +353 (0)47 83765 Nutwell Estate , Exmouth EX8 5AN T: +44 (0)1392 872932 Fonthill, Berwick St Leonard SP3 5UA T: +44 (0)1747 820094 Bampton, Tiverton, Devon EX16 9NG T: +44 (0)1392 872932 T: +44 (0)1636 360005 T: +44 (0)1223 953336
Dungannon, Co Tyrone BT71 6JT T: +44 (0)28 8772 2225
Aonghus Lane MVB MRCVS Colman
BVSc Dana
Locations About Us Ireland Veterinary Team
Rebecca McAllister
Ryan Houston
Office UK  Nutwell Estate, Lympstone, Exmouth, EX8 5AN  +44 (0)1392
57 58
The structure of the team allows us to provide a local, responsive and personal service, but with the ability to draw on the wider expertise across the country. Board of Directors Liam Walsh Director Richard Turner MA VetMB MRCVS Director Alan Beynon BVM&S MRCVS Director Margaret Hardy BVetMed MRCVS Northern Ireland Director
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