Why Water Quality is Important for the Poultry Industry
Hens more sensitive to lack of quality water
Water is the single most critical component in every chicken production operation’s performance. It is the one factor that should never be neglected, as water makes up 70% of a hen’s body weight and egg production is linked to the quantity and quality of drinking water. According to research, chickens are more sensitive to a lack of water than a lack of food.
However, since it is not simply the quantity of water that is linked to productivity, but also the quality of the water, it makes sense to look into the purity of the water and its distribution system. To avoid disease, the number and kind of bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the water supply must be considered while assessing its quality.
Scale and biofilm accumulation can also result in secondary bacteria contamination, blocked drinkers, and leaky nipples, all of which can have a negative influence on animal health and production, as well as effluent, and can be costly to remediate.
High mineral content can cause hen health issues
Mineral concentration, particularly iron, magnesium, and manganese, are other variables that impact water quality. Water usage, water system performance, and health issues in poultry can all be affected by high mineral concentration.
High iron levels, for example, may promote the development of bacteria like pseudomonas and E. coli. High iron levels can stimulate the growth of iron bacteria, which can cause diarrhoea. Excess magnesium creates Epsom salt when mixed with sodium, producing loose stools. Manganese levels that are too high might cause a bad taste and cause you to drink less water.
Producers must also be mindful of the risk of cross-contamination, as well as the quality and maintenance of their water systems.
Chemical treatment and monitoring
Chemicals can be used to cure these problems, but they come with a slew of drawbacks, including excessive concentrations, bad taste and smell, and safety concerns, so other options should be considered.
Worker safety might be jeopardised while handling chemicals like chlorine. Cryptosporidium and other difficult-to-remove spore-forming parasites and diseases are also showing increasing chlorine resistance. Iodine-based disinfectants are less expensive than chlorine-based disinfectants since they don’t require as much monitoring.
Have your water tested and analysed
You will have a better idea of which filtration process will work best for you if you get your water tested or analysed. Antibiotics will be used less frequently if the water source is clean. Chemicals like chlorine may be useless and even harmful. They also won’t fix all of the problems with water quality.
Filtration reduces microorganisms and solid particulates
Aside from conventional chemicals, there are a variety of other techniques to treat water. Microorganisms and solid particles are removed from water by filtration. It can help prevent blockage of water systems, resulting in a healthier environment.
Aerating water can help remove hydrogen sulphide, reduce dissolved carbon dioxide, and oxidise iron and manganese, among other things. Aeration has the disadvantage of being an extremely energy-intensive treatment procedure, which can lead to energy waste. Aeration of water can also encourage algae growth in the water, clogging systems.
Water Softeners and Reverse Osmosis
Soluble iron, manganese, and calcium may all be removed by water softeners. Cloudy water, on the other hand, indicates the presence of undissolved pollutants.
One of the most prevalent methods for decreasing chloride, salt, and nitrates in water is reverse osmosis. Water is pushed through a series of membranes under high pressure in reverse osmosis.
Water Treatment Professionals
Dowdens Pumping & Water Treatment can design a custom water treatment system that solves any challenges you are having with water quality affecting your production.
Contact our team of water treatment product specialists, engineers and service technicians ready to help.
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