Categoria: 23 ESPN

Susan E. Watkins
Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Arkanas, USA
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Water is the single greatest nutrient input in poultry production. Yet due to its relatively inexpensive cost compared to protein or energy requirements, water quality has received little research attention since the introduction of nipple drinkers in the early nineties. Improved efficiencies in genetics, diets and environment plus the dominance of antibiotic free production models are all factors contributing to the need for poultry operations to implement water programs which monitor and control quality and quantity.

Identify vulnerable points in water systems such as filters, storage, injection points and develop an action plan tailored to the operation which assures quality and quantity parameters remain acceptable for supporting cost efficient performance. Water management programs should include consistent testing from source to last drinker in the production system to assure water quality starts acceptable and remains acceptable. A thorough understanding of each operations water supplies, both quality parameters and water management tools like distribution pipes, storage tanks and drinker function, are the first steps in assuring water meets acceptable standards. Most water systems require some form of corrective action such as filtration, water softeners, system cleaning or consistent use of sanitizers to prevent factors that are detrimental to quality and quantity. Verification and documentation complete a successful water program. The biggest hurdle for operations with multiple production sites is to not become focused on a “one size fits all solution” but rather accept that all water supplies and systems are unique and efforts should be directed towards identifying and implementing programs that best fit the budget and situation. While solutions, particularly for mineral control or sanitation can be expensive, the costs are more often than not, are recouped by improvements in performance and bird health.

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