Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Manual – Appendixes & Records



The chicken growers’ biosecurity manual contains a suite of records to help farmers implement a comprehensive property biosecurity plan, including:

  • Personnel Quarantine Declaration
  • Entry Conditions Poster
  • Visitors’ Log
  • Water Sanitation Record
  • Rodent Control Record
  • Production Area Audit Checklist

 To obtain any of these records, visit the Australian Chicken Meat Federation’s website or download the manual.



Entry to poultry sheds and/or range areas is subject to the following conditions:

  • All visitors must wear protective clothing provided.
  • All visitors must wear protective boots.
  • All visitors must sanitise boots in the footbath provided on entering production area/shed, or change into a separate pair of shed boots.
  • All visitors must sanitise hands before entering sheds.
  • Visitors who keep poultry, caged birds or pigs at home, must have had a full head-to-toe shower and must be wearing freshly laundered clothes.
  • Visitors who have been in contact with any avian species or untreated poultry manure on the same day, must have had a full head-to-toe shower and must be wearing freshly laundered clothes.



Objective: To eliminate as much as possible infection or contamination by means of contaminated water, particularly through contamination by faeces from infected wild birds, e.g. ducks.

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Reminder – Untreated drinking water should not be supplied to farmed birds. The objective of water treatment is to minimise bacteria, viruses, algae and other organisms that birds consume in their drinking water, and that they are exposed to through shed cooling systems.

Surface water provided to birds for drinking and surface water used for cooling must be treated. Wash-down water should also be treated prior to use.

All surface water that comes from sources other than the mains (e.g. from dams, rivers) should be treated on the farm before being used for poultry. Bore water should be tested and if not satisfying the water quality guidelines set out in Appendix 4 must be treated.

The objective of water treatment is to minimise bacteria, viruses, algae and other organisms that birds consume in their drinking water and that they are exposed to through shed cooling systems. Water provided to birds for drinking and that used for cooling must be treated. Wash-down water should also be treated.


Chlorination is an excellent way to effectively treat your farm water. However, chlorination will only be effective if the water is already relatively free of organic matter and solids. Filtration of the water supply prior to chlorination will nearly always be necessary.

There are a number of different chlorination systems available to poultry farmers. These can be obtained from a range of specialist water treatment companies, pumping companies or swimming pool suppliers. Assistance with the installation, operation and maintenance of these systems is usually offered by the supplier, as are kits for monitoring chlorination levels.

To effectively treat a poultry water supply, the water with chlorine at a concentration of 5 ppm (or equivalent) must be held for a minimum of 1 to 2 hours in a holding tank. This may require the use of a two-tank system, where water is being consumed by birds from one tank, while the other tank is refilled and stored with freshly chlorinated water until the required contact time of 1–2 hours has elapsed. Chlorine is more effective if the pH of the water is between 6 and 7 i.e. slightly acidic.

The chlorine concentration at the drinker must be at between 1 and 2 ppm (or equivalent) to ensure any contamination that might have occurred in the lines between the holding tank and the drinker has been effectively treated.

Water chlorination levels from drinkers in the shed should be monitored at least twice weekly to ensure the system is effectively treating the incoming water supply.


  • Fill the test tube with water from drinkers in the shed
  • Insert test strips (provided in the test kit) into the test tube
  • Compare the colour of the chlorine square on the test strip with the chlorine colour squares on the standard colour chart (provided)
  • Record the concentration level of the colour on the standard colour chart with that which most closely matches the test strip colour
  • If the chlorine concentration is less that 2 ppm or greater than 5 ppm the concentration should be rechecked in one hour. If the concentration remains outside these limits, the unit should be adjusted and the concentrations checked again in 1 hour.

Alternative chlorination monitoring systems are available from companies that supply chlorination equipment.


Ultraviolet (UV) treatment is an alternative method of treating farm water. However, UV will only be effective on clean, filtered water (not turbid water), and should only be considered on farms where the lines from the storage tank to the drinkers and the drinkers themselves are clean, in good repair and are well maintained, such that the possibility of contamination after UV treatment is minimised. UV treatment units and water filtering systems are available from specialist water treatment or pumping companies.

(Source: AI Preparedness Document for Australian Meat Chicken Growers, Australian Chicken Meat Federation Inc., April 2006.)



Drinking Water Standards

Microbiological Analysis – Maximum Permissible Levels

Bacterial Standards (Organisms / 100ml)




Total colony count


E. Coli (Faecal coliforms)






 Objective: To eliminate as much as possible infection or contamination spreading between sheds and between batches.

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  1. Birds must be collected regularly from property. Frequency of collection will be determined by factors such as type of poultry, size and climatic conditions. Birds should be stored in a freezer if the frequency of collection is likely to cause environmental impacts or increased biosecurity risk.
  2. If used, the freezer must have sufficient capacity to adequately handle carcasses between collections and must be cleaned and sanitised between batches.
  3. Collection area must be as far as practical away from the production area so that the collection vehicle does not enter the site.  For example a shed could be provided on a concrete base with doors on both sides, one for birds in, the other for birds out.  Birds must not be left in the public view.
  4. All containers used for collecting dead birds must be washed and disinfected before returning them to the production area.



Objective: To eliminate as much as possible infection or contamination spreading between sheds and between batches due to dead bird disposal.

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Composting is the aerobic microbial breakdown of organic matter, usually incorporating a thermophilic[1] phase. The adoption of composting systems for poultry waste has received attention due to its ability to reduce litter volume, dispose of carcases, stabilise nutrients and trace elements and reduce pathogens.

  1. Rodents, cats, dogs, feral animals, scavenging birds and flies must be kept away from composting carcasses.
  2. Composting areas must be away from sheds and boundary fences.
  3. Composting area must be kept neat and clean at all times.
  4. Cleaning and disinfection of equipment such as bins, buckets and wheelbarrows must be done before returning them to the production areas and when moving between sheds.
  5. Adequate Instructions / Guidelines for safe composting must be used.




An issue that deserves a special mention is biosecurity during pick-up and transport to a processing plant.  During that procedure, the aim of appropriate biosecurity measures is to prevent the spread of any disease or microbial contamination from one farm to another. 

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This can happen readily through the movement of people, vehicles and equipment, for example transport crates, and measures have to be taken by all those involved in this operation to minimise the likelihood of such exposure.

In the majority of commercial arrangements, the processor is responsible for organising pick-up and transport, while the task is often carried out by specialised contractor crews.  The onus is on the processor to ensure that those involved in this operation are fully aware of the biosecurity requirements and have appropriate standards of procedures implemented and enforced.  This must include procedures to ensure that all equipment and vehicles being moved onto the farm are cleaned every day or prior to moving from a farm with older birds to one with a younger flock.  It also should include a requirement that all pick-up personnel sanitize their boots and their hands prior to entering the first shed on a farm.  Any person engaged in pick-up and/or transport of poultry must sign a personnel quarantine declaration (Appendix 1 may be adapted for this purpose).  Processors must maintain a record of who worked on which properties and the date pick-up occurred.  To assist rapid tracing of movements when necessary, it is recommended practice for the pick-up foreman to sign the visitors’ log when arriving at the farm.

The table below should assist in clarifying the roles and responsibilities for contract growers, by listing the main steps and procedures that need to be considered, and giving an indication of who is responsible for each step and who is usually expected to undertake the necessary action. 

For arrangements that differ from the contract grower/processor situation (found in the majority of meat chicken operations), the responsibilities may shift more towards the grower, however the tasks and actions to be undertaken remain the same, and these need to be assigned and carried out appropriately.

Scheduling farms for daily pick-up from youngest to oldest bird population  Processor Pick-up Crew
Scheduling farms for daily pick-up so that farms or flocks with real or suspected health issues are picked up last  Processor Pick-up Crew
Cleaning of crates, modules and trailers before the start of work each day   Processor Processor
Cleaning catching barriers, all other machinery and equipment, vehicles, trucks, forklifts etc.  before the start of work each day  Catching Contractor Catching Contractor
Disinfecting shoes and hands at the start and at the conclusion of work in each shed  Pick-up Crew Each Member of Pick-up Crew
All personnel involved in pick-up operation to wear clean clothes and boot (at beginning of each shift) Pick-up Crew Each Member of Pick-up Crew

 In addition to the above daily requirements, every 12 months all personnel should be screened for:

  • Nil contact with poultry, pet birds or pigs in home environment.
  • Nil contact with commercial caged birds, racing pigeons, hatcheries and non-commercial aviaries.

The practice of partial depopulation, while important to the industry’s economic viability, is recognised as having the potential of introducing new disease or contamination into the remaining flock.  For this reason, it is particularly important to be meticulous about the biosecurity measures taken at each step.




[1] Thermophilic phase – a phase during which there is a temperature rise in the compost sufficient to inactivate pathogenic micro-organisms