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

Manual – Records & Appendixes



The duck meat biosecurity manual contains a suite of tools to help farmers implement a comprehensive property biosecurity plan:



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

Composting is the aerobic microbial breakdown of organic matter, usually incorporating a thermophilic (heat loving) 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. Continue reading

  1. Rodents, cats, dogs, feral animals and scavenging birds must be kept away from composting carcasses.
  2. Composting containers must be away from sheds and boundary fences (outside of the production area).
  3. Composting containers 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 being returned to the production areas, and when moving between sheds.
  5. Composted material is not to be spread in the production area.
  6. Adequate instructions/guidelines for safe composting must be in place and followed by all staff/contractors.
  7. Dead birds must not be buried within the production site.


Objective:      To eliminate, as much as possible, infection or contamination spreading between sheds and between batches during the collection of dead birds.

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  1. Freezing and off-site disposal is the recommended method for dead bird disposal.  Dead birds must either be collected from the production area daily, or stored in a freezer if collection is less frequent.
  2. If used, the freezer must have sufficient capacity to adequately handle carcasses between collections, and must be cleaned and sanitised regularly.  Freezing within a sealed plastic bag is recommended.
  3. Dead birds should be bagged and sealed within the shed area, and then moved to the freezer point.
  4. The collection area must be as far away from the production area as possible, so that collection vehicles do not enter the site.  Birds must not be left in the public view.
  5. All containers used for collecting dead birds must be washed and disinfected before being returned to the production area. 
  6. Dead birds must not be buried within the production site.







Drinking Water Standards

Microbiological Analysis – Maximum Permissible Levels

Bacterial Standards (Organisms / 100ml)


Potable Water



Poultry (desirable)

Total colony count




E. Coli (Faecal coliforms)





Less than 100Nil

Less than 100




Objective:      To eliminate, as much as possible, infection or contamination through contaminated water, particularly through contamination by faeces from infected wild birds, such as sparrows, starlings and water birds.


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Reminder – Untreated drinking water should not be supplied to farmed birds. All water that comes from sources other than the mains (e.g. from dams, rivers, bores*) should be treated on the farm before being used in sheds. *Bore water should be tested, and if not of potable standard, must be treated.

The objective of water treatment is to minimize 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 g 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 1-2 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 of the drinker must be 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 the drinkers in the shed.
  • Insert test strips (provided in the test kit) into the 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 than 2 ppm or greater than 5 ppm the concentration shouldbe rechecked in one hour. If the concentration remains outside these limits, the unit should be adjusted and the concentration checked again in 1 hour.
  • Alternative chlorination monitoring systems are available from companies that supply chlorination equipment.