• Lev Mikulitski

Prevention is better than Cure

"Prevention is better than cure" is a universal truth that ensures the improved health and productivity of the birds/animals. It is well established that the healthier birds exhibit efficient feed conversion efficiency. Ultimately, it results in improved productivity. Therefore, prevention is an optimum strategy for restricting incoming infectious diseases in poultry production. For this purpose, "surveillance" is regarded as a key constituent of prevention. It addresses the higher incidence of infectious diseases. It aimed to the prediction and early detection of the diseases in poultry production. Hence, it highlights the importance of early detection of diseases in poultry production. Bottom line, if outbreaks of disease can be expected, if they can be detected in the pre-symptomatic stages, the cumulative damage can be reduced by the same drastically. Today, just as many diseases can be prevented in humans, so no less can it be counted in animal husbandry.

The importance of prediction and early disease detection in poultry production;


In poultry production, diseases have serious consequences on productivity and profitability. It is a matter of fact that the cost of treatments and control measures of the disease are the major constraints responsible for compromised productivity and profitability. Therefore, it focuses upon the importance of early detection of diseases in poultry production.


The main goal of early detection is to anticipate the prevalence of emerging diseases in poultry production. Hence, it provides the way for the prediction of any outbreak. Moreover, it is a way forward to lower the potential losses associated with infectious diseases. Due to the recent developments, it is evidenced that the poultry industry is intensifying at its boom. However, the occurrence of the production diseases also comprises the profitability and food security. Therefore, it is concluded that the prediction and early detection of the diseases are of paramount importance to ensure optimum productivity and food security, both at the quantitative level of food availability and at the qualitative level, in the health of the food and the lack of antibiotics in that food.


...healthier chicken converts better grains to protein and with constant instability in feed costs, this is critical for both producers and consumers...

Impacts of diseases in poultry production;


Production diseases may result due to the interaction of the animal-environment-pathogens. These diseases adversely affect animal health, welfare and production potential. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the negative impact of these diseases in poultry production.


Economic impacts

  • Capital loss (i.e. animal mortality, replacement procurement costs)

  • Higher resourced costs (i.e. disease detection-prevention-control)

  • Reduced market inputs (i.e. loss of potential income)

  • International restrictions on trade (i.e. due to disease prevalence)


Impact on animals

  • Compromised Animal Welfare and production performance

  • Impaired feed conversion ratio (FCR)


Impact on Food Security

  • It is well known that infectious diseases are closely associated with food security. It is reported that various foodborne diseases could be transferred via food chains, e.g. Salmonella spp. are regarded as the main bacteria associated with the foodborne diseases. Therefore, it is concluded that food security is also compromised, followed by these infectious diseases.

  • Another thing is the availability of food in the markets. Outbreaks of disease also affect the supply chain and food prices in retail chains.

Bottom line, healthier chicken converts better grains to protein and with constant instability in feed costs, this is critical for both producers and consumers. Consumers end up asking for healthy food and when it comes to poultry there is a good basis to believe it is possible. Producers understand this well today so we are in an excellent period of adopting technologies that can enable this.


Recent developments for the earlier detection of disease in poultry farming


Recent scientific developments in the poultry industry have elaborated the application of modern technologies for the prediction and rapid detection of diseases. These technologies involve the application of the AI-based systems and smart biosensors (IoT-baset technologies) for environmantal perception and real-time data generation. A combination of technological availability and science-based techniques, allow for a good understanding of the noisy production environment and its potential to cause biosecurity events. In this way, they restrict the prevalence of the diseases. It is a way forward towards the best farm management in perceptive of the poultry production. Moreover, it also necessitates the establishment of other monitoring programs to improve poultry health and walfare.


The future of biosecurity:


It is well established that poultry health is not only associated with the absence of any disease in animals. However, it also represents the interaction of animal health and welfare within its production environment. There are many parameters that ultimately affect the formation of diseases or walfare related conditions in the production environment, some of which can be prevented in time if one knows how to derive benefits from information that is theoretically available but inaccessible, at least has not been to date. Therefore the issue of biosecurity should be treated as a proactive administrative discipline which includes;

  • Real-time environmental perception of the production chain

  • Disease and health-related conditions monitoring and control

  • On-time disinfection and cleaning

  • Vaccination management

  • Employee monitoring

  • Control of pests

It is evidenced that the prevention of infectious diseases is the most efficient way to control the spread of infections in poultry flocks. It is facilitated by the adoption of the key measures presented as;

  • Strengthening of the biosecurity programs

  • Implementation of the improved biosecurity measures

  • Execution of the recommended vaccination programs

  • Precision feeding management

Benefits of prediction and early detection of diseases on overall bird performance, bird health and production profitability:


It is a matter of fact that adopting preventive measures and health monitoring programs plays a vital role in keeping the birds healthy. These measures enable the animals to reflect their actual growth potential. It is well known that healthy birds consume the nutrients according to their nutrient requirements. Hence, they express the improved feed conversion efficiency, growth rate, and productivity (egg/meat production). Moreover, it is quite convenient and less damaging to restrict the diseases before spreading to the flock. It also saves the capital, both, on the farm level, the integration level, and even the country level. All these factors, as mentioned earlier, are associated with optimum productivity, profitability, and sustainability.


To sum up:


"Farmers knows from experience that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", everyone will agree with this statement. Prevention is an optimum strategy for restricting incoming infectious diseases in poultry production. For this purpose, surveillance is regarded as a key constituent of prevention. It aimed to the earlier prediction, detection and prevention of the diseases in poultry production. The main goal of early detection is to anticipate the prevalence of emerging diseases in poultry production. It is a way forward to lower the huge losses associated with infectious diseases. Moreover, it also necessitates the establishment of pro-active biosecurity programs to improve the birds/animals health. These programs enable the animals to reflect their actual growth potential. Hence, they express the improved feed conversion efficiency, growth rate, and productivity (egg/meat production). Prevention is the KEY, and it's also possible today.





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