Water Quality Affects Poultry Operations
Water quality should be a concern to all poultry producers and companies. Poor water quality may interfere with digestion and bird performance, in addition the effectiveness of vaccines and medications administered through the water supply could also be reduced when water quality is low. Water contaminants could create equipment problems that would either restrict the amount of water available for consumption or the effectiveness of the evaporative cooling and fogging systems. Reduced water consumption or cooling capacity may have detrimental effects on both growth and reproduction. Poultry programming by Franklin County Extension agents started with bio security education, followed by updates with various companies to insure that producers are staying up to date with practices to protect their farms. Other programs were offered to service technicians throughout areas of production to offer water quality education. Education focused on how to properly take water samples and then how to read the report and how it relates to poultry production. One company submitted water samples for 11 farms to the Franklin County Extension Office that needed corrective measures. All 11 farms saw an increase in feed conversion and weight gain. The farms recorded an average increase of $5,000 per farm per flock, for a total annual impact of $302,500 as a direct result of poultry taking in more water and farmers administering effective vaccines through proper water quality and consumption.