Drinking Water Management in Poultry Performance

The drinking water plays an important role in the transmission of some bacterial, viral and protozoan diseases that are among the most common poultry diseases. 

Important factors to prevent waterborne diseases in broiler production are the protection of supply sources, water disinfection and the quality control of microbiological, chemical and physical characteristics.

Water is an essential nutrient for birds and therefore quality preservation is fundamental for good herd performance. The farmer may prevent many diseases in bird flocks by controlling the quality of the ingested water, will certainly result in decreased costs and increased profit.

Water is an essential nutrient for birds and therefore quality preservation is fundamental for good herd performance. The farmer may prevent many diseases in bird flocks by controlling the quality of the ingested water, will certainly result in decreased costs and increased profit.

It is important that drinking water be clear, tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Water that is contaminated exhibits different characteristics depending on the contaminants:

  • The presence of particles such as clay, silt, or organic material can make water cloudy. Such water can interfere with the proper operation of watering equipment and can indirectly lead to adverse effects on flock performance.

  • Water that is reddish-brown might contain excess iron.

  • A blue hue to water can be an indication of excess copper.

  • A rotten egg smell is an indication of hydrogen sulfide in water. Hydrogen sulfide may also combine with iron to form black water (iron sulfide), which can also indicate the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

  • The taste of water can be affected by the presence of different salts. A bitter taste, for example, is associated with the presence of ferrous and manganese sulfates.

Here is the below water management tips for Poultry Performance:

1) Carry out a water test twice a year. You will need to get a sterile testing kit from your vet or preferred testing laboratory, and take the sample from the end of the water lines. Run the water for 30 seconds before filling the sample bottle.

2) Inspect the water at least once a month with the naked eye. Hang a clear plastic water jug on a nail near the end of your nipple lines, to jog your memory to run some water off.

3) Always get the results interpreted by your vet. There is a whole range of variables, such as water hardness and mineral deposits, that will have bearings on the results and the correct treatment of the water.

4) If you source water from a borehole, test for trace elements such as iron and manganese.

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