Biosecurity is how you separate poultry from anyone or anything that could carry disease. These actions will reduce the chances of your birds getting sick and can reduce the impact disease will have on your flock.

How Do You Practice Biosecurity?

Avoid visitors to your barn: The single most important step you can take to protect your poultry flock is to limit the number of visitors to your barns, especially people who have contact with other poultry.

Bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause disease in poultry can be brought onto the farm by:

People: Attached to shoes and clothing
Vehicles: In the mud or manure on tires
Objects: On tools, wire cages, bedding and litter
Poultry: Poultry can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites but may not show signs of disease
Wildlife: Rodents and wild birds can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites that can make your birds sick

Take these steps to prevent bacteria, viruses and parasites from entering your property and being transmitted to your birds:

  • Divide your farm or property into different areas with respect to where poultry are kept.
  • Minimize entry of people, vehicles and wildlife into the area/barns where poultry are kept. Allow only essential movement into this secure area.
  • While entry doesn’t need to be restricted to the rest of the farm, it is a good idea to keep a record of visitors to the farm—especially those people who come from other farms with livestock.

Take these steps to prevent bacteria, viruses and parasites from spreading throughout your property:

  • Tend to young and healthy birds that are more vulnerable before tending to older or sick birds.
  • Place sick or poor-doing birds into quarantine, away from healthy birds, until they either improve or are culled.
  • Remove and replace all bedding and litter material, and clean visible feces, dust and debris from walls, nests, roosts and floor of barn before introducing new birds to the barn.
  • After cleaning the barn, spray down all surfaces with a disinfectant before introducing new birds. Leaving a barn vacant and exposing it to fresh air and sunshine for several weeks between flocks is helpful to reduce the amount of bacteria in the barn.
  • Freezing temperatures can actually preserve bacteria, parasites, and viruses though, so it is important to clean your barns and remove all feces, old bedding, and debris before closing barns up for winter.


What does this mean?

  • Clean BOOTS
  • Visitors can use disposable shoe and boot covers.
  • Visitors can bring their own boots as long as they scrub them with disinfectant before and after entering the area where poultry are kept.
  • Keep a boot dip filled with disinfectant (e.g. 10% bleach water) and a scrub brush beside the door of the barn.
  • Ensure that all visitors, owners and staff step into the boot dip and scrub their boots with the disinfectant before entering and after leaving the barn.
  • Change the boot dip disinfectant regularly, as organic material such as feces, litter and feathers can deactivate the disinfectant.
  • Clean CLOTHES

After you supply visitors with coveralls, ensure they are laundered between visitors.

Both visitors and farm owners or staff should put on clean (or washed) boots and clothes/coveralls before entering the barn.


Keep the number of visitors to your poultry barns to a minimum.

Wash your hands with soap and water before entering the barn, and particularly before handling birds. This minimizes the possibility of introducing bacteria or viruses to your birds that may have been on other animals or objects around your farm.

Wash your hands with soap and water after leaving the barn. This minimizes the spread of bacteria or viruses from poultry to other animals or people.


Know the source of any new birds that you bring onto the farm by inquiring about the health status and vaccination program of the source flock.

Avoid introducing new chicks to an established flock. If possible, practice “all-in, all-out” management.

If you do add new birds to an existing flock, isolate the new birds in a separate barn for at least 30 days and observe their health closely. Since stress may occur from transport, new birds may be more likely to get sick. If they are separated, you can treat the new birds without risk of getting the rest of your flock sick.