Getting the hatchery ready for ‘No Antibiotics Ever’ production
Sanitation is the key to success when a hatchery completely removes antibiotics from its process, Josh Mulkey told Poultry Health Today.
Mulkey is hatchery manager for Tyson at the Dahlonega, Georgia, facility. He started as manager just as the hatchery made the transition from using gentamicin with in ovo vaccination to antibiotic-free production.
The process involved “ripping off the band-aid,” he said. Every step of the procedure was reevaluated, and nothing could be taken for granted.
The hatchery had to be cleaned from top to bottom — from the egg room to chick trailers — to ensure anything chicks could possibly come into contact with was completely clean.
The hatchery’s entire laboratory was gutted and replaced to remove wood, which can hold bacteria, he said.
Outside experts were brought in to evaluate the process, including Chris Williams, PhD, from Zoetis and his team. The key recommendation the team made was to make sure sanitation remained the top priority.
Mulkey said it’s important to conduct inspections and make sure hatchery workers adhere to the new procedures.