Flushing the drinking pipes in broiler farming
Drinking water is an essential feed for broilers. Over the course of its life, a chicken will drink twice as much water as it will eat food. If this water is too hot at the drinkers, the chicks’ water consumption will decrease, which can harm the growth of the animals, especially during the first days of rearing.
In addition, biofilm, which also develops in the pipes when the flow rate is low and the temperature is high, is a risk factor for bacterial development and clogging of the drinking system.
Purging the pipes regularly and under pressure allows the biofilm stuck to the walls to be removed and the hot water to be replaced by cooler, cleaner water from the network or drilling point. The chickens are better hydrated and thirst quenched. The chicks perform better in early life, reducing the need for antibiotic treatments. Farmers observe improved weight gain in broilers at five days of age.
However, if purging is done manually, it can be very time-consuming and wasteful of water. To limit these inconveniences, the installation of an automatic purging system is a good idea: purging can be programmed to be carried out at certain times of the day, triggered directly from the box in the building, or remotely with a smartphone.