DISARM will share information about improving the health of poultry reared for meat, with some relevance to laying hens, in order to reduce the need for antibiotic treatments. Broiler chickens are often reared in indoor systems, but free-range farms are becoming increasingly popular. Farm management practices and animal health challenges differ from farm to farm, so our multi-actor farm health team approach aims to develop tailored action plans for individual farms.
Key risk factors to poultry health largely relate to internal biosecurity in indoor systems, and external biosecurity for free-range systems. Through selective breeding, the growth rate of poultry has increased greatly over recent years and is linked to various health problems which often require antibiotics. High stocking densities and ammonia concentrations, particularly in indoor systems reduce the air quality and contribute to higher rates of respiratory diseases, particularly those caused by E. coli, a major cause of antibiotic use. You can learn more about potential health risks on your farm and possible solutions by joining us at our events and workshops or accessing our resource materials which include a database of cutting-edge research and innovations, an online discussion group, short reports and informative videos.
DISARM will also work with other livestock sectors including cattle, pigs and sheep. There are commonalities across animal health risks and preventive measures. We believe working together to learn across species and sectors is a valuable way to improve animal health in livestock farming and reduce the need for antibiotic treatments.