Cleaning and disinfection of poultry house: a key step in poultry farm biosecurity

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Biosecurity is a major issue in poultry farming today. Failures in biosecurity can lead to significant economic losses: lower animal production, mortality, poor egg quality, etc. In this article, we will explain all the steps for an efficient cleaning and disinfection of poultry houses.

Some bacteria and viruses can survive for a long time in farm conditions, some are able to survive in the absence of oxygen, in cold climates but also in heat. Therefore, a good cleaning and disinfection protocol is vital. This includes strict application of the different steps and product contact times (refer to the instructions for each product).

To achieve this, the protocol can be divided into four main steps:


This is the stage where all equipment are taken out of the building and all organic matter visible to the naked eye is removed by washing. The house should be visually clean.

  • First, the batch is reformed, any dead birds and all carcasses are removed. Feed residues in feed lines and silos are removed. Finally, all removable equipment are taken from the building to be washed and disinfected.
  • Second, pre-soaking of the slats outside the building is recommended. Sweep or wash all surfaces to remove dust from ceilings, water pipes, fan housings and inlets (with air pressure if available). The entire floor should be scraped and swept.
  • The drinking system should also be thoroughly cleaned:
    • Fill the system with water, adding an adequate amount of disinfectant. (hydrogen peroxide, chlorine or acetic acid). When diluting, be careful to respect the required concentration.
    • Disinfectant should be allowed to flow through the system to the watering point for the animals. Leave for about 1 hour, it is possible to leave the product in the system for up to 2 hours. If necessary, repeat the operation several times, up to a maximum of 3 times a day.
    • Fill the drinking lines with clean water and with the filter upside down.
    • Repeat the entire procedure if scale and biofilm persist.
  • Once the above steps have been completed, pressure wash all surfaces with a detergent solution. All areas must be cleaned: inside but also concrete access areas, air inlets, etc.


This step consists of disinfecting clean surfaces. After cleaning, the level of pathogens is still quite high. It is essential to use a broad-spectrum disinfectant that is effective against viruses, bacteria, fungi and moulds.

  • As a first step, all removable objects should be returned to the building to be disinfected as well.
  • Using a low-pressure water pump (300 psi), apply the disinfectant solution evenly to all washed internal surfaces to ensure the surfaces are completely soaked.
  • Pay particular attention to corners, cracks and seams, ensuring that all sides of the elements are covered.
  • Spray, beginning with the ceilings, and working down the walls to the floors.
  • At the end of the disinfection process, close all doors and place disinfectant foot baths at all entrances.
  • To control organisms introduced into the building during the set-up procedure and disinfect the air and other inaccessible areas of the building, fumigation can be carry out using a fine mist sprayer with a disinfectant solution.


This step does not begin until the first two steps have been fully completed, this is the time when the building is empty.

  • It is advisable to carry out a sanitary period of at least 10 days, this step must be adapted according to the local regulations in force.


  • 3 days before the arrival of the new flock, spray all areas with a residual insecticide.
  • Provide fresh litter (never use mouldy materials). Spray the litter surface with a larvicide insecticide.
  • Prepare the equipment in the start-up area and ensure that all equipment is working properly.
  • Twenty-four hours before the arrival of the new flock, carry out a final disinfection by thermal fogging.


Cleaning and disinfecting poultry buildings are key moments in biosecurity, in addition to the daily routine: washing hands, changing clothes, respecting the different areas of the farm, etc. This is an opportunity to achieve optimum cleaning and disinfection of the building. If properly carried out, it ensures that the farm maintains a good health status and high level of biosecurity. The birds can therefore grow under optimal conditions and fully express their genetic potential.

The NOVOGEN technical team remains at your disposal for any further information you may require.

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