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Cleaning and disinfection is an important point in the process of transporting chicks from the incubator to the fattening farms to avoid problems that may alter the zootechnical results.

  1. Biosafety
  2. Vehicles
  3. Water
  4. Cleaning and disinfection process.


It is essential to have a well-detailed Biosafety plan in which all the people involved have the necessary training so that there are no errors in any of the steps. Biosecurity is a global concept in which strict security measures have to be applied at all points of the production processes. Obviously, these points will vary and will be characteristic of each stage of production.

We will detail the characteristics applicable to the process of cleaning and disinfection of transport vehicles, without forgetting that the purpose is to safeguard the safety of the farm against the entry and spread of potentially pathogenic agents.

We have to take into account that at that time we are going to be taking young animals, whose immune system is not yet mature, from a controlled environment to the outside, so we have to ensure that the hygienic-sanitary conditions of that ” exterior ” are the optimal ones to protect both the animals that are going to be transported, and in the same way,

the objective is also to protect the destination farm since the vehicles can act as a vector of transmission between different farms and their subsequent dissemination within it

As we have commented previously, the objective is to protect the process from the entry and spread of potentially pathogenic agents. Due to the nature of the process, sometimes the pathogen may be already inside, so it is vitally important to prevent this spread. In this case we will pay special attention to fungi (Aspergillus spp.) And bacteria (Salmonella spp, Pseudomonas spp., E.coli, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Staphylococcus aureus).

For these reasons, we cannot forget the transport of animals within our biosecurity plan and risk making mistakes that compromise our zootechnical results, since many dangers in the environment can affect us in this process.

2.- Vehicles

As for the transport vehicle, ideally, we will look for vehicles with smooth surfaces and floors, simple designs, without many nooks and crannies, non-corrosive materials, and electrical equipment (such as fans or radiators) that are resistant to water to be able to carry out an optimal cleaning and disinfection process inside them.

We have to take into account that it is commonly used the same vehicles for transporting chicks and other products such as eggs from the breeders to the hatchery, therefore the type of dirt that we are going to find inside is down and feces. Besides, we can find the remains of products intended to provide nutrition and hydration to chicks (these products are used in long-term transports). Outside vehicle´s parts will contain the typical dirt of road transport, such as dust, grease, fuel residues, and insect remains.

It is crucial to maintain the vehicle in optimal hygienic conditions to avoid cross-contamination between the two processes. In the same way, inside the vehicles, we will find the baskets and carts where the chicks will go. Ideally, we would look for the same type of characteristics mentioned above (smooth surfaces, simple designs without nooks, resistant materials, etc.). We also have to know that under normal conditions, both in these baskets and on the interior floor of the vehicle will be where we find more dirt.

Several places already have automatic cleaning tunnels. We are not going to talk much about this type of equipment, simply to mention that in these cases the correct maintenance of these tunnels is vital to ensure that they carry out their activity correctly. It is not uncommon to find inoperative, blocked or deviated nozzles in this type of equipment.

The correct operation of these systems is essential for a good cleaning and disinfection process


Although it seems obvious, we cannot forget about the microbiological quality of the water used for cleaning. For years we have found plants that performed cleaning with water that, when it was analysed, it presented high microbial load, even with fecal markers. It is essential to have good management of the water system that provides us with water of optimal microbiological quality and that does not pose a risk during the cleaning and disinfection process.

If we had separate water lines for exterior cleaning, we would have to treat them the same way. Treatment with products based on hydrogen peroxide is ideal, since not only will it achieve optimal microbiological quality in the water, but it will also help to maintain the water circuits in optimal cleaning conditions and it will not be seen affected by the physical-chemical properties of water, as would happen to other types of more common water treatments such as chlorinated ones (highly affected by pH).

4.-Cleaning and disinfection process.

Every cleaning and disinfection process will consist of a series of common steps with the particularities applicable to each point of the process.


This step allows you to remove all types of visible solid debris. Indeed, this transport is not like the transport of older animals or to a slaughterhouse, where there is more presence of dirt, but for this reason, we will not make the mistake of ignoring it, and we will always carry out a visual inspection to proceed. With this step, we are looking for the first elimination of coarser organic matter that will facilitate the work in the following steps.


For the cleaning process, which is based on the removal of dirt and organic matter present, we always recommend the use of alkaline detergents with surfactant capacity that reduce surface tension and penetrate well between dirt, facilitating the removal of any type of organic element that may be present and we have not removed in the first dry cleaning. In addition to cleaning the vehicle itself, both interior and exterior, we recommend the use of detergents with these characteristics and also with foaming capacity. The foam will allow the surfaces to be covered effectively and will allow the product to act for a longer time by remaining adhered to the surfaces and drying more slowly.

It is also important that we may use non-corrosive products so as not to damage equipment/vehicle. We recommend for cleaning baskets and carts a detergent with the same characteristics mentioned.

We will use the detergent at the dose indicated by the manufacturer using both high-pressure equipment with foaming lances and low-pressure equipment, always ensuring that we cover all the surfaces to be cleaned, including the moving parts, if they have been disassembled. In this step, the use of hot water (50-60ºC) will help to soften and eliminate organic matter residues, this process has to be carried out from the lower part to the upper areas.


The cleaning process has to start outside and continue inside to avoid contaminating from the outside in.

After applying the detergent evenly and ensuring that all possible surfaces and corners are covered, we allow the product acting the time established by the manufacturer and subsequently rinse with pressurized water ensuring that we remove the dirt carried by the detergent.

As mentioned above, it is essential to have water with high microbiological quality for rinsing. We cannot compromise biosecurity for something so simple.

Because of the use of alkaline detergent, in addition to eliminating organic matter, which is not always visible, it will already eliminate part of the microorganisms present. Carrying out this process optimally can already reduce the microbial load present by 80%.


After cleaning, it is time to apply a specific disinfectant, for this application, there are 2 options. We can either let the interior dry (we will work this way in an ideal way) or, if we need to save time, we can apply the disinfectant after rinsing, without it having dried, in this case, we must take into account that to avoid a dilution of the same and loss of effectiveness in the disinfection process we will have to use it at double the recommended dose.

We will always use broad-spectrum disinfectants (virucidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, and sporicidal) and proven efficacy that will provide us with safety in the disinfection process. It is important that these disinfectants are not affected by the physical-chemical conditions of the water (hardness, pH, etc.) and that they are safe and not harmful both for operators (without toxic, allergenic, or carcinogenic elements) and for the environment (biodegradable).

These disinfectants can be applied depending on the nature of the product, in different ways, either in spray, atomized, nebulized, or even in the form of smoke, but always attending to the doses recommended by the manufacturer and ensuring that it comes into contact with all the areas inside the vehicle or baskets/carts. In this step it is important to emphasize that certain disinfectants can be affected by the temperature of the water, while others maintain their effectiveness intact, so for greater comfort, the use of this type of disinfectant is recommended, such as those based on peracetic acid.

The disinfection of the vehicle will be carried out in the opposite way to cleaning, here we will begin by disinfecting the interior of the vehicle, later assembling if necessary moving parts, to later disinfect the exterior, without forgetting the less visible parts (lower part).

Within our established and detailed protocol, we can include the rotation of different disinfectant molecules to avoid the generation of microbial resistance, as long as we are using products with the previously established characteristics and that provide us with safety in disinfection. We have to be sure that the product we use will achieve the desired objective.

We should not rinse the disinfectant, we will let it act and evaporate, unlike we did with the detergent that did clear up. Besides, we can thus achieve a certain residual disinfection effect.



The cleaning and disinfection process of the vehicle has to be carried out as soon as possible after emptying it, and in any case not taking more than 24 hours after transport. Even so, if there is a long period after cleaning and disinfection and the next use, we always recommend carrying out second disinfection by nebulization or in the form of dry smoke.

The same process described will have to be applied to the transport baskets where we will introduce the animals. Normally this type of equipment is more difficult to disinfect due to the presence of smaller parts and moving parts, which we will have to completely disassemble, so it is vitally important to train the staff in the correct protocol established for cleaning and disinfection.

People in charge of cleaning and disinfection must be well acquainted and aware of the concept of biosecurity.


Routine microbiological checks are essential to ensure that the disinfection process is being carried out correctly, but they are more costly in time and money. We like the use of ATP meters or luminometers, which in a matter of a few seconds will provide us with information on the effectiveness of our cleaning and disinfection process. This entire process must be documented and records have to be kept to ensure constant compliance with all steps.


We are going to focus on two measures in transport aimed at protecting the biosecurity of our farms: disinfection arches and Rodaluvians or Sanitary ford at the entrance.

Disinfection arches are used in places with high vehicle traffic, such as a slaughterhouse or an incubator, than the fattening farm itself, but because animal transport vehicles will generally circulate on roads close to other farms, other types of poultry industries (slaughterhouses), in the end, it is impossible to avoid routes travelled by other transporters of birds. It is useful within the biosecurity plan at least one disinfection with pressurized water and disinfectant from the exterior of the vehicle if a complete disinfection arc is not available.

Correct maintenance of the disinfection arches is essential, since it is common for some of the nozzles to become blocked and fail, thus preventing a homogeneous application of the disinfectant on the entire external surface of the vehicle.

El vado sanitario es una medida fundamental de entrada en la explotación, no sólo de forma exclusiva al transporte de animales, es de aplicabilidad para todo tipo de vehículos y entradas a nuestra granja (personal, insumos, comerciales, etc…).

The sanitary ford is a fundamental measure of entry into the farm, not only exclusively for the transport of animals, it applies for all types of vehicles and entrances to our farm (personnel, supplies, commercial, etc …). These must always have enough water in good hygienic conditions and must have the necessary depth to carry out complete disinfection of the wheels. Likewise, it is essential that the dose of disinfectant is adequate and that it always has an active product. For this, and in general, we recommend that the dilution be changed every 4-5 days.

It may be the case of having dirt/mud roads to the exploitation, in which case a step before the sanitary disinfection ford is very useful, the mission of which will be to eliminate adhering remains to facilitate subsequent disinfection and extend the time of use of the sanitary ford.

In both cases, the choice of disinfectant is essential, We have to always use a disinfectant with a broad spectrum and proven efficacy. It is especially useful to choose a biodegradable disinfectant that does not require any type of special action in terms of waste management since we can release the environment without major problems.

Besides, in the case of the sanitary ford, the use of an easy-to-measure disinfectant is very useful (we have some that are as simple as a test strip). Keep in mind that in many cases we are going to have the ford outdoors and exposed to the sun, so it is easy for the disinfectant to lose activity. It is essential to take at least one measurement at the beginning of the day so as not to compromise biosecurity, and if necessary you will have to change the ford water and the disinfectant.

People are a key element in the whole process. As we have commented, the success of the protocols is found in them, the commitment and awareness are fundamental for the success of the established biosafety program.

Luis Granado Otal

Area Export Manager

Biocidas Biodegradables ZIX

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