Over the past few years producers, integrators, and manufacturers have worked hard to develop an antibiotic-free production system that works. Many of these systems use a series of supplements such as probiotics, prebiotics, essential oils or additional electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals to encourage healthy intestinal flora and build resistance to disease. However, with time, we’ve started to see the collateral effects that these supplements have on equipment systems, primarily, water lines.
The supplements are administered through the water lines, which are often already a haven for bacteria growth, and can encourage more rapid biofilm development if not properly managed. For instance, probiotics (a healthy bacteria, but a bacteria all the same) and prebiotics (a non-discriminate bacteria growth accelerator) can result in increased bacteria growth in the water lines, resulting in heavier biofilm loads and more instances of clogged drinkers. Essential oils are sticky and difficult to clean, and can create a sticky breeding ground for the bacteria in the water lines. Vitamin additives encourage growth of micro-organisms in the water, and mineral additives (depending on the chemical make-up of the water) can result in mineral build ups and blockages within the line or eroded drinker parts leading to leaky drinkers.
To combat the potentially negative effects that these supplements can have on equipment, take extra special care of the drinker lines.
- Always flush water lines after a product is run through
- Flush the lines at least once weekly to clear out build ups and blockages
- Clean and sanitize lines between each flock
- Consider running a daily cleaner to keep biofilm levels in check