How To Disinfect Or Fumigate A Poultry House

Poultry production is very lucrative when all measures are followed as required. Disinfection or fumigation of a poultry house is a very important managerial role in poultry production. The health condition of the poultry birds is determined by the nature of their environment. For a healthy poultry farm, you need to ensure your farm environment is as healthy as your birds.

Naturally, disease-causing agents are randomly dispersed in the environment. Some are present in the air, earth, water, etc.; these natural bodies harbor disease pathogens. Disease pathogens such as; bacteria, fungi, germs, and viruses; are ubiquitous. They only need a place to incubate and multiply. Poultry birds are fragile and vulnerable to these pathogens if the environment is not kept clean and free from dirt and other environmental contaminants.

Disease pathogens can stay in the environment for a very long time, waiting for the conditions that favor their activities. Parts of the conditions is the dirt present in the poultry farm when the litter material is made to stay long before its removal.

A poultry house that is not well ventilated, a poultry farm that lacks a tractable biosecurity measure to ensure the safety of materials moved from one pen to another. Biosecurity is the least measure of disinfection. Since the health of the birds is very important to the farmer, disinfection is more important to keep the birds healthy always.

Poultry farm operates in batches. Disinfection is important in all the batches. Disinfection is the act of removing or getting rid of disease-causing agents from the farm. The materials used to carry out this operation are called disinfectants.

There are different types of disinfectants you can use in cleaning and disinfecting your poultry house. There are liquid disinfectants and solid disinfectants. Application of any of these forms of disinfectants only cannot be regarded as disinfection. Hence, disinfection is a step-wise process.


Steps in Disinfecting and Fumigating a Poultry Farm

When you disinfect, all you are doing is to kill or eliminate pathogens from your farm environment. The following materials can be used for this process:

  • Detergent or soap
  • Sunlight
  • Disinfectants
  • Heat (direct and steam)

The above are disinfecting agents. As earlier discussed disinfecting is a step-wise procedure. There are different stages of disinfection to enhance efficiency.

The first step in disinfecting is cleaning. This is where most farmers go wrong; they do not clean before disinfecting, instead, they disinfect before cleaning.  Cleaning is the physical removal of foreign matters: dust, soil, droppings, litter materials, blood, etc.; cleaning is very important in disinfecting. A good cleaning will remove about 80% of diseasecausing agents. There are two steps of cleaning: Dry cleaning and Wet cleaning.

  • Dry cleaning is the use of broom, brush, shovel, rag to remove foreign materials like soil, dust, dried organic matter in a poultry farm; it doesn’t involve the use of water. However, dry cleaning is inimical in poultry houses that air-borne diseases like Avian influenza or Newcastle disease; have been found endemic. This can cause aerolization of the virus, thus, increasing the spread of the disease.


  • Wet cleaning involves the use of detergent or soap and water. The poultry pen is first soaked and later scrubbed to remove dirt. This reduces aerolization, thus, best for cleaning pens infected by air-borne diseases. Proper cleaning will aid the action of the disinfectant; if organic matter is present in the pen, it absorbs the disinfectant, thus, making it less effective. Organic matter protects disease-causing agents; this makes it imperative you clean thoroughly before disinfecting.


Ensure all poultry farm equipment like feeders, drinkers, trays, and other portable equipment; are evacuated from the pen. You can soak the equipment to loosen any caked dirt before scrubbing for the total removal of dirt. Do your first washing with water at high pressure; this helps to forcefully remove dirt from angles and crevices before disinfecting. After your first wash, use detergent to thoroughly wash the pen; scrape and brush places that are necessary to enhance the effectiveness of the disinfectant.

After a thorough cleaning of the pen and equipment, you can now disinfect with different disinfectants. Disinfection is done with chemical compounds called disinfectants. Disinfectant is any chemical that inhibits the growth, multiplication, and activities of disease-causing agents.

There are different types of disinfectants used in disinfecting poultry house. They are:

  • Phenolic compounds: Examples are: Pinesol, One stroke osyl, Prophyl 75 etc.
  • Iodine or iodophors: Example are: Batadine, Weladol
  • Chlorine compounds: Examples are: Clorox, generic bleach.
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds: Also called Quats; example are: Timsen, Medisep, Roccal D plus, Germex etc.
  • Coal tar distillates: Examples are: Crex-A-Chek, Pantex.
  • Aldehydes: A good example is Formalin.

All these compounds can be used for disinfecting after a thorough cleaning. You need to be wary about their usage.


Safety Precautions during Disinfecting and Fumigating a poultry house

They come in different concentration and mode of usage, there are certain precautions you need to adhere to before applying disinfectants; they are:

  • Most disinfectants are very poisonous; hence, you need to store in a locked cabinet away from food items.
  • Read the label and instructions embedded in any disinfectant before administering in your farm.
  • Always wear protective wears to avoid direct contact with these chemical compounds.
  • Do not drink or eat while disinfecting.

Proper sanitation of a poultry farm is a cogent prerequisite to the profitability of the farm. When your farm is free from contaminants, you can be sure of the healthy flock and conversely save the cost of treating unruly poultry diseases.

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