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In the hatchery: Keep cleaning simple

By Jake Anderson

When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting in the hatchery, the chemicals used are frequently questioned for efficacy. The soundness of the process, however, often does not garner the same level of consideration.
hatched chicks

The process of proper cleaning and disinfection (C&D) can be broken down into a simplistic approach regardless of the surface being cleaned. The three things that must be considered are soil, surface, and staff. 

  • What is the soil? What needs to be removed from the surface? Is the soil organic in nature, such as dirt, fat, feces, blood, etc.? Or is the soil inorganic in nature, such as scale? Identify and understand what needs to be removed from the surface and match the soil to the appropriate soap. Typically, most of the soil loads in a hatchery are going to be best removed by an alkaline soap. Scale formations and other mineral deposits are going to require an acidic soap for removal.
  • What is the surface? What is being cleaned? Composition and location are the two big factors when it comes to cleaning surfaces.
    • Material composition needs to be considered to ensure chemical compatibility in order to prevent surface damage.
    • Location becomes a factor when cleaning hardto-reach areas, for example, walls, ceilings, and duct work. Specialized equipment, such as sky lifts and ladders, or tools may be needed to reach and properly clean these areas. Having the proper tools available to reach these locations makes it more likely they will be cleaned more effectively.
  • Who is training the staff? Have the individuals who are carrying out the cleaning been properly trained and given the proper tools to clean the surface? Validation that the sanitation workers know the proper procedure for each task is the only way to be effective in C&D each day. Making the proper cleaning tools available to workers allows for a better and more efficient C&D process.

The proper C&D process

The proper C&D process employs the same fundamentals for each surface or area cleaned. The process for each step or tools required may vary from surface to surface, but the process remains the same.

  1. Dry clean. Scrape, sweep, shovel, or physically remove as much debris as possible from the surface being cleaned.
  2. Wet clean. Wet and rinse the surface with water to remove any debris not removed by the dry cleaning step. After the initial rinse, foam the surface with an appropriate soap ensuring to cover the entire surface with foam. Allow the foam adequate contact time on the surface to work on the soil. After foaming, additional scrubbing of the surface with an abrasive pad may be required to remove dried-on debris or sticky materials. Rinse the surface of all soap and any further debris and allow the surface to dry.
  3. Disinfect. After the surface has dried, apply the disinfectant ensuring complete coverage and allow it to dry.
  4. Inspect. Inspect and validate the C&D process through visible inspections after all surfaces have dried. Surfaces can look clean when wet but once dry will show any areas that have not been properly cleaned. Validation of the C&D process should also be done through environmental plating and swabbing.

For more information on proper hatchery C&D, please reach out to your MWI territory manager. Also ask them about the MWI 2023 Hatchery Product Guide.

About The Author

Jake Anderson
Water Treatment
MWI Animal Health
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