The aim of this study was to assess biosecurity measurers and practices in broiler chicken farms in one of the highly populated areas of the Nile Delta, Egypt. A cross sectional study was conducted in which 267 broiler chicken farms were selected from Gharbia Governorate. In addition to data collected by individual interviews using structured questionnaires, interviewers’ observations were also recorded. Descriptive statistics were obtained for the key variables from the questionnaire. A univariate binary logistic regression model, with yes/no outcomes as responses and farm size as a reference was used for comparing management practices across broiler chicken farms. A bout 60% of farms was small scale of less than 5,000 birds per production cycle. The main source of chicks was breeder companies and almost all farms sold broilers to live bird traders. The distances between farms and between farms and the residential areas were less than that specified by the Egyptian law for poultry farms. More than 70% of farms had no official veterinary supervision and in most farms there were no hygienic handling and disposal of dead poultry and poultry manure.
In conclusion, most of broiler chicken farms in the study area were of small scale with low or no biosecurity measures which increase the likelihood of disease transmission between farms and between farms and backyard poultry and increase the risk of human exposure to potential health hazards. Policy makers should take into account the perception and attitudes of producers in order to implement effective and applicable biosecurity measures. They should also collaborate with private sectors such as breeder companies and veterinarians to spread the awareness and to motivate actors along the poultry value chain to implement biosecurity measures to protect wealth and health. Further studies for identifying knowledge, attitudes and practices of different actors involved in poultry production in Egypt toward biosecurity measures are required.
Broilers, Biosecurity, Poultry Farms, Nile Delta, Egypt