Scotty McCreery Headlines 2014 “Evening of Fun”

Scotty McCreery Headlines 2014 “Evening of Fun”
AP&EA Christmas Open House and Board Meeting
New Year’s Eve Party with the Chicks
Board of Directors
Randall Ennis, President, Huntsville*
Dale Gambrill, Vice President, Snead*
Tim Esslinger, Treasurer, Eufaula*
Harold Hunt, Secretary, Gadsden*
Johnny Adcock, Immediate Past President,
George Attwood, Anniston
Chris Carter, Guntersville
Richard Curvin, Montgomery
Cory Early, Albertville
Billy Gilley, Cullman
Ben Gore, Cullman
Matthew Herman, Enterprise
Heath Loyd, Decatur
Dennis Maze, Horton
Todd McMahen, Dothan
Dr. Shannon Morgan, Birmingham
Mitchell Pate, Auburn*
Mike Pigg, Cullman
John Pittard, Guntersville
John Roberts, Cullman
Keith Rhodarmer, Collinsville
Kenneth Sanders, Brundidge*
Roddy Sanders, Gordo
Jason Shell, Huntsville
Jason Spann, Hanceville
Ken Taylor, Anniston
Ben Thompson, Huntsville
David Thompson, Ashland
Stanley Usery, Athens
Ricky Walker, Snead
Brad Williams, Troy
Dr. Don Conner, Auburn University
James Donald, Auburn University
Dr. Joe Hess, Auburn University
Jacob Davis, Montgomery
Dr. Tony Frazier, Montgomery
Bill Prince, Auburn
*Executive Committee Members
Johnny Adams – Executive Director
Wanda H. Linker – Administrative Director
Ray Hilburn – Membership Director
Huck Carroll – Communications Director/Editor
Jennifer Shell – Support Director
Alabama Poultry Magazine is published by the
Alabama Poultry & Egg Association
465 South Bainbridge Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: 334-265-2732
Fax: 334-265-0008
Send editorial and advertising correspondence to:
Alabama Poultry Magazine
P.O. Box 240
Montgomery, AL 36101
Advertising rates and closing
dates available upon request.
Editorial matter from sources outside AP&EA is
sometimes presented for the information and interest
of our members. Such material may or may not coincide with official AP&EA policy. Publication does not
necessarily imply endorsement by AP&EA.
w w w. a l a b a m a p o u l t r y. o r g
President’s Message
It seems like just yesterday that I assumed the role of president of the Association and have come to truly appreciate
what a remarkable association we are involved. Over the past
several months I have had the opportunity to attend grower
meetings and am reminded of what an integral part of our industry these people are to us. I have communicated with many
of you in this room and other leaders of our industry and am
reminded of the dedication and passion that represents why the poultry industry is
the leader in agriculture.
I have been intimately involved with the Association through board positions
and committee appointments for the past 15 years, but today have a deeper appreciation for what Johnny and his staff do on a daily basis to represent us and guide the
Association to meet the needs of its members. The dedication and pride they take in
their jobs is refreshing to me and I have thoroughly enjoyed these past months.
We continue to see change in the landscape of our industry, whether through continued consolidation or changes in management within our companies. We continue
to see pressures from outside groups who want to derail our success and more and
more regulatory pressures. But our industry is resilient and we are coming off one of
the best years in recent memory as we were blessed with good harvests in corn and
soy, and broiler prices remain competitive for us.
Legislatively, everything is quiet but we are in discussions on the best way and
timing to introduce some bills that would protect the intellectual property of our
companies and to address those who try to deceptively gain employment with the
intent to harm us or expose company advantages. We are actively looking at a car
tag campaign that would generate revenue for our scholarships and other education
programs. So although things may be quiet, we are actively working below the radar
to further support our industry, and again I thank the AP&EA staff for the unwavering
I have the fortune of traveling around the world and invariably every discussion
leads back to the U.S. industry and all eyes are on what is considered to be the most
successful poultry model in the world. We have our challenges but seem to always
overcome them and continue to meet the challenge of feeding the world.
I want to thank all of you who have responded for requests to serve on committees
or support me and AP&EA this year. You guys make the president’s job easy.
Featuring This Issue
Governmental Affairs
Association News
The Passing of Friends: John Livingston
AP&EA Christmas Open House
AP&EA Winter Board Meeting
Grower Profile: Arrowhead Farms
Extension News: Transfering the Farm
Practical Applications
Alabama’s National 4-H Winners
Calendar of Events
Alabama Poultry Magazine November / December 2013
Governmental Affairs
Is Your Chicken Safe? NCC Responds to Consumer Reports
National Chicken Council responds to Consumer Reports article about the safety of chicken; Reminds consumers that 160 million servings of chicken are eaten safely by Americans every day
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans
eat about 160 million servings of
chicken every single day, and 99.99 percent of those servings are consumed
safely. Unfortunately, this particular
statistic was left out of the “in-depth”
piece recently published by Consumer
U.S. chicken producers rely upon
the best science, microbiology and technology to reduce food-borne pathogens,
and spend tens of millions of dollars
every year in the name of food-safety
research which can be credited with the
significant decrease in foodborne
pathogens present in chicken over the
last several years.
“The belief that affordable food
means it is lower in quality or compromised in some way stands in stark contrast to the hard work and efforts of
American agriculture, USDA and the
hundreds of thousands of U.S. farmers
and food producers who work tirelessly
to produce a quality protein that is the
envy of the world and enjoyed by millions of Americans,” said National
Chicken Council President Mike
From 2001 to 2010 – the latest 10year period for which data are available – outbreaks related to E. coli,
Salmonella and other pathogens decreased by more than 40 percent. In the
past five years, Salmonella in chickens
has decreased by 55 percent.
“Eliminating bacteria entirely is always the goal,” Brown added. “But in
reality, it’s simply not feasible.”
Any raw agricultural product, including fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and
poultry, is susceptible to naturally occurring bacteria. Whether it’s labeled
“organic,” “natural,” purchased in the
grocery store or at your local farmers’
market, there is the potential that fresh
food could make us sick, if improperly
handled or cooked.
Which is why the National
Chicken Council agrees with Consumer
Reports on one point – we all play an
important role in ensuring food safety
for our families, from the farm to the
“No legislation or regulation can
keep bacteria from existing,” Brown
added. “The only way to ensure our
food is safe 100 percent of the time is
by following science-based procedures
when raising/growing, handling and
cooking it. Right now, we’re at 99.9
percent but we’re going to keep working to reach 100.
“We take the safety of our chicken
very seriously,” said Brown. “After all,
our families are eating the same chicken
as you and yours.”
NCC Concerns with Consumer
Reports Report on Chicken
November / December 2013
• E. coli, enterococcus and klebsiella pneumoniae are not considered food safety risks in chicken
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
• Consumer Reports tested 316
samples, or four-thousands of one
percent (0.0004 percent) of approximately 42 million pounds of
fresh chicken products in grocery
stores on any given day.
• All bacteria, antibiotic resistant or
not, is killed by proper cooking.
• The presence of generic E. coli,
which is everywhere in our environment, is not a guaranteed indicator for fecal contamination, as
suggested. Most E. coli strains are
completely harmless and these
findings do not differentiate between those strains and the ones
that can cause food-borne illness,
like E. coli O157:H7.
• All E. coli strains are killed
through proper cooking. In addition, chicken processing plants
strictly adhere to USDA’s “zero
tolerance” policy for visible fecal
Alabama Poultry Magazine
material as a food safety standard.
• Health experts, veterinarians and
FDA have all refuted the talking
point used by Consumer Reports
that “80 percent of all of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. each year
are used in animal production.”
Pound for pound, humans and
their pets use 10 times the amount
of antibiotics than what is used in
food animal production. About
one-third of the antibiotics used
on farms aren’t used in human
medicine at all.
• Ten years after Denmark’s pork
industry ceased using antibiotics
for subtherapeutic purposes, the
use of antibiotics prescribed by
veterinarians in Denmark to treat
sick animals has increased more
than 100 percent. The total antibiotic use in the pork industry was
higher than before the ban as reported in 2010 by DANMAR, the
Danish monitoring agency.
• As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated, “it is inaccurate and alarmist to define
bacteria resistant to one, or even a
few, antibiotics as “Superbugs” if
these same bacteria are still treatable by other commonly used antibiotics.
• The strains of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with the outbreak
on the West Coast earlier this year
were sensitive to the most commonly recommended and prescribed antibiotics used to treat
infections with Salmonella. The
health care providers for the people who were ill had the most
common antibiotics used to treat
food-borne illnesses available to
them and they remain effective.
NCC Response to Consumer Reports Recommendations “To make
chicken safer”
Continued on pg. 6
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
• FDA has already moved forward
with implementing its plan to
phase out over a three-year period
the growth promoting use of medically important antibiotics in
food producing animals.
• Passing a law or regulation to fight
bacteria will not magically make
it go away. Salmonella are microscopic living organisms found
worldwide in cold- and warmblooded animals and occur naturally in birds’ intestines. What will
make Salmonella disappear is science, research and breaking the
chain of Salmonella at every stage
of production from the breeder
farm to the processing plant. Coupled with proper handling and
cooking to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken is safe to eat 100 percent of the time.
• Through mandatory reporting by
establishments of adulterated or
misbranded product, CDC monitoring of illness outbreaks, and
the agency’s own routine in-plant
and in-commerce surveillance,
FSIS is readily able to identify
and respond to potential foodsafety situations.
• In a report specifically about the
safety of chicken, it is ironic that
Consumer Reports chose to come
out in opposition to a plan USDA
says will prevent 5,200 foodborne
illnesses every year.
• We expect a new FSIS performance standard for chicken parts
sometime in 2014. NCC is taking
this very seriously and we are
working collectively as an industry to determine more opportunities in second processing that will
further decrease Salmonella on
chicken parts.
Keeping Salmonella off of Chicken
Proper handling and cooking in the
kitchen is the last step in keeping Salmonella off of chicken, not the first.
It all starts even before the egg.
Healthy breeder flocks lead to healthy
chicks – measures are taken to prevent
diseases from passing from hen to chick
and to ensure that natural antibodies are
passed on which help keep the birds
At the hatchery, strict sanitation
measures and appropriate vaccinations
ensure the chicks are off to a healthy
start. At the feed mill, the finished feed
of corn and soybean meal is heat
treated, which kills any bacteria that
may be present. On the farm, farmers
adhere to strict biosecurity measures
and the chickens are routinely monitored by a veterinarian to keep them
At processing plants, the U.S. federal meat and poultry inspection system
complements efforts by chicken processors to ensure that the nation’s commercial supply of meat and poultry products
is safe, wholesome and correctly labeled and packaged.
Chicken processing facilities use a
variety of intervention strategies at their
critical control points that might include: the use of food-grade rinses that
kill or reduce the growth of potential
foodborne pathogens; organic sprays to
cleanse the chickens and inhibit bacteria; and metal detectors to make sure
that no foreign object makes its way
into a product.
Microbiological tests for pathogens
are then conducted by companies and
federal laboratories to help ensure that
food safety systems are working properly. The numbers tell us we’re making
tremendous progress:
• According to the USDA Food
Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) Quarterly Progress Report
released on October 26, 2013, 2.6
percent of young chicken carcasses tested positive for Salmonella – a fraction of the FSIS
performance standard of 7.5 percent.
• The prevalence of Salmonella on
raw young chicken carcasses is
down 26 percent over the first
quarter of 2013 and represents a
decrease of 55 percent during the
past five years.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
• Over the last five years, the prevalence of Salmonella on ground
chicken has been reduced by 50
• From 2001 to 2010, the latest 10year period for which data are
available, outbreaks related to E.
coli, Salmonella and other
pathogens decreased by more
than 40 percent.
Antibiotic Use in Raising Chickens
and Antibiotic Resistance
Administering antibiotics isn’t the
only way to keep chickens healthy – it
is one tool in the toolbox in raising
healthy birds and producing a wholesome food supply.
And contrary to popular belief, antibiotics are not always used in chicken
production; rather, they are administered only when needed to prevent and
treat disease. On those occasions, they
are used judiciously to treat and prevent
disease under the care of a veterinarian.
For those antibiotics that are FDAapproved for use in raising chickens, the
majority of them are not used in human
medicine and therefore do not represent
any threat of creating resistance in humans. There are several published,
peer-reviewed risk assessments showing any threat to human health from antibiotic use in livestock and poultry
production is negligible, if it exists at
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated
that the most acute problem with antimicrobial resistance is with hospitals,
and the most resistant organisms in hospitals are emerging in those settings, because of poor antimicrobial stewardship
among humans.
Still, chicken producers are phasing
out subtherapeutic or “growth uses” of
antibiotics important to treating humans. NCC will continue to work with
FDA to phase out by 2016 the growthpromoting use of medically important
antibiotics in raising chickens.
Association News
The Tradition Continues
Becky Sloane (left) and Thomas Bates (far right) listen as Gov. Robert Bentley reads a
commendation for their father, Bill Bates, as First Lady Dianne Bentley looks on.
MONTGOMERY – November 20, just months after the death of
Bill Bates, his daughter, Becky Sloane, and her brother, Thomas
Bates, carried on the tradition that Bill Bates started in 1949, as
they brought "Clyde 65" to Gov. Robert Bentley for pardoning.
Under a beautiful November sky, on the front lawn of the Alabama Governor's Mansion, in an emotional presentation, Becky
remembered that Thanksgiving was her father’s favorite holiday. She expressed the Bates family’s desire to continue the
holiday tradition so loved by her father.
Gov. Bentley, once again, graciously pardoned Clyde and his consort, Henrietta. Gov. Bentley also presented the Bates family with a special commendation honoring Bill for his years of service to the state and
to the poultry industry.
The governor and Mrs. Bentley did receive a dressed turkey for their
holiday table. Clyde was relieved that the only dressing he got was a
funny hat and a cardboard name tag. Henrietta was just glad to have
AP&EA Executive Director Johnny Adams presented First Lady Dianne Bentley with a case of warm blankets for her “Blankets With a
Blessing” program.
The program ended with Clyde and Henrietta being serenaded by a
group of children from Riverchase United Methodist Day School.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Scotty McCreery
to Headline AP&EA
Evening of Fun
He won the tenth season of American Idol, and
now Scotty McCreery is coming to Birmingham to
perform just for us chicken folks. This year’s
“Evening of Fun” will be on Saturday, June 7, 2014.
Scotty, raised in Garner, N.C., was only 18 when he won
American Idol on May 25, 2011. His first single was his
American Idol coronation song “I Love You This Big.” The
song entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at number 32, becoming the highest debut for a debut single since
1990. In June, he performed at the Grand Ole Opry, singing
“I Love You This Big” and a George Strait song, “Check Yes
or No.” Scotty was also featured in an ABC Special CMA
Music Fest: Country’s Night to Rock where he performed
“Your Man” with Josh Turner. He spent much of the rest of
2011 touring with The American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011.
In October, 2011, McCreery released his first album, titled Clear as Day. The album sold 197,000 in its debut week,
and made Scotty McCreery the first country act to debut at
No.1 on Billboard 200 with their first studio album. Not a
bad start for a kid who just turned 19.
On October 15, 2013, just six days after his 21st birthday,
McCreery released his third album, See You Tonight.
That’s just what we are hoping that we will do on June
7, 2014 – See You There. Tickets will be going on sale soon –
so make your plans to attend. Remember, kids 18 and under
get in free with a paid adult.
Three Receive Poultry Fraternity Watches
The AP&EA “Evening of Fun” is
the Association’s main fund-raiser. Selling tickets to the event is very important. It’s not always easy or convenient
for those who are involved in the selling
process. Some persevere.
Those who sell 15 tickets in a year
are rewarded with membership in the
Alabama Poultry Fraternity. Those who
sell 15 tickets for 10 years are rewarded
with a lifetime membership in the Fraternity. Each recognition comes with a
printed acknowledgement in the
“Evening of Fun” program.
Those who have persevered for 15
years, selling 15 or more EOF tickets
per year are awarded the Alabama Poultry Fraternity watch.
Today, we honor three new watch
owners: Lou Ayers, Ingram Farms,
Sherry Russell, Wayne Farms – Union
Springs, and Bart Payne, Marshall
Congratulations, to all!
Johnny Adams (right) presents Lou Ayers (left)
his Fraternity watch.
Ray Hilburn (left) presents Sherry Russell
(center) her watch, as Larry Parker looks on.
Ray Hilburn (left) presents Bart Payne (right)
his Fraternity watch.
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
The Passing of Friends
Alabama Poultry Hall of Fame Member, John Livingston Dies
John Livingston, one of the truly
great pioneers of the Alabama poultry
industry has died. The following is an
edited reprint of his obituary in the
Gadsden Times newspaper.
“John Harton Livingston, 96, of
Cedar Bluff, died on Thanksgiving
Day surrounded by his family. His
family is thankful for the life of this
remarkable man.
A native of Cherokee County,
Ala., he graduated from Auburn University in 1940. He enlisted in the
Navy in 1941 and served in the Pacific
Theater during World War II from
1942 to 1945, serving as the Executive
Officer of his last ship, the USS Laurens APA 158.
He married Virginia Carpenter of
Fairfield in 1944 and they began life
together in Hartselle, Ala.
In 1948, he started the first poultry
processing plant in northeast Alabama
in Albertville. He is known to many as
the founder of the poultry industry in
the state of Alabama. He was inducted
into the Alabama Poultry “Hall of
Fame” in 1972 and to the Auburn University Agriculture School "Hall of
Honor" in 1997 for his contributions
to the poultry industry.
His awards and recognitions for
his professional and community service are too numerous to list, but those
that meant the most to him include:
1962 Southeastern Poultry & Egg Association "Work Horse Award"; 1970
"Man of the Year" by the Albertville
Chamber of Commerce; 1974 "Silver
Beaver" by the Choccolocco Council
Boys Scouts of America; 1975 Rotary
Club "Paul Harris Fellow." He served
on the Board of Trustees of Albertville
First United Methodist Church, Jacksonville State University International
House Program and Huntington College. He was a director of the Albertville National Bank for 13 years
and served as a member of the Advisory Board for Auburn University for
the School of Agriculture. In 2009, at
age 92, he received the Heart of an
Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts of
Upon retirement, he moved with
Virginia from Albertville to Cherokee
County, where he was active in the
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, the Centre Rotary Club and the
Cedar Bluff United Methodist
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
He was preceded in death by his
wife of 65 years, Virginia Carpenter
Livingston; and his son, John Mark
(Dalen) Livingston of Birmingham.
He is survived by his children,
Alan (Susan) Livingston of Dothan,
Carol (Charlie) Reed of Birmingham,
Gail (Ted) Mills of Birmingham, and
David (Inga) Livingston of Gadsden;
11 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; his brothers, Jack Livingston
of Scottsboro and Blake Livingston of
Cedar Bluff; and many nieces and
He loved his family with a fierce
passion. He loved his friends and his
community deeply. His mind remained remarkable until the day he
John was profiled in this magazine
in the July/August and September/October 2008 issues.
MONTGOMERY – On Nov. 11, culture by a legislative act, it became
2013, the Alabama Department of active in September of 1883, with EdAgriculture and Industries cele- ward Betts of Madison County named
brated 130 years of operation. The cel- as the department’s first commissioner.
Created as the Department of Agri-
ebration was held in the auditorium of
the Richard Beard Building on Federal
Drive. Commissioner John McMillan
keynoted the program. There were congratulatory speeches by State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazer and Alabama Lt.
Gov. Kay Ivey.
The department’s original headquarters were in the Main Building of
the Agricultural and Mechanical College at present day Auburn University.
Early on, the department’s primary
mission was the regulation of fertilizer
sales and distribution. Since the Legis-
lature had allocated no monies for the
new department, funds were raised by
licensing fees from the sale of fertilizer.
Over the years there have been
many changes. In November of 1972,
the Department moved into the modern
Richard Beard Building, named for then
Commissioner Beard, next to Garrett
Coliseum on Federal Drive. The spacious modern facility houses offices for
the Commissioner and all divisions, as
well as food and drug, agricultural
chemical, and petroleum laboratories.
In addition, the department maintains a
pesticide lab and animal and plant diagnostic labs at Auburn, diagnostic labs in
Elba, Boaz and Hanceville, an aflatoxin
lab in Dothan, and shipping point inspection stations throughout the state.
Today’s Department, operating
with a budget of just under $30 million,
employs 423 full-time and over 250
part-time workers who carry out regulatory and promotional responsibilities
that touch the lives of all Alabamians.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has been serving
Alabama farmers and consumers for
over 120 years. It’s commissioner and
employees look forward to providing
expanded and improved services in the
years ahead.
The Staples of Steele Win U.S. Poultry & Egg
Association’s Enviro Excellence Award
Congratulations to Garry Staples
and his family. They have been raising
chickens on their White Acre Farm in
Steele, Ala., for only 12 years, but obviously they are doing something
right – right enough to win this year’s
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s Family Farm Environmental Excellence
Garry and his wife, Denise, along
with their son, Jeremy, and daughter-inlaw, Becky, run the eight-house farm.
Twelve years ago when they bought
the farm, there were only four older
houses. The first order of business was
to modernize them. That accomplished,
they added four more houses.
Over the years, the Pilgrim’s growers have also developed a thriving business in selling litter, producing
approximately 600 tons per 60-day
grow-out. Their primary buyer found
them through a notice that Garry placed
on Craigslist, announcing litter for sale.
The buyer transports it and resells the
litter to row cropping farmers in Tennessee.
In a feature article in Manure Manager, Garry states, “We’re able to sell
about 80 percent of our litter.” At $20 a
ton, that’s some lucrative litter.
Congratulations, Garry and Denise
Staples, and family on your excellent
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Read the excellent profile of the Staples
in the November/December issue of Manure Manager magazine.
November / December 2013
MONTGOMERY – With the holiday season almost in full swing,
AP&EA hosted its annual Christmas
Open House at the Association headquarters.
Poultry pros and friends of poultry gathered once again to celebrate
the season and the bonds of friendship between the poultry industry
and leaders of state government, federal and state regulatory agencies,
education, extension and the private
As usual, Kim Adams, wife of
AP&EA Executive Director Johnny
Adams, had done a wonderful job in
decorating for the event. The food
was both wonderful and plentiful.
It was a great opportunity for old
friends to reconnect and a time to
make new friends, all in the context
of the most joyous time of the year.
We are truly thankful for this
great industry, an industry that provides for our families while it also
feeds the world.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
AP&EA Holds Winter Board Meeting
MONTGOMERY – The AP&EA winter board meeting got
underway on Tuesday morning with Association President
Randall Ennis opening the meeting by thanking all in attendance. At the close of his remarks, he said, “I have thefortune
of traveling around the world and invariably every discussion
leads back to the U.S. industry and all eyes are on what is considered to be the most successful poultry model in the world.”
(The full text of his comments can be seen on page 2.) He also
announced a new project to help fund poultry science scholarships
through the introduction of a new poultry license tag.
Casey Jones presented the Allied Committee report. He gave
an update on the Allied Golf Tournament held in September, and
announced plans for the “Big Bass” Fishing Tournament, tentatively scheduled for May 9, 2014, at Lake Guntersville.
Grower Committee Chairman Kenneth Sanders reported
that the committee has not met but continues to work with
Ray to develop county-wide and regional associations. Growers, he said, are concerned by the expansion and regulations
getting tighter every year. He was complimentary of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the NPTC for
helping growers.
Mike Pigg of First South Farm Credit presented the Investment Committee report. He stated that it had been a good
year for Association investments.
Advisor Reports followed. State Veterinarian Dr. Tony
Frazer reported that in the past year several companies had
experienced problems with bronchitis. The Department of
Agriculture and Industries had worked to get a new bronchitis vaccine by Zoetis approved by the USDA. He also reported that the state diagnostic lab had hired two new
pathologists. One of those pathologists, Dr. John Roberts,
will be dedicated to poultry issues. In addition, he told the
group that there were two strong candidates for the position
of lab director.
Jim Donald of the National Poultry Technology Center
presented the department of biosystems engineering report.
He reported on the successful housing short course recently
held at the Ham Wilson Arena at Auburn University. This was
the seventh short course that has been held and there were
approximately 150 in attendance. The goal of the short
course is to promote better poultry houses and eliminate
shoddy workmanship. Donald also announced a series of instructional videos available on YouTube by entering a search
for “NPTC.” He also reported that energy audits had been
completed on 30 farms and more than 120 houses, with at
least one farm from each complex audited.
Dr. Don Conner, head of the Auburn department of poultry science, reported that there were 62 incoming students
for 2014, the largest incoming class that they have had for
several years. He reported also that the 2+2 Program with
Wallace State Community College in Hanceville was going
well with six students enrolled. He said that the goal for next
year was 10 students. He also spoke with pride of how poultry science students had gotten together to share their experiences in the various summer internship programs in which
they had participated.
Conner also reported that the department was currently
looking for replacements for Dr. Roger Lien and Dr. Manpreet Singh. He said that they were, “looking for folks with
a farm-to-fork mentality.”
Dr. Connor was followed by Dr. Joe Hess of the Alabama
Cooperative Extension System (ACES) who reported that a
study is currently underway involving litter management and
using sulfur as a feed-through ammonia control agent. Hess
said that ACES had just concluded a pellet burning stove
study in north and south Alabama.
Hess also reported that his colleague, Dr. Ken Macklin,
is involved in looking at biosecurity on broiler farms in relationship to Salmonella, and is also doing field studies on disease control relating to Clostridium. Another colleague, Dr.
Sarge Bilgili, continues to be involved in animal welfare audits.
Dr. Gary Lemme, director of the Alabama Cooperative
Extension System, spoke briefly about a new program developed by ACES to help older farmers transfer farm businesses
from parents to children efficiently. (Please see the article on
page 22 for more details.)
Lemme also talked about the 4-H program, now serving
more than 100,000 kids, but needing to expand even more.
He also reported on the success of Chick-Chain, which is
now in 40 counties.
Dr. Perry Oakes of NRCS gave the environmental science advisory report for the final time, since he is retiring in
December. He reported that environmental services continues
to work with technical service providers doing nutrient management plans. He thanked NPTC for its work with energy
audits. He cautioned those who might be thinking about expansion to make sure that they are not in 303(d) watersheds,
areas that do not meet minimum water quality standards,
some of which could be related to animal agriculture. These
are not the best places to expand.
AP&EA Executive Director Johnny Adams concluded
the meeting with a legislative update. He reported that because this legislative session was going to be shortened because of the June primaries.
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
KILPATRICK – On Dec. 13, 2013,
an open house was held at Jimmy and
Sandra Williams’ Arrowhead Farms. It
was a great opportunity for guests to
view the two newly finished 66’ x 600’
poultry houses. The Williams are new
growers and are under contract to
Koch Foods Gadsden.
Vendors who supplied equipment for the houses lined the walls,
and, from the look of things, found a
receptive audience. Dale Hooper with
Modern Poultry Supply, as the poultry
house builder, was getting some very
good attention. A number of financial
institutions were well represented,
along with equipment suppliers.
It was great to see Alabama Poultry Hall of Famer Dean Strickland
come out to reminisce with some of
his former Gold Kist friends who now
work for Koch Foods.
There was no formal program,
but a delicious barbecue chicken
lunch was served. Sandra Williams
thanked everyone for coming, and
thanked Koch Foods for the opportunity to get into the chicken business.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Grower Profile
NEW YEAR’S EVE – With all of the country getting
ready to party, on the biggest party night of all, and ring
in a new year, a new beginning had already begun in
tiny Kilpatrick, Ala., on Arrowhead Farms.
By the time the first truck arrived from the Koch
Foods hatchery, Sandra Williams had her crew in place.
Family, friends and Koch Foods personnel were all on
hand for this first-time chick dump. The houses were
toasty and partitioned, the feed bins were full and the
water lines ready.
Sandra is an organizer. Twenty-two years as a WalMart manager hones those skills. She was ready. When
the first pallet of chicks came down the aisle, she and
her crew, including her 9-year-old grandson, Braden,
started grabbing plastic trays loaded with hour-old
chicks and plopping them on the fresh shavings.
The chicks, a little surprised by their new surroundings, soon scampered off toward those red containers
for their first real food, their cheeps multiplying into a
real cacophony that grew louder by the tray. For them,
it was time to celebrate.
With one house finished, it was time for Sandra and
her crew to catch their breath as they waited for the next
truck to arrive.
They will grow these chicks to 4-lb. birds, taking
about 32 days. With a 14-day layout, Jimmy Williams
estimates that they will raise seven to eight flocks a year.
This is the culmination of a 15-year dream for Sandra and Jimmy. Jimmy had always farmed and Sandra
had worked at Wal-Mart, but the 12-hour shifts were really getting old. Because of her schedule, she was only
able to attend chuch two days a month, and she was
never able to attend any of her grandchildren’s activities.
It was time to make a change.
They had started talking about getting into the poultry business a number of years before, but didn’t feel
that they could afford to mortgage their home to finance
the project. However, the farm began to prosper, so,
after a lot of prayer, they made the decision.
Sandra retired from Wal-Mart and began working
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
Sandra and Jimmy, married for 35 years, are excited about the possibilities of working together in their own business.
with local grower Shane Ross to get a feel for the business. What she thought she liked, she began to love.
They began making calls to poultry companies.
Most were not interested in taking on more growers.
Koch Foods of Gadsden showed some interest and sent
someone to talk with them. After a few meetings, things
got settled pretty quickly.
Jimmy is quick to point out the prayers that went
into the venture. It was toward the end of May that they
went to talk to First South Farm Credit. Ground was
broken in July and construction was begun. By the middle of December, most everything was ready, thanks to
the good efforts of Dale Hooper and Modern Poultry
Supply in constructing the buildings and North Alabama
Poultry Supply that installed the equipment. There were
few hitches along the way. Probably the biggest concern
was getting the natural gas line run.
As of the open house, the gas line had not been run.
Casey Jones of L.B. White came to the rescue with
propane heaters that could be temporarily installed so
the open house guests could be warm.
They give God credit for bringing it all together.
Their pastor, Rev. Allen Hallmark, in his prayer of dedication at the open house announced that Jimmy and
Sandra wanted to dedicate their new houses to their
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sandra is relieved now that she can sing in the choir
and be active in their church, Whitesburg Baptist.
Jimmy has been involved for many years in building
Neither Jimmy nor Sandra come from a farming
background. They both grew up in Boaz and come from
large families. They both went to Boaz High School.
They started dating when he was a junior and she was
in her sophomore year.
Sandra graduated in 1979. That same year, they
were married.
Jimmy had gone through high school on a vocational program where he had learned to lay block and
brick. He worked in the construction industry until
1992. That year he was offered a position teaching
building trades at the vocational school in Guntersville.
For the next 15 years he taught, but in 2006, after some
health problems, he was forced to come home to the
29GA X 36” COVER
$1.19/Linear Foot
G o ldin Me tals, I n c.
22 8- 575- 7 7 3 6
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Kasey is not quite sure how active she is going
to be in the poultry operation, but, it looks as
though she has already made a friend.
On their 150-acre farm they raise cattle. Four years
ago Jimmy started breeding heifers and selling them.
This year, he decided to keep 60 of those heifers. They
have their own bull, rather than artificially inseminating
the cows.
Sandra and Jimmy have three children, twin sons,
Brian and Heath, and daughter, Kasey. Brian and his
wife, Mo Shah, live in Hoover, along with daughter, Addyson, 2. Heath and his wife, Brandy, and their two
sons, Braden, 9, and Layton, 6, live in Boaz. Kasey and
her husband, Jody Lester, also live in Boaz.
For many, a project like this might be daunting, but
Jimmy explains, “I laid block and brick for years, Sandra worked 12 to 14 hour days at Wal-Mart every-day –
for people who have never worked a day in their lives,
this would probably be overwhelming. It’s not going to
overwhelm us, we are working people.” He continued,
“We are doing this for a way-of-life. We are looking for
a way-of-life where we can be together. We love the
farm life.”
Sandra is excited she and Jimmy can spend more
time with their family, especially the grandchildren.
It is going to be an exciting new year.
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
Havana Junction: Black Belt Test Farm
The tunnels feature corrosion resistant steel and heavy duty polyethylene film. Tunnel ends can be closed in colder weather to preserve
heat and humidity. In warmer weather the ends can be opened for ventilation.
AP&EA sees this as a potential income supplement to growers. We are planning a tour for interested growers in the spring.
MOUNDVILLE – Don Chamberlain,
the former unsuccessful Republican
candidate for the heavily Democrat 7th
Congressional District, has a dream.
Much of that dream was articulated in
his two campaigns – “Transform the
impoverished Black Belt one acre at a
While it didn’t win him an election,
it got some folks listening. Randy and
Debbie Brown of Moundville were two
of them. The successful entrepreneurs
(they owned Magnolia Restaurant, now
sold, and a hardware store). Debbie, especially, was intrigued by Chamberlain’s ideas.
The vision included the building of
a series of organic greenhouses
throughout the Black Belt to supply the
increasing demand for organic produce
year round. Chamberlain, working with
Harnois Greenhouses of Canada, has
formed an organization known as
Southern Fresh Produce.
“Our goal,” Chamberlain says, “is
to build a network of 11,000 farms over
the next decade concentrating on Alabama and Georgia, but particularly the
Black Belt.” Chamberlain admits that it
is an ambitious plan, but he believes that
it would create jobs and help alleviate nearly completed, they held an open
poverty by allowing small rural house at their Havana Junction Farm.
landowners to become independent enAt the open house, Commissioner
of Agriculture and Industries John
Currently most organic produce is McMillan said, “What the Browns and
shipped in from California and Mexico, Southern Fresh Produce are doing here
affecting both the freshness and price. will impact the whole state.” He menHaving locally available produce would tioned the organic fertilizer will use
benefit the marketplace and cut down processed chicken manure from state
on spoilage.
chicken houses and waste byproducts
Chamberlain’s plans call for two from catfish processing plants.
different types of installation. An eight
Whole Foods, an upscale organic
tunnel bay, 300 ft. long unit on 1.54 grocery chain, with a store in Mountain
acres; and a four tunnel bay unit on 0.77 Brook, is very interested in having local
acres. The cost of setting up a four bay suppliers who can consistently deliver
unit varies from $50,000 to $85,000, de- quality organic produce.
pending on site prep cost and the availability of water.
The Browns investigated the possibilities of
getting into the greenhouse business by visiting
similar installations in
Vermont and Canada,
places with much colder
winters. They were impressed by what they saw.
They opted for the
Debbie Brown is excited about this new venture that
larger unit, and on Dec.
she and her husband, Randy, have undertaken.
19, 2013, with the project
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Time to ditch the Winter blaahs with some spice!
Chicken and Mixed Pepper Enchiladas with
Avocado Black Bean Salad and Lime Cream Drizzle
6 Servings
chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless,
cut crosswise into ¼-inch strips
2 TBLS vegetable oil, divided
1 red pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
½ cup diced Spanish onion
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 TBLS chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp adobo sauce
½ cup frozen corn
12 flour tortillas (6” size)
1 can (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1½ cup grated quesa Blanca cheese
3 TBLS chopped cilantro for garnish
Avocado Black Bean Salad:
Lime Cream Drizzle:
ripe avocado, halved, pit removed, and diced
cherry tomatoes, quartered
TBLSs olive oil
can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
TBLS fresh lime juice
tsp salt
tsp black pepper
TBLS chopped cilantro
cup sour cream
TBLS fresh lime juice
Make Avocado Black Bean Salad by combining all ingredients in medium bowl. Stir gently and reserve.
Make Lime Cream Drizzle by combining sour cream and lime juice in a small bowl. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 350º F.
In a sauté pan, heat one tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chicken strips and sauté until browned. Remove
from pan and reserve. In same pan, add second tablespoon of oil and heat. Add red peppers, poblano pepper, onion,
cumin, chili powder, paprika and salt. Saute until vegetables are soft, about 5-6 minutes. Add cilantro, adobo sauce, and
corn. Stir to heat through.
Spray a large oven proof baking dish (or two medium-sized dishes) with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon about ¼ cup
chicken mixture onto each tortilla, roll, and place in pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Enchiladas should be placed
tightly in pan. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Place in heated oven and bake until cheese is melted and Enchiladas are heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
Serve 2 enchiladas per person. Drizzle with Lime Cream and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve Avocado Black Bean
Salad on the side.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Pulled Chicken Sliders with Mango Barbecue Sauce
and Pepper Jicama Slaw
4 Servings
4 cups shredded rotisserie cooked chicken
12 small slider or dinner rolls
Mango Barbecue Sauce:
large jicama
red pepper, chopped
yellow pepper, chopped
jalapeno pepper, chopped
tsp chopped cilantro
TBLS apple cider vinegar
tsp lime juice
TBLS olive oil
tsp sugar
tsp kosher salt
TBLS olive oil
small onion, diced
garlic clove, minced
tsp minced ginger
cups tomato puree
TBLS Worcestershire sauce
TBLS brown sugar
cup orange juice
TBLS apple cider vinegar
tsp salt
tsp Dijon mustard
mango, pitted, peeled and diced
TBLS chopped cilantro
Make slaw by shredding jicama in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade. Place in bowl. To jicama, add red and
yellow pepper. Toss vegetables with cilantro, vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, and salt. Reserve.
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes or until onion is softened.
Add tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, cider vinegar, salt and Dijon mustard. Stir to combine
and heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add diced mango, stir to combine, and remove from heat.
Pour into the bowl of food processor and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan and add cilantro.
Stir in chicken and heat through, about 4-5 minutes. Serve on small slider rolls. Slaw may be served on top of chicken or on side.
Warm Tuscan Chicken Sandwiches
Serves 4
1 pound pre-cooked chicken, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf crusty baguette, split lengthwise and soft insides removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
/3 pound sliced Provolone cheese
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and cut into strips
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Combine rosemary, basil, garlic, salt and pepper and set aside. Brush inside of baguette halves with olive oil. Sprinkle
evenly with herb mixture.
Place sliced chicken, Provolone and sun-dried tomato strips evenly on one baguette half. Put other half of baguette on top,
press down slightly and tie the baguette, at 2-inch intervals, with kitchen string, if desired.
Put baguette on a baking sheet and into the hot oven. Bake until warmed through and cheese is melted, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove strings and cut into quarter before serving.
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
Extension News
Two-Generation Farm Business Workshops Scheduled for February
For many families working to
transfer a farming operation from
one generation to the next, it’s not
the legal, financial and technical issues that prove most challenging.
As many families have learned
from experience – often bitter experience – the biggest challenge often
involves ensuring that this transition
occurs on the basis of open communication and trusting relationships
among families members.
Indeed, effective relationship
building and overcoming barriers to
effective communication often prove
to be the critical measure of success
in the course of transferring a farming operation from one generation to
the next, according to Dr. Paul
Brown, associate director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.
“As it happens, professional
help, whether this turns out to be
legal, financial or technical assistance, often comes together pretty
well,” says Brown who grew up on
a family farm in Iowa. “However, it
is the human relationships and levels
of communication among family
members that often prove critical to
“Individual family members
come into this multigenerational dialogue with different expectations
and goals, but as family members
they must develop a common vision
of how these goals are going to be
With interest in farm succession
planning on the steady rise, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System
will hold a series of seminars in February to provide farm families with
tools to better ensure that these operations are passed as successfully
and seamlessly as possible from one
generation to the next.
Workshops are scheduled for
Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Wiregrass
Research and Extension Center in
Headland; Monday, Feb. 17, at the
Tennessee Valley Research and Extension Center in Belle Mina; and
Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Sand
Mountain Research and Extension
Center in Crossville.
Anyone interested in learning
about the critical factors for success
associated with transferring a farming operation across generations is
encouraged to attend, according to
The workshops will help families assess the feasibility of two-generation farming operations and how
to develop the communication and
human relationship skills essential
for success. Families will also be
advised about the most effective
ways to transfer ownership and management responsibilities and to divide business income.
The training will also identify
the factors most essential for securing a business arrangement that
serves both generations.
“What we want to accomplish
through these workshops is to give
families an overview of the farm
business transfer process – the key
factors they need to discuss as a family before they proceed with planning,” Brown says.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
The workshops will explore a
four-stage transfer process whereby
ownership, management and income
are transferred from one generation
to the next using a series of business
These workshops will begin at
5:15 p.m. with registration, followed
by dinner.
In addition to Dr. Paul Brown,
other speakers will include Dr.
Francesca Adler-Baeder, Alabama
Extension specialist and professor in
the department of human and family
studies at Auburn University, and Dr.
Robert Tufts, an attorney, Alabama
Extension specialist and professor in
the School of Forestry and Wildlife
The capstone of each workshop
will be a discussion about planning
assistance, further educational topics
and future programming.
“Succession planning is a multiyear process as the torch is passed
from one generation to the next,”
Brown says. “So, it’s important that
we get feedback about additional
help people will need, either as individuals or as members of a multiplefamily operation.”
Pre-registration is required one
week before each scheduled program so that meal arrangements can
be made and materials prepared.
For more information, contact
Nan Chambliss of the Alabama Extension Agriculture, Forestry and
Natural Resources Programs at
(334) 844-4450.
Practical Applications
National Poultry Technology Center – Auburn University College of Agriculture
By: Jess Campbell, Dennis Brothers, James Donald & Gene Simpson
We get a lot of questions, and one question always
stands out during the winter months: “What is the silver
bullet for growing chickens?” The answer is and will always be, “There is no silver bullet.” There are, however,
certain basics of poultry husbandry, and the growers and
companies that seem to always have the advantage are typically the ones who do the best job of managing those basics during brooding.
Brooding is the “lift-off” phase of chicken development, with the highest percentage of feed going to growth
and so producing the most rapid growth rate, giving chicks
a good start in life. That good start is extremely important.
No failure to achieve optimum growth during brooding can
ever be made up later in the growout. Both research and
on-farm experience show that even a few hours of poor
conditions during brooding can do significant harm to
overall flock performance.
Modern poultry houses and management systems give
us the ability to control conditions in the house and give
chicks the good start they need. All it takes is paying
proper attention to the seven brooding basics:
Brooding Basic #1: Litter Management
Litter conditions set the tone for the flock long before
the chicks arrive on the farm. For best performance, chicks
must be placed on a consistent minimum of 4 inches of dry
bedding at or around 88-92°F. Anything less will cause
losses in performance proportional to the degree of insufficiency. If chicks are not started on fresh litter, steps must be
taken to reduce litter moisture and properly condition the
litter to release as much ammonia as possible before flock
placement. Allowing the litter to set in a house cold and wet
between flocks is a recipe for disaster.
What to do: Remove caked litter ASAP after the birds
leave. After this; windrowing, using litter conditioning
equipment, heating the litter and ventilating between
flocks can all help achieve the goal of dry litter with reduced ammonia at day one. Top dressing the brooding
chamber and applying a company approved, ammonia
controlling litter amendment at the manufacturer’s suggested rate and method is also highly recommended.
The goal of litter management is first of all to provide
November / December 2013
comfortable bedding conditions for the chicks; but also to
reduce the effect that litter moisture and ammonia have on
the environmental control systems. If we have to manage
heating and ventilation to compensate for poor litter conditions, it will be much more difficult – and costly – to provide the optimum growing environment chicks need.
Think about it: litter condition sets the tone for air quality,
heating and ventilation through the life of the flock.
Brooding Basic #2: Temperature
Temperature differences as small as 0.5-1.0 degrees F
can impact overall chick health, behavior and growth.
Electronic controller technology has given us the ability
to monitor and manage temperature that precisely, and do
this automatically on a real-time, 24-hour basis. This gives
growers a huge management advantage over traditional
manual thermostat control. Even so, the old computer
adage “garbage in = garbage out” applies to controllers
also. A controller’s management capabilities are only as
good as the information from the sensors it uses. Therefore
we must pay close attention to sensor placement! If the
ideal starting temperature is 90°F, this means 90°F at the
feed and water lines, as consistent as possible. Proper
placement depends on the type of heating system and spacing in the house. Proper “ideal” temperatures can also vary
according to individual flock requirements. A good manager always monitors his chicks and makes appropriate adjustments.
However, don’t expect temperature adjustments to fix
every problem every time. Temperature is the most commonly monitored and controlled condition in poultry
houses, but the other brooding basics can be just as important to flock performance.
Brooding Basic #3: Air Quality
Excess ammonia or carbon dioxide, along with too
high or too low relative humidity, can become serious
problems, especially during winter flocks. The only way
to solve or reduce air quality problems once they have occurred is to increase the ventilation rate. Ventilation decisions should be based on accurate assessment of
Alabama Poultry Magazine
conditions, but neither controller systems nor growers are
equipped to accurately monitor air quality factors.
For relative humidity monitoring, inexpensive sensors
can be purchased from local hardware stores and placed
near mid-house away from heaters and air inlets. Oftentimes controllers can be fit with humidity sensors as well.
Either way, the goal is to maintain in-house relative humidity at 50-65 percent during brooding as long as possible. If relative humidity is below 50 percent, deduct 15
seconds from minimum ventilation run time. If it is above
65 percent, add 15 seconds of run time. Early morning is
an excellent time to judge air quality conditions and make
ventilation adjustments, if needed.
Too-high ammonia (NH3) or carbon dioxide (CO2)
levels can impact bird health and growth and can be challenging to control in winter, but are more difficult for a
grower to accurately measure. Because growers become
accustomed to smelling ammonia, the “nose test” cannot
be relied on. Birds can suffer and even be blinded before
the grower becomes aware of a serious problem. Carbon
dioxide is odorless, and it takes a while for humans to experience symptoms – headaches, nausea and sleepiness –
of excess CO2 levels. Therefore, growers typically must
make judgments about these factors based on observation
of birds and bird behavior.
If accurate monitoring equipment is available, ammonia levels should be kept below 25 ppm. A minimum of 15
seconds of additional minimum ventilation run time
should be added to houses testing above 25 ppm and an
additional 30 seconds for over 100 ppm. CO2 levels should
be kept below 3,000 ppm. Too-high CO2 levels are usually
highest when preheating and brooding chicks in tight
houses during cold weather when heating systems are running constantly and ventilation run time is lowest.
Fortunately, most ammonia and carbon dioxide problems can be minimized by proper litter management (including use of ammonia-suppressing amendments) and
adequate minimum ventilation (including control of relative humidity).
Brooding Basic #4: Ventilation
Good environmental control during brooding requires
properly executing the minimum ventilation basics:
1. Pressure. A good rule of thumb for pressure is for
every 0.01 inches of static pressure measured in water
column, air travels about 2 feet. To get the air to the
middle of the house near the ceiling requires about
0.10 inches of pressure in a 40-foot wide house. This
means we have to have a house that can pull 0.15
inches or more during a house tightness test with fan
power of 1 cfm per square foot of floor space.
2. Inlet door Opening. The required air pressure capability must be combined with the proper perimeter
November / December 2013
inlet door opening to throw the air to the center of the
house. Too little or too wide of an opening will result
in outside air blowing directly onto the feed and water
lines and, more importantly, onto the chicks. Step one
of vent management should be to manually latch
closed all or most of the vents not located in the brood
area of the house, after which additional vents inside
the brood area may need to be latched closed to
achieve the proper air flow with the desired fan power
(typically 1 -1.5 cfm per square foot). Bottom line is
you have to get the correct inlet door opening and
static pressure to achieve the desired air throw and
mixing. Latching doors or opening doors can be used
as a method of fine tuning your perimeter inlet set up.
A smoke emitter of some type will show exactly
where the air is going. Do whatever it takes to get the
air to the peak of the ceiling to promote good mixing.
3. Fan Run Time. Finally, it is essential to calculate
the correct amount of minimum ventilation fan run
time. We offer a handy electronic calculator on the website that anyone can use (no
computer training required). You only have to know
the basic numbers for your house fan capacity and the
number of chicks you are brooding, along with the
per-chick run-time you want (and there are even suggestions for deciding what that number should be).
Click the Minimum Ventilation Run-Time Calculator
link at the top of the homepage.
(And there is a separate link to a calculator designed
for smart phones, if that is how you are getting to
Brooding Basic #5: Water Quality and Availability
Having high-quality water freely available can make
a huge difference in getting chicks off to a good start. One
of the first things a grower should do if he is experiencing
consistent performance problems is have a water sample
analysis conducted. Contact your company or local county
Extension office for help with water sampling and analysis. If substantial water quality problems are found, a consultation with a respected water quality expert is in order.
Water quantity problems can be difficult to diagnose;
however, a common sense approach to making sure chicks
have plenty of water available is to do a good job of routine
drinker system maintenance. The importance of getting
water into the chick as soon as possible cannot be overstated. This means that cleaning water systems and activating nipple drinkers before every flock arrives is
extremely important. Also pay close attention to initial
drinker height and make adjustments that reflect bird
growth on a routine basis. Chicks will consume a lot less
water than older birds so flushing drinker lines often in the
beginning will keep the water fresh and promote greater
consumption. Water filters, regulators, and any possible
Alabama Poultry Magazine
water restriction points must be monitored before and during each flock. Don’t assume water quality and availability
are adequate, verify it.
Brooding Basic #6: Feed Availability
look for about 95 percent of the chicks with feed and water
in their crops after 24 hours. Remember, if a chick is given
the choice between comfort and feed or water, it will
choose comfort. Make sure every chick gets feed and water
quickly and easily.
Feed availability runs hand in hand with water availability and is of equal importance. The quicker chicks have
access to and consume quality feed, the better start they
will have. The actual amount an individual chick consumes
on day one through seven is very small, so the tonnage of
feed in the house on day one is not nearly as important as
providing access for every chick to easily get to feed. Another way to say this is that feeding space/opportunity is
most important. Chicks having sufficient access to feed is
more than just feeder pan, chick tray and supplemental
feed lid management. Environmental factors also play a
huge role in feed availability because if a chick isn’t comfortable (too hot, cold or drafty) near the feed trays or
lines, it will not eat or drink sufficiently. This can be a severe problem that must be corrected. Many companies
Chicks grow, gain, and perform better the quicker they
gain access to feed and water, and light stimulation further
encourages feed and water consumption. Specific lighting
programs are under constant revision and vary from one
integrator to another. However, the most common recommendation for light intensity when lighting is on calls for
a minimum average light intensity of 3 or more foot-candles for the first 7-10 days, measured along the feed lines
between grow lights. Large shadows, blown bulbs and insufficient lighting intensity and uniformity are problems
that can be identified and corrected with the use of a simple $150-$200 digital light meter. Don’t assume your light
intensity is adequate, verify it. Buy a meter and calibrate
Brooding Basic #7: Lighting
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
the dimmer in each house. Many growers are surprised at
how far off their settings are after they measure them with
a meter.
The Bottom Line
Each of these brooding basics has evolved and improved into what the industry considers standard procedures for brooding chicks today. Using the tools and
equipment available to follow these basic procedures is not
just the best but the only way to give your chicks the “liftoff” they need to become a top-performing flock. Growing
chickens today is not a matter of managing by the day, but
by the hour. Mistakes made in the first 72 hours can’t be
made up later in the flock. Taking the time to do brooding
right pays off at catch time.
NOTE: This article should be considered a basic guide for
getting chickens off to a good start. Individual integrator recommendations may vary from these guidelines due to location, type of bird grown, type of heating system, ventilation
set up, type of house and other factors. Follow your integrator guidelines.
Feed & Water: Offering chicks easy and early access to
quality feed and water cannot be over emphasized.
Feeder lines and drinkers must be maintained and kept
working properly.
Also realize that if chicks have to make a decision between comfort and feed and water, they will often choose
comfort. That means it is essential to make sure conditions
at chick level around feeders and drinkers are good: no
cold spots or drafts, no wet litter, etc.
Basic Tools: Paying proper attention to the seven brooding
basics requires making proper use of just six basic tools.
Five of these, shown below the bucket, left to right, are
relatively low-cost instruments that every grower should
be familiar with: wind meters, smoke emitters, pressure
gauges, air temp and humidity meters, and infrared temperature guns.
The bucket represents the sixth and most important tool:
you, yourself, live and in person, taking the time to sit on
a bucket inside each house observing chick behavior and
equipment operation.
The gadgets are essential for getting accurate readings of
particular in-house conditions, but they do not tell the
whole story. It’s up to you to assess the situation and make
the right management decisions to give your chicks the
best start possible.
November / December 2013
Alabama Poultry Magazine
Increased Incidence of a Crippling Disease in Broilers
J. J. Giambrone, Professor
Poultry Science Department, Auburn University
Joel L. Cline, Director and Diagnostician
J. B. Taylor Regional Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Elba, Ala.
Viral arthritis (VA) also called viral tenosynovitis is a
chronic debilitating disease, which can result in damage
to the legs and hearts of broilers, broiler breeder pullets,
and young turkeys. VA is caused by reovirus, which is resistant to many chemical agents. Commercial egg layers
seem to be relatively unsusceptible to VA caused by reoviruses. Reoviruses are genetically unstable and can mutate, which are not protected against by existing
commercial vaccines.
Reoviruses are spread laterally from bird to bird or
vertically from hen to their offspring. Fecal-oral or respiratory tract transmission can also occur. The clinical signs
are birds down on the hocks (knees), which have reduced
growth, slight increase in mortality, are reluctant to move,
or move about unsteadily. VA can also cause downgrading
and trimming in the broiler processing plant and culling
in breeder pullets and turkeys and may lead to suppression
of the immune system.
Swollen tendons above and below the hocks and a
ruptured tendon are also seen. The tendon is fibrous tissue
that connects muscle to bone.
Figure 1 shows an enlarged hock joint
Swelling and rupturing of the tendons around the
hocks and heart damage is diagnostic (Figures 1 and 2) for
VA. Figure 3 shows three week old broilers with reduced
growth rate and are down on their hocks and reluctant to
Figure 2 shows a ruptured tendon
Figure 3 shows an increase in yellow colored fluid
in the hock joint
The diagnosis of this disease is by gross and microscopic changes of the diseased tissues and viral isolation
and fluorescent antibody test. A molecular test, called a
PCR test, may also be used to further characterize the isolated viruses.
The prevention is by vaccination of breeder pullets
with multiple vaccines containing both live and killed reoviruses. Breeders usually receive at two weeks and again
between 6-8 weeks a live virus vaccine by drinking water.
Killed vaccine viruses are given at 18 weeks or when pullets are transferred from the pullet house to the breeder
house by injection under the skin. The killed viral vaccine
contains three different reovirus genetic types in order to
prevent the disease from occurring in the field.
There is no treatment for VA. Since reoviruses are stable in the house they are difficult to eradicate, therefore
prevention must be by vaccination of the pullets or turkeys
to prevent the disease in them and the broiler progeny
through transfer of the maternal immunity from the hen to
the chick through the egg yolk. This passive immunity will
protect the chick from infection during the first three
weeks of age, when they are most vulnerable to reovirus
infection. Live reovirus vaccines are not normally given to
broilers in the hatchery, because they are expensive and
may interfere with the efficacy of other vaccines given in
the hatchery.
For the past 20 years commercial live and killed vaccines were highly effective; producing near 100 percent
protection in the turkeys, broiler breeder pullets, and their
progeny. However, over the past two years there has been
an increase in VA in broilers, hatched from vaccinated
hens, in major broiler producing areas throughout the eastern coast of the United States.
Researchers in several University and private research
laboratories as well as state diagnostic laboratories have
Alabama Poultry Magazine
November / December 2013
isolated and identified new genetic reoviruses using various
molecular tests. Dr. Holly Sellers of the Poultry Disease Research Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the
University of Georgia showed that the viruses were placed
in two genetic groups. The first one was only 50 percent related to prior reovirus field and vaccine reoviruses and the
second was 80 percent related to the same viruses. However,
the two groups were less than 50 percent related to each
other. Using vaccination and challenge studies she showed
that current vaccines provided little or no protection against
viruses in either of the two groups. Sellers has made a killed
vaccine from a virus in the first group of new viruses. She
found that this vaccine was able to prevent VA caused by all
the reovirus isolates in the first group. She has not tested the
vaccine against the second group of reoviruses. The vaccine
is currently being patented and will be provided to a commercial pharmaceutical company in the near future. It would
be added to the current killed reovirus vaccine for help in
reducing the incidence and severity of this reemerging crippling disease of poultry.
Several reoviruses have been isolated from broilers with
VA and heart damage from Alabama flocks showing lameness and suppression of weight gain by all four Alabama state
veterinary diagnostic laboratories. We are in the process of
obtaining these reoviruses and comparing them with other
reoviruses isolated from around the United States using a
new molecular test developed in our Auburn laboratory.
When possible we will publish this valuable date to help in
developing a new vaccine for use in controlling this crippling
disease in our state’s poultry flocks.
2013 National 4-H Poultry and
Egg Conference Alabama Winners
Alabama 4-H would like to thank the Alabama Poultry
& Egg Association for sponsoring Alabama delegates in the
National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference. National 4-H
Poultry and Egg Conference recognizes 4-H members who
have excelled in their states in poultry learning experience
activities. The activities and contests are designed to introduce participants to poultry and the poultry industry. Life
skills are also learned through preparation for the various
contests. The conference is used to make participants aware
of careers in poultry and allied industries.
The chicken and turkey barbecue contests involve skills
in barbecuing, preparation of a product, and a presentation
that demonstrates knowledge of the subject industry, food
safety and product attributes.
Life skills learned are becoming an informed consumer,
food safety, leadership, communication skills, problem solving and decision making. Special thanks to the event leader
Amy Burgess, Etowah County Extension coordinator and
chaperones Joy Maxwell and Kristen Roberson, regional Ex-
Alabama Ag / Alabama Farm Credit
American Proteins
Dreisilker Electic Motors
First South Farm Credit
Goldin Metals
Jones-Hamilton PLT
Lee Energy Solutions
Modern Poultry Systems
Randy Jones Ins. Agency
Southwest Agri-Plastics
Thompson Tractor
November / December 2013
Alabama 4-H Winners: (left to right) Kristen Roberson, Jacob
Walls, Miller Kintsley, and Joy Maxwell
tension agents.
Congratulations to the national winners: Miller Kintsley,
Shelby County, 8th place Chicken Que; Jacob Walls, DeKalb
County, 9th place Turkey Que.
AP&EA “Big Bass” Fishing Tournament
Friday, May 9, 2014 – Lake Guntersville, Guntersville, Ala.
AP&EA Golf Tournament
Friday, June 6, 2014 – Limestone Springs Golf Course
AP&EA “Evening of Fun”
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Grower Seminar, Birmingham Ballroom/Sheraton
Program and Concert, BJCC Complex
Dance, Sheraton Ballroom
Alabama Poultry Magazine