Lower antibiotic usage with optimum hygiene in intensive poultry farming

Until 2007, the usage of antibiotics is on the agenda with the majority of agricultural facilities. As increasingly strict rules have been applicable since that time for antibiotic usage in the poultry sector, their usage in poultry farming has rather been decreased.

The greatest drop took place in the period from 2009 to 2012. After that, this drop has flattened off, but even further steps have been taken to push back antibiotic usage even further. In 2020, the drop in usage in relation to the reference year 2009 indicated by the government has reduced by no less than 69.6 percent.


However, this does not mean that the sector can rest on its laurels thanks to these good results. Low antibiotic usage can only be maintained if agricultural businesses continue to take structural measures. Furthermore, antibiotic usage needs to be pushed back even further in the coming years. Among other things, this may be looking even more at:

  • good feed
  • better hygiene
  • well-ventilated sheds
  • avoiding stress for the animals.


Increasing numbers of agricultural businesses are understanding the importance of good personal hygiene. Nevertheless: people are an important source of bringing disease into the facility. So that means that actually every person entering the farm presents a risk to the continuity of your business. This risk can be drastically lowered by keeping protocols for personal hygiene at the facility. For every person entering the farm: for yourself, for your employees and for those visiting the shed.


Creating a good hygienic entrance with a clear protocol ensures effective personal hygiene. A shower facility is preferable – and then most preferably a walkthrough shower – but even by using a simple washbasin or wash trough with hot water, soap and chemical dispensers and the possibility of cleaning and disinfecting boots may the desired hygiene level be met. Furthermore, a well set-up changing room with a strict separation between ‘dirty’ and ‘clean’ areas is indispensable to limit at much as possible the chance of diseases getting in.

Elpress Hygiene toolkit

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Wout Spanjers