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Leveling Up Poultry Biosecurity:



By Georgie Cartanza, Extension Agent Statewide - Poultry; and Sydney Riggi, Extension Agent - Nutrient Management


Dedicated footwear or disposable boots for each poultry house is best for biosecurity. Disposable boots can be purchased online or at local farm supply stores.

Examples of shoes
  • Example of dedicated footwear 

  • Minimal tread for easy cleaning

  • Non-rubber material can be difficult to clean and disinfect

Two shoe covers on grass.
  • Disposable boots fit over shoes

  • Single use in one house

  • 6 mil plastic is preferred

Footbaths are for disinfection not for cleaning (The Poultry Site, 2016).  Footwear should be completely free and clean of any organic material. Organic debris cannot be disinfected.


Examples of bins
  • A shallow container is preferred
  • Change disinfectant frequently

Examples of disinfectants
  • A listing of recommended disinfectants can be found on the  USDA -APHIS website*
  • Consult with your integrator about approved products

  • Follow label instructions

Removal of organic material can require much effort and can be time-consuming.


Shoes caked with organic material
  • Dirty soles prior to cleaning

  • Notice the amount of organic material that has accumulated

One clean shoe and one unclean shoe
  • The sole on the left after scrubbing vigorously with a boot brush for 6.5 minutes is still not clean

  • The sole on the right after soaking in a foot bath for 6.5 minutes is not clean

The example above shows why dedicated footwear or disposable boots is best.


Other considerations


Footwear is one element of practicing good biosecurity. Poultry growers should also consider the following when thinking about biosecurity:

  • Hand washing

  • Changing clothes

  • Disinfection any items that go in the poultry house like cellphones and tools

  • Posting biosecurity signs 

  • Limiting visitors

  • Setting up a disinfecting station for essential visitors

  • Proper disposal of mortality

  • Rodents, wild and domestic animals should not have access to the poultry house


*None of the products represented here are endorsements of a brand. They are only examples.


McCrea, B.A., and Bradley, F.A. 2008 Footbaths for Animal Facilities: Easier than you think. University of California-Division of Agriculture and National Resources. Publication 8281.

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service  2022. Disinfectants. Available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/emergency-management/ct_disinfectants. Verified 24 March 2022.



The Poultry Site 2016.Myths About Poultry House Disinfection. Available at: https://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/myths-about-poultry-house-disinfection-busted. Verified 24 March 2022


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