Biosecurity Self-Assessment

By Jessie Collins

This self-assessment will help to see where improvements may need to be made. Not all questions may be applicable to your set up. Please answer truthfully (no one but you will see the results). There are 86 total questions, please answer true or false. Divide the number of true answers by 86 and then multiply by 100. The closer to 100% you are the more secure your farm is. Being close to 100% doesn’t mean that you won’t have issues with diseases and pests, it just means you are on the right track to lessen your risk.



1. The next flock is a mile or more away as the crow files (straight line)
2. All processing plants are a mile or more away as the crow flies
3. The main route by which trucks travel to the processing plant is a mile or more away as the crow flies
4. My farm is more than a mile away from a standing body of water
5. The nearest rendering plant is a mile or more away as the crow flies

Traffic on and off the farm

1. I don’t take farm vehicles off the farm
2. I don’t lend or borrow equipment from other flocks
3. I have a gate that restricts vehicle access to my coops
4. My coops are surrounded by a fence
5. All visitors must sign a log book
6. I permit no visitors on the premises except authorized personnel
7. I check vehicles coming onto my farm to see if they are clean
8. I ask vehicle operators if they have disinfected their tires prior to arriving
9. I ask visitors where they have been prior to my farm
10. My coops/runs are locked to discourage unauthorized entry
11. I have posted signs indicating access is restricted
12. No one but myself, vets and authorized personnel are permitted in the coops
13. I never visit other farms
14. I only have one age of birds on my farm at any given time
15. When there are multiple ages of birds on the farm, the order of care is youngest to oldest

Pest Management

1. I have a rodent control plan
2. I regularly check bait boxes/traps to be sure the bait is fresh and remove dead rodents
3. I regularly check for rodent activity
4. I do not let trash or junk pile up
5. I have no debris, hay bales, or brush piles located within 100′ of my coop
6. I clean up outside feed spills immediately
7. I remove dead birds promptly and dispose of properly
8. I do not permit the feeding of wild birds on my farm
9. Wild birds do not have access to my coop/run
10. I do not leave the coop doors open after it has been cleaned and disinfected
11. I spray regularly for insects using an approved insecticide and apply according to the label

Other Livestock and Animals

1. I do not permit other livestock within 100′ of my coop
2. Livestock are not permitted to congregate near the well head
3. Dogs and cats are not permitted in the coop/run
4. I do not own any other birds as pets
5. I do not own any other poultry, game birds or waterfowl


House Cleaning and Disinfection

1. I’ve recently done a total clean out of my coop/run
2. I do not store used litter in piles uncovered
3. I compost litter in an approved and properly managed method
4. Litter is not spread adjacent to my coop or those of my neighbors
5. I do not store used litter near clean litter
6. When removing litter, I clean up any spills
7. All equipment used during removal is cleaned and properly disinfected
8. After litter removal, coop is thoroughly swept from top to bottom
9. All rafters, light fixtures, fans, heaters, brooders, etc. are blown off or wiped clean
10. The entire coop and all equipment is washed top to bottom with a detergent spray
11. The entire coop is disinfected using an approved product and used as labeled
12. A high pressure sprayer (200 psi) is used for washing and disinfecting
13. All feed pans, feedlines, and hoppers are emptied prior to cleaning
14. All feed pans, feedlines, hoppers, and waterers are scraped, scrubbed, washed and disinfected
15. The feed bin is regularly cleaned and disinfected
16. Loose feathers and debris are cleaned up outside the coop/run
17. I allow at least 2 weeks for the coop to dry out and remain open after disinfecting
18. I rebed using clean dry litter, which is free of any moldy smell
19. I do not use any hardwood shavings or shavings containing pine bark
20. I use an approved insecticide on top of new litter if insects are a problem
21. I clean and disinfect removable equipment like feed trays and waterers just prior to set up for new birds

Personal Hygiene and Apparel

1. I regularly clean vehicles that leave the farm and disinfect the cabs/beds
2. I shower before going to the coop
3. I do not wear street shoes/clothes in the coop/run
4. I have a separate cap/coveralls for each coop/brooder/grow out pen
5. I regularly launder my cap/overalls, especially between flocks
6. I have a separate pair of boots for each coop/brooder/grow out pen
7. I clean and disinfect my boots before and after each coop visit
8. I have disinfectant dip pans at each coop/pen
9. I change the dip pans every 2-3 days
10. All visitors who wish to enter coop/run must wear clean, sanitized caps, overalls, gloves and boots
11. All soiled, disposable apparel is disposed of on the farm when visitors leave

Flock Health Care and Monitoring

1. I immediately call my veterinarian when birds appear to be sick
2. Sick or dead birds are regularly examined to determine cause
3. Birds are vaccinated only for agents known to be previously been an issue on the farm
4. When using vaccines, I always follow the manufacturers instructions
5. I only use antibiotics when birds are sick and I know the cause
6. I always administer antibiotics according to the labeled dosage or veterinarian instructions
7. I always use antibiotics for the full treatment period prescribed by the label or the veterinarian
8. I never use expired vaccines/antibiotics
9. I try to stay informed with regard to disease problems that may be near me
10. I have taken the time to learn more about the types of diseases that affect poultry

Good Management Practices

1. If the birds look chilled, I supply more heat without compromising air quality
2. I have appropriate ventilation
3. I consider the air in my coops suitable for human consumption (long term)
4. I routinely remove caked litter or till accordingly
5. I top dress with dry, composted, mold free litter or fresh clean litter
6. I clean and disinfect waterers several times per week
7. I use a chlorinator or some other means to reduce bacterial contamination
8. I raise feeders and waterers at the appropriate times to reduce waste and litter contamination

This assessment has been adapted from :

Biosecurity Principals and Practices in the Commercial Poultry Industry

F William Pierson, MS, DVM, Ph.D., Diplomate A.C.P.V. Assistant Professor of Avian Medicine

Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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