Biosecurity: Principles of CHIP – Part 4

Biosecurity related to 4-H projects has become a focal point for many fairs and expositions. Learn the CHIP method to easily make biosecurity a part of your routine!

Pathogens, viruses or bacteria’s, can spread quickly through animal species and cause sicknesses. Pathogens are spread in various ways such as through the air, through waste materials such as urine or feces, and through direct contact. The management practices that animal owners follow can help reduce the spread of pathogens in the environment.  4-H animal exhibitors can do their part to help safeguard the animal production industry by paying particular attention to their management, both on their own farms and during exhibition.  This article will focus on the I of the biosecurity principles in CHIP, isolation.

Bringing new animals to your farm or bringing animals back from a show or exhibition should be treated with extra care. Animals that arrive on your farm should be isolated for at least 14 days, or 30 days if possible. This will help reduce the spread of pathogens that a new animal could be carrying.

For some farms, isolation may be difficult because of the lack of facilities to separate animals. Some practical adjustments are to make an isolation pen in your barn that is away from other animals so that direct contact cannot occur and contact with airborne pathogens, such as spray from a sneeze, can be minimized.

A further consideration is that animal care takers should try to mitigate the spread of pathogens. By simply wearing a different pair of shoes or boots to another farm, fair or exhibition than you wear in your barn can greatly reduce the risk of pathogen transmission through fecal matter on the bottom of your shoes.

4-H leaders can help teach youth about the principles of CHIP by accessing and using the Animal Science Anywhere: Basics of Biosecurity resource from Michigan State University Extension.

The next article in this series will focus on the P principle of CHIP, proper management.

Other articles in this series by MSU Extension include:

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