University of Vermont

Healthy Farms - Healthy Agriculture

Pen/Hutch Use and Disinfection llama photo by Krista Cheney, link to home page

General Farm Biosecurity Practices—
Pen/Hutch Use and Disinfection


Maternity and sick pens
Pen/hutch disinfection

Maternity and sick pens

  • Use maternity pens only for birthing animals.
  • Move pregnant animals to clean pastures or paddocks prior to birthing.
  • Use sick pens only for sick animals
  • Segregate sick animals and prevent animal-to-animal contact between sick pens and maternity pens.
  • Provide a clean environment for birthing. In cattle, this is important to prevent the spread of Johne's disease and Salmonella, calf scours, and fresh cow mastitis.
  • Clean all manure from the pens after use.
  • Disinfect the walls and floors after use.
  • Allow the pens to dry after disinfection.
  • Bed the pens before the next animal enters.

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Pen/hutch disinfection

  • Remove all bedding.
  • Remove sidewalls, gates, hog wire, if applicable.
  • Power wash or steam clean all wood, metal, or concrete surfaces.
    • Note: ammonia compounds should not be mixed with chlorine. The combination releases a harmful gas; acid compounds mixed with chlorine release toxic chlorine gas.
    • The hot water or steam will inactivate most pathogens.
    • Protect yourself from aerosolized material; wear goggles and a respirator.
    • Rinse with a chlorine solution for additional sanitization.
  • If a high-temperature pressure washer is not available, scrub all surfaces with detergent, rinse, and rinse again with a chlorine solution.
  • Let dry before bedding for next use.

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Last modified October 06 2010 09:14 PM

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