Wild turkeys can run up to 25 mph

Cooper Farms Completes Biosecurity Building

OAKWOOD, OHIO — Cooper Farms is proud to announce the completion of their newest addition, a Biosecurity Building. The building will aid the company in ensuring the health of their animals in the area.

Biosecurity is a set of preventive measures designed to greatly reduce the risk of transmission bacteria or pathogens in livestock and poultry. The new Cooper Farms Biosecurity Building adds an additional level of biosecurity for the company’s northern Live Animal Division.

“This building provides us the ability to wash, sanitize and heat dry vehicles that have been at farms or have hauled animals, before they are taken to another animal location,” said Terry Wehrkamp, Cooper Farms Director of Live Production.

The building houses both an automatic truck wash bay with can be used for tractor-trailers and a manual wash bay, with a drying in a separate building.

Feed trucks and managers traveling between farms will be able to go through the automatic truck wash, which will finish the wash with a disinfectant. While vehicles used for hauling animals or moving litter will be washed by hand in the manual wash and then move on to the drying shed.

“The biosecurity center will allow us to sanitize vehicles to a level that we have never been able to reach, prior to having this equipment,” said Wehrkamp. “This high level of sanitation will help to keep pathogens and disease organisms from riding from one farm to another.

The drying shed heats the vehicle and/or trailer to 160 degrees (F) and holds it there for 5 minutes, destroying any remaining bacteria or organisms.

There are also eight showers for the team members who are washing vehicles and/or traveling between farms. This is similar to the Cooper Farms breeding farms, which are shower-in, shower-out buildings.

Anyone who will be entering the “clean” side of the building will be required to shower into the building and wear company provided clothing on the other side of the shower. All the clothing will be washed and dried on site.

“We require our farm team members to do this same thing when entering or exiting our farms, so it only makes sense to have the showering portion at our biosecurity building as well,” said Bud Koenig, Cooper Farms Facility Maintenance Manager.

The Hatchery & Northern Live Animal Division is primarily responsible for all of the laying turkey hens and their eggs, and sows who birth the piglets. Once the poults (baby turkeys) hatch and the piglets are weaned, they are then moved to one of Cooper Farms’ contract family farms that help to care for the animals. Because such young animals and their mothers are being cared for and moved in this division, it is of utmost importance that nothing is introduced that could make them sick.

“We have been researching this concept for a couple years, and are happy to have to have it in place now,” said Wehrkamp. “It is nice that the owners of our company provide us with the resources to do projects such as this.”

Gary, Dianne and Jim Cooper pose in front of a Cooper Farms in the automatic truck wash at their new biosecurity building located on 613 east of Oakwood

Visitors at the Cooper Farms Biosecurity Building Open House watch a truck going through the Automatic truck wash

Visitors chat at the Cooper Farms Biosecurity Building Open House