Abstract for: A Broiler House Simulator to Facilitate Management of Disease in Poultry Production

Broiler production is a major industry in the US and worldwide. Chicken is the main meat consumed in the US; accordingly, it has substantial potential impact on public health and food safety. There are various feedback loops that operate within the broiler production system, including disease, production, and management. The objective of this project was to develop a platform for studying disease dynamics and the effect of interventions such as vaccination and antimicrobial use in a broiler production system. A broiler house simulator that tracks the flow from chick delivery to harvest was developed using Vensim modeling software. There are three submodels which demonstrate the dynamics of three separate but interrelated microbial infections of broilers. Agents A and B show the dynamics of two interacting pathogens in the broiler house. Agent C demonstrates the colonization of broilers with an organism that does not cause disease in the birds but can be a food borne disease in people. The infectivity of the individual agents are stochastically generated for each flock that passes through the broiler house. Morbidity level triggers antimicrobial use in the model. The efficacy of a selected antimicrobial is adjustable for each pathogen.