Testing the Medicator

Testing the medicator in the barn is an important step to make sure that the medicator is dosing at the correct level, and that medication is administered to the flock over the correct amount of time. In fact, Chicken Farmers of Canada’s Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program requires that water medicators be tested before each new medication is administered. The results of the test and any deviations and subsequent repairs are to be recorded on the Flock-Specific Record Form, or equivalent record form.

Prior to calibrating your medicator, check the manufacturer’s instructions for their calibration process. The following calibration method is an example of how to perform these tests. Other methods, including manufacturers’ recommendations, can also be used to test accuracy.

  1. Disconnect the outflow side of the medicator from the water line (usually connected by a union or a “quick connect” coupler)
  2. Use a measuring cup that measures mL and fill with a known quantity of water
  3. Place the end of the medicator intake tube into the measuring cup, place a pail under the outflow of the medicator, and turn on the water supply through the medicator
  4. If the correct amounts are disappearing out of the measuring cup, then the water medicator is working properly. If not, your medicator needs servicing

Check out this info sheet for more details.