chicken diseases

Bio-security – Learn How to Prevent Introduction or Spreading of Diseases in Your Poultry Farm

It is vitally important to ensure that disease is not spread between chickens based on different sites. The practice that is in place to do this is known as bio-security. It is normally through the feeding process or cleaning of their feathers that they are most at risk of picking up infections. Once already wounded, additional infections can set in and at this stage certain internal organs can become damaged.

Spreading the Disease

Having spread throughout the body, the infection will enter into the bowel and leave the chicken’s body in the form of droppings. Disease can also be passed on through exhalation or on occasions, through cuts and wounds. As soon as other chickens mix with the infected birds, then they will also become infected. The problem is that the agents that have become infected do not die once they leave the body of the chicken. Coccidia and worm eggs can live for a matter of months outside the chicken, but fortunately others cannot withstand elements such as sunlight. Heat and disinfectant can also remove them leaving other chickens safe from picking up the illness.

How Disease is spread

There is still the risk of other chickens becoming infected even when the agent can be destroyed, but here there will have to be direct contact. When it is via agents that can survive, the choices are wider. It can be through animals, humans – chicken droppings can stick to shoes and be passed from site to site – and even certain materials. The infection may live on pieces of eggshell, or even on the body of a dead chicken.

How the Infection Develops

It will take sometime after the chicken has become infected before the signs of the illness emerge. This is called the incubation period and it is here that the organisms carrying the infection will multiply inside the bird. They are weakening the bird and also causing them to breathe out disease and excrete it in their droppings. This is a major problem as no one knows that the bird is ill or infecting others so no action is being taken. A major issue here is a hen passing the disease directly to its young. When this happens, commercial enterprises begin to suffer financially.

Controlling Diseases

When it comes to the likes of Newcastle disease it takes more than flock management and good production practices to control them. Such a contagious disease can lead to a high mortality rate and as the impact can be so great to the industry, they are classed as notifiable diseases. The authorities need to be informed as well as veterinary departments

Most Common Bio-security Measures

  • Avoidance of locations near to the infected farms – at least 500m is recommended.
  • Take note of the wind direction in order to protect against airborne infection.
  • Alteration to the rearing cycle can prevent some passing on of the infection.
  • Careful disposal of litter.
  • Keep the infected site as secure as possible. If personnel are not moving between sites, it will be easier to contain.

Kienyenji Chicken Diseases – Top 5 Viral infections You Should Know About

Although kienyenji chicken farming is a lucrative venture to try, you should know there are challenges to face. One of these challenges is poultry diseases. It’s extremely important to know all the diseases you might encounter as a chicken farmer. Second, you should familiarize yourself with all the vaccinations your chickens need to survive the disease bouts. Keep in mind that without proper disease management and control tactics, your chickens could die. Even if some of your birds survive, their eggs and meat production levels could decrease.

What triggers chicken diseases?

The main cause is microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoans. The secondary causes are normal pests that hide in the chicken fur and the internal parasites that live in the intestines. Other than micro-organisms and parasites, diseases could result from other factors: poor flock management, nutrition, husbandry and environmental elements.

Viral poultry diseases

1)    Newcastle Disease – NCD is a stubborn viral chicken disease and the virus that causes it can survive in a dead carrier or its secretions for a whole year. A disease with a high mortality rate, Newcastle Disease could kill 30 to 40 percent of your chicken flock. The symptoms to expect are:

  • Poor appetite
  • Poor digestion
  • Heavy breathing
  • Greenish droppings
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Paralysis and nervous breakdown.
  • Swelling of the head
  • twisting of the head and neck

It is important to notice the early signs; otherwise, you could lose your birds. NCD is better prevented than cured, and it’s very contagious. There is a vaccination that can be administered to all birds and chicks.

2)    Avian Influenza or AI – This disease is almost similar to NCD. Although it affects waterfowls and ducks the most, Avian Influenza can ail chickens too. AI is not only highly contagious, but also extremely deadly. If your chickens have this viral disease, you will notice their bluish, swollen combs and wattles. Good hygiene and regular vaccination are a must if you want to prevent AI. If drinking water or food is contaminated, AI will spread incredibly fast and cause more deaths. It has no complete cure, just like the NCD. If you suspect it, disinfect and clean your chicken house right away. Eliminate sick and dead birds by burning them.

3)    Fowl Pox – This is another viral disease that is transmitted via contact. It affects chicks, mostly, and materializes as tiny lesions on their combs, face and wattles. Commonly seen during the dry seasons, Fowl Pox isn’t extremely deadly. It has no cure as well; and so, you should vaccinate your birds on time.

4)    Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) – Also called the Gumboro Disease, IBD is a viral disease that attacks broods below six weeks of age. It commonly occurs if many chicks are placed in a cluttered, small housing. The first sign is usually diarrhea and it is noticeable after 4 to 6 weeks after the chicks hatch. Other signs include a swollen kidney with urates, swollen bursa of fabricious, dehydration, PM-Skeletal bleeding and sudden death. You can only vaccinate your chicks to protect them from this deadly virus.

5)    Marek’s Disease – This disease only attacks chickens that are sixteen weeks and older. It may paralyze the chickens’ leg/legs or wing/wings. Marek’s disease triggers retarded growth, low productivity and moderate deaths.

Besides the viral diseases, chickens could also suffer from a wide range of bacterial diseases. The most prevalent ones include fowl cholera, fowl typhoid, Pullorum Disease, Infectious coryza, chronic respiratory disease and Colibacillosis. Moreover, we noted earlier that poultry diseases may be triggered by internal parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. The commonest fungal disease is Mycotoxicosis or fungal poisoning, and it occurs when birds eat contaminated feed.