Poultry diseases and treatment must be your primary concern if you own a poultry farm. Breeding domestic animals is not complicated, but diseases can ruin the business. One infected animal can literally kill other animals on the farm. That is why it is vital to detect all illnesses and treat them timely.
Some farmers think that domestic animals suffer from very few diseases if they do not contact other animals or people. In fact, many diseases can spread through food and even the environment within a farm. Check out this post to learn more about disease prevention and hygiene.Which are the most common poultry diseases?
Many diseases can attack poultry and other domestic animals. Below, you will find a brief list of the most common and , their features, symptoms, and methods of treatment and prevention.
It is one of the most widely spread poultry diseases because the germs that cause it can live in the ground for a long time, enduring quite hard conditions safely. Increased dampness is a perfect environment for these germs. You can prevent infestation by keeping the .
The disease is transmitted through poorly washed vegetables and other food, drinking water, and also by rats, infected poultry, and wild birds. Chickens are prone to this disease from the 80th day after birth.
The main symptom of this disease is heavy diarrhoea with blood and foam. Birds often lose the ability to move and sit in the same posture with their feathers ruffled. The condition is dangerous because it is hardly noticeable at the stage when it can be treated effectively. You can treat it by adding powdered sulphur to the food of the birds and total disinfection of the farm.
This infection is another common disease that can attach your poultry farm. You can effectively treat this disease with the help of antibiotics of a specific type prescribed by a veterinarian.Newcastle disease
This illness is one of the most dangerous for poultry. Hens of all ages are at risk. They become drowsy, lose appetite, develop fever and breathing issues. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment after the disease has already manifested. All the infected poultry must be put down to prevent further infection. The only way to fight this disease is a special vaccine.Smallpox
Smallpox usually attacks young birds. There is no treatment for this disease, and all infected birds should be separated from others. If you have a case of smallpox on your farm, inform a local veterinarian immediately. However, preventive vaccination works much better.Avian influenza
This illness is known popularly as bird flu, and many people are afraid that they can catch it from their domestic birds or wild ones. In fact, these fears are quite reasonable because . You need to be very attentive to your flock to notice the first signs and dispose of the sick ones as quickly as possible.
The first noticeable signs include breathing issues, discolouration of faces of sick poultry (or they may turn bluish), and development of red spots around the eyes. As soon as you notice it, you need to put the contagious birds down, destroy their bodies, and sanitise the area properly. You need to be super careful to avoid catching the virus, too. Unfortunately, there is no effective vaccine to protect your farm.
Animals suffer from cholera, too, and this is a disease that attacks hens, ducks, and geese. The condition is highly dangerous and causes a high death rate. Young chickens up to 2 months are especially vulnerable to this disease. The infection is transmitted through infected food and water, tools and contacts with either infected or recovering birds.
When infected, poultry becomes weak and feverish. Their noses and beaks run with foamy slime and their excrements may contain blood. It is strictly forbidden to treat such birds. All the ill ones must be put down immediately, and the area must be thoroughly disinfected. All the inner organs of the diseased birds must be destroyed. When affected by extensive necrosis, bodies of the infected birds must be destroyed, too. Eggs can be used only after disinfection.Air Sac Disease
It is a bacteria which can be brought to your area even by wild birds. First, you will notice that your chickens are practically unable to lay eggs and that they are weak. Then, there will come breathing problems: sneezing, coughing, and so on. Eventually, their joints will become swollen. Then, many of them will possibly die.
The worst news about this disease is that it is able to be passed from a hen to a chicken inside an egg. The best news about all this is that the bacteria can be killed by antibiotics prescribed by a vet. Healthy poultry can be protected with the help of a vaccine.
This disease is a dangerous infection that affects chickens and turkey chicks at the age between several days and two weeks. Birds become weak and thirsty, lose appetite. Some of them stand with their feet wide apart and eyes closed. Excrements become watery and foamy. As a rule, visibly ill birds are killed immediately and only relatively healthy ones are treated with antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.Cannibalism
Even though it is not an infection, this condition is also often treated as a kind of disease because it can affect your farm negatively. It is caused by too many birds in one place, a damp and stuffy poultry-yard, too much light, metabolic issues. Birds of different ages and size kept within the same small area can experience attacks of cannibalism. A bird that has once tasted blood should be kept away from all others to prevent further provocations. Cannibalism vanishes quickly after birds are fed.Hard craw
This is a condition that is caused by rough, dry, and musty food. The crow gets stuck with the food and very hard. Poultry loses appetite and sits with their feather ruffled. The condition is treated by the insertion of about 30 to 50ml of vegetable oil into the craw through a probe. Then, turn the bird with its head downwards, and massage the craw gently until it becomes empty. The next day, wash the craw gently with water and only on the second day the bird can eat some liquid dairy food.
Rickets is a non-infectious disease, which appears if birds do not have enough vitamin D in their menu. To prevent different forms of vitamins deficit, add yeast, fresh greenery, wheat bran, and sprouts to the regular foodPoisoning
Food or other poisoning is also among poultry diseases. Sometimes, birds get poisoned due to careless disinfection of their premises, poorly purified food infested by fungi, rotten vegetables and so on.Botulism
It is a complicated disease, which may end up with paralysis of the whole body, involving that of breathing organs. Your poultry will simply be unable to breathe, and it will be fatal. The disease is caused by a toxin, which is produced by bacteria. The disease can be stopped, and the effect of the toxin can be neutralised if you give your birds a portion of antitoxin obtained from a vet.
Also, you can prevent such a disease by controlling the quality of food you give to your birds and by cleaning their place really well. As a rule, chickens get infected from some dead bodies lying within their reach or from contaminated water (again, if there is something dead in the water).
Poultry can suffer from bronchitis, too. It is easily noticeable when chickens start to give off sounds like sneezing or snoring. With time, their eyes and noses begin to water profusely. This condition makes birds suffer a lot, and their laying ability suffers in quantity, too.
The disease spreads via the air, and the only way to prevent it is vaccination. If some of your chickens are already infected, find them a warm and dry place where they can recover. Some fresh herbs used as food may help them regain their health.Infectious Coryza
It is a dangerous disease caused by bacteria and, sadly, there is no vaccine to stop it effectively. The main symptoms are easily noticeable. Chickens' heads become swollen until their eyes are almost shut. Adult hens stop laying eggs, and you can notice a kind of discharge flowing from their eyes and nose. The moisture also appears under their wings.
The only way to protect your flock is to prevent any contacts of your poultry with other animals. Keeping their water and area clean will reduce the risk of infestation.Marek's Disease
Another sickness that can attach your farm is called Marek's disease. You will notice it at once because infected poultry will develop tumours all over their bodies. There is no effective treatment, and in most cases, this is a lifetime disease, providing an infected chick survives. You will need to dispose of all the infected ones because the virus is incredibly catchy and the whole flock can be affected in no time by simply inhaling skin particles of ill birds.
The most effective preventive means is vaccination, which is made to all chickens who are one day old.
Preventive steps will help you save money, your birds and your farm. Just keep poultry of different ages separately, fight parasites like ticks, bugs, and rats, and clean and disinfect the farm regularly. Vaccination is an efficient means of preventing poultry diseases and protecting you from the viruses that can affect humans, too.