The poultry farmer, to be successful, must be educated in poultry diseases. Raising chickens, duck and geese can be rewarding, but if you’re deficient in your knowledge of what may ail your birds, your fowl farm can quickly become a foul farm! Make it a point to recognize the signs of illness in your birds, preventing tragedy and nipping poultry disease in the bud.
You’ll want to know the signs of poultry disease long before you require the services of a veterinarian. Remember the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
Birds can contract diseases from rodents, dead birds, contaminated feed bags, and unclean housing.
One of the most common saboteurs of a flock is the Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome This poultry disease is characterized by lowered egg production, overweight birds, pale face skin and sudden death. The diagnosis of this disease requires that you take a look at the liver. A yellow, soft, and greasy liver with several hemorrhages is a telltale sign of Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome. To treat this disease, lower the flocks’ calorie intake, and provide the birds with supplements of vitamin B12 and choline.
Fowl pox is another poultry diseases that can quickly wipe out an entire flock. Symptoms include pimple-like bumps or lesions, depression and watery or oozing wounds on the comb or wattle. Fowl pox produces mortality rates anywhere from 10 to 95%. Once this poultry disease is contracted, there is no effective treatment. Fowl pox is preventable by means of vaccination.
Among other poultry diseases you’ll want to be aware of, “gape” is a heavy hitter, but easily prevented. Gape causes the bird to be constantly gaping his beak. Transmitted by slugs, this parasite, the nematode, takes up residence in your bird. Symptoms of gape infection include frequent shaking of the head, loss of appetite, and luster in your bird’s feathers. The first course of treatment for gape is the addition of Flubendazole and Levamisole in his feed.
Another of the commonly overlooked poultry diseases is heat stress. Not only will egg production drop, but the condition is quite uncomfortable and taxing on the poor bird. Signs of heat stress are extended legs and wings, panting, appetite loss, and extra water intake. If you find your coop exhausted, wet the roof of the coop and water down their sitting logs. To prevent heat stress in the future, paint the top of the roof white, to reflect heat, and invest in a fog-maker. Feed your birds in the evening, as they’ll be more inclined to eat in the cooler hours.
Remember that poultry diseases should be promptly be evaluated by a veterinarian familiar with birds. Poultry diseases can hurt you and your family members, your income, and of course, the birds. Prevention is always the best course of action. Get the birds vaccinated beforehand, to reduce the chances of infection and enhance the chances of your poultry farm’s success.