About diseases of poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds that are kept by humans for different reasons such as egg production, meat and for feathers. These poultry include; chicken, turkey, goose, ducks, quails and ostrich. Most people in the world keep poultry as a means of generating extra income. Just like all other animals, poultry suffer from different types of diseases that vary from severe to mild. It is therefore important for a poultry farmer to know and understand the different diseases of poultry that are likely to affect poultry and how to prevent and manage them.
Types of diseases of poultry
There are many different diseases of poultry that have different causes. The main types of diseases of poultry include;
- Infectious bronchitis: it affects chicken only and is caused by a virus.
- New castle diseases of poultry: it spreads very fast and affects poultry of all ages. It is caused by a virus known as paramyxovirus. This virus survives for long periods in ambient temperatures like in poultry droppings. The virus is sensitive to sunlight, fumigants and disinfectants. It affects the respiratory system, reproductive system and the nervous system.
- Avian influenza: can affect almost all species of poultry. It can be mild or highly pathogenic. Mild avian influenza is characterized by loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhea and low mortality. The highly pathogenic avian is characterized by blue comb, facial swelling, dehydration and wattles.
- Infectious coryza: mostly affects chicken, pheasants and guinea fowl. Its main symptoms are face swelling, foul smell, sticky thick discharge from eyes and nostril and labored breathing. The eyelids may stick together.
- Fowl pox: also known as chicken pox, sore head, bird pox and avian diphtheria. There are two types of fowl pox the dry form and the wet form. The dry form is characterized by raised wart like lesions on the unfeathered areas. These lesions heal in like two weeks. The wet form is characterized by canker lesions in the mouth, larynx, trachea and pharynx. It can cause respiratory distress due to obstruction of the upper air passage.
Causes and signs of diseases of poultry
Virus: it is major cause of diseases of poultry that cannot be cured. It can be prevented through vaccination.
Poor nutrition: poor mixing of minerals and vitamins in the poultry diet can lead to diseases of poultry.
severe drop in egg production
dyspnoea- difficulty in breathing
coughing and sneezing
loss of appetite
Control measures to prevent diseases of poultry
- Always ensure that the water dishes are clean, keep the food dry and contained.
- Beware of the kitchen scrap you feed the poultry. Avoid giving rotten or moldy foods.
- Manage the coop in terms of number of chicken and sanitation standards to minimize diseases of poultry.
- Observe your poultry behavior and physical characteristics. This will help in identifying changes that may suggest diseases of poultry in time hence early treatment that will prevent death and infection of other poultry.
- Ensure that your poultry are vaccinated against some of the dangerous and popular diseases of poultry.
- Before introducing new chicken in your flock, ensure that it is free of any infections diseases of poultry.
- Always purchase new chicken from certified poultry sellers.