|Better Farming Series 13 - Keeping Chickens (FAO - INADES, 1977, 48 p.)|
|How to protect poultry against disease|
There are many poultry diseases. Some of them are difficult to recognize. We shall deal only with the main diseases.
72. Bone disease
The birds walk with difficulty; they limp. The leg bones are badly formed.
This disease is chiefly caused by lack of vitamins and mineral salts. So these birds must be given food that contains more vitamins and mineral salts, such as vegetables and crushed bones and shells.
73. Pullorum disease
The chicks are listless, walk with difficulty. They have a very big belly and drag their wings. Their excrement is liquid and turns white. Many of the birds die at the age of 8 days.
The disease is transmitted by the hens' eggs. A hen that has had pullorum, even if it has been cured, always produces infected eggs. All its chicks will be diseased.
Such hens can be kept to eat or to sell the eggs, but should not be kept in order to have chicks. To prevent poultry from catching this disease, do not buy chicks from unknown sources.
The animal husbandry service that sells chicks gives farmers a certificate saying that the chicks are free from this disease.
74. Fowl pest (Newcastle disease)
Fowl pest is a very common disease and very dangerous.
It kills very quickly a large number of poultry. The birds breathe very heavily and very badly. They digest their food badly.
When they have this disease, they cannot be treated: there is no medicine.
But you can prevent the birds from getting this disease.
You must not mix chickens of local breeds with the chickens bought from the animal husbandry service. All poultry must be vaccinated.
Parasites living in the digestive system are the cause of this disease.
Blood is seen in the excrement of chicks between 10 days and 3 months old.
If the chick is not dead in 30 days, it will always remain thin and will be very late in laying.
To cure diseased poultry, you can mix in the water coccidiostats that stop the disease.
But to prevent poultry from catching this disease, you must:
· not put too many birds
· be very careful about the cleanliness of drinking troughs and poultry houses;
· put coccidiostats in the drinking water.
There is no vaccine against coccidiosis.
The coccidiostats are provided by the animal husbandry service.
The birds peck each other. They pull out feathers and make the skin bleed. Then the birds become more and more vicious.
If there are too many poultry in a run, if their house is not shaded from light, if the drinking and feeding troughs are not big enough, the birds are quick to fight, and may even kill one another.
· take out of the run all the
wounded birds and those which are most vicious;
· treat the wounds with a bad- smelling medicament;
· sometimes cut off the tip of the beak.
You can also hang bundles of vegetables or green grass from the roof of the poultry house.
Then in reaching for this food the poultry get tired and become less vicious.
77. There are many other diseases such as fowl pox, spirochetosis and cholera.
There are vaccines and drugs against several of these diseases.
Ask your animal husbandry service for advice.