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When you buy chicks or young birds, there are various poultry illnesses that can harm them as well as adult birds. Over half of these illnesses may be prevented if adequate cleanliness, shelter, feed, and treatment are provided.
Treatments are readily accessible for chicken illnesses, and much information is available on the subject of poultry disease.
The Best Remedy For Any Chicken Diseases Is Prevention
You should have minimal trouble with poultry illnesses or parasites if you properly follow the guidelines for hygienic maintenance of the hen house and chicks.
Professional poultrymen have discovered that poultry disease control is mostly concerned with prevention.
The common belief that chickens are particularly susceptible to disease stems only from the fact that big flocks are confined in a limited space under unclean conditions.
Because the backyard poultry raiser’s tiny flock is not subject to this hazard, your knowledge of poultry illnesses and their treatment should stay strictly academic.
If one or more of your hens becomes unwell, the safest course of action is to kill and dispose of the diseased chickens as soon as possible.
Otherwise, there’s always the risk that the disease may spread to the rest of your flock. If you breed from the sick chicken, you may be able to bring it back to health, but future generations may acquire a proclivity for the disease. If the chicken is a laying hen, its egg output will very certainly never return to normal.
Aside from hygienic measures, there are also techniques for avoiding some of the more prevalent and devastating chicken illnesses. Fowlpox, Pullorum and Tracheitis are the names of these illnesses (Infectious Laryngotracheitis).
Pullorum can be eliminated by blood testing breeding hens and removing affected birds, as the illness is hereditary and spreads straight through the egg. (Contact between infected and healthy birds may potentially spread the illness.)
Vaccination can protect against fowlpox and tracheitis. Both of these vaccines should be administered at the same time to young birds aged 6 to 12 weeks.
You can administer Pox vaccines by purchasing the necessary vaccine, pulling numerous feathers from the bird’s leg, and then applying the vaccine to the exposed follicles or area from whence the feather was taken.
Tracheitis vaccination demands a distinct approach. It is quite easy and may be completed by an inexperienced person. It entails swabbing the vaccination with a tiny brush directly on the cloacal mucous membrane.
Any poultryman may implement this program on his own, and if done correctly, it will almost certainly secure the health of his flock, assuring adequate productivity from his flock.
Another option is for a community to band together on a cooperative basis, which not only offers a little more cost-effective procurement of the necessary supplies and cooperation in carrying out the job, but also ensures the vaccination and blood testing of all flocks in a particular region.
The procedures described above can totally eliminate the three major threats to chicken profitability, Pullorum, Fowl-pox, and Tracheitis.
Other illnesses, on the other hand, must be avoided by using disinfectants, cleanliness, and proper management, but they, in general, do not emerge in small flocks.
Frozen combs occur when the comb and wattles freeze due to exposure to extremely cold temperatures. They should be gently thawed with snow or cold water.
The recuperation will be painful, and males will be worthless as breeders until the pain subsides, but there will be no negative consequences and the bird will be fit for breeding.
Requirements For Sanitation
The initial sanitation needs are clean egg trays and incubators. Before each hatch, egg trays should be properly cleaned and disinfected. Before eggs are placed in incubators, they should be thoroughly fumigated to ensure that all biological life is eliminated.
Before the chicks arrive, the brooder should be carefully cleaned and washed with a strong lye solution in hot water. Feeders, water founts, and other brooding house equipment must all be properly cleaned.
If possible, spray the whole inside of the house where the brooder is located with a decent disinfectant, of which there are many different kinds made by many different manufacturers. All should be administered in solution in accordance with the instructions on the covers.
From a disease standpoint, the small flock owner has considerably less to worry about, and if simple precautions such as cleaning, ventilation, and feeding are followed, he has little to fear from disease.
Just a little note on ventilation. It is an issue that requires extensive research in huge residences where vast flocks of birds are housed together.
However, there is little problem with tiny flocks in small dwellings. As much as possible, protect against drafts, and either an open front in a properly constructed house or a window open a bit from the top will solve the ventilation problem.
Before transferring the pullets to the laying house, they should be prepared to welcome the new inhabitants. If it has previously been used, all trash should be removed, loose equipment should be carried outside, and the interior properly sprayed with a disinfectant. Before replacing any equipment, it should be treated in the same manner.
The higher the number of birds maintained in one flock and the closer they are kept together, the greater the risk of contagion and parasite infestation, and the more essential methods for control, prevention, and eradication of these threats are to your success.
After all, the almighty created all things to be healthy and disease-free, and if more emphasis was placed on simple, natural disease prevention and less on disease cure, with the possibility of passing on an inherited tendency to disease to future generations, there would be stronger and more disease-free poultry in the land.
The vigilant poultryman, large or small, combats illness by preventative measures such as those mentioned above. He does not rely too much on so-called cures, but instead strives to eliminate the sources of sickness, keeping his flock in a state of strong health, which is very required for acceptable results.
Diseases of Chickens
Fowl-pox is caused by a virus in the bird’s blood and is characterised by tiny blister-like growths of yellowish hue on the comb, wattles, and ear lobes of a bird, which eventually turn into dark brownish scabs.
The bird appears to be sluggish, drowsy, and feverish. It frequently sneezes and coughs. The eyes get moist, and the eyelids swell. The latter may be glued together by ocular secretions.
The face gets bloated, and the bowels typically become loose. There may be nasal discharge, which quickly turns into a bad odour.
Another manifestation of the disease is canker on the interior of the mouth without the presence of pox scabs on the head and comb, but both may be present in rare cases.
The following is the course of treatment. (Birds that respond fast can be used for breeding safely, while those who recover slowly or not at all should never be used for breeding.
Remove the most serious cases to a clean, dry, and well-ventilated location. The tips of the scabs and the canker in the mouth should be scraped with a softwood splinter, and the painful spots should be coated with an iodine tincture.
This should be done every two or three days until the bird starts responding. A 10% Argyrol solution can be used to cleanse the eyes once a day. For two weeks, each bird should be fed a half teaspoon of Epsom salts in a little amount of water twice a week.
The flock of less badly afflicted birds should be given a dosage of Epsom salts at a rate of one-fourth pound per twenty-five birds in as much water as they will drink in three or four hours.
In the drinking water, potassium permanganate or another effective disinfectant should be utilised. Vaccination is a preventive measure, not a treatment for this illness.
Laryngotracheitis, often known as Tracheitis or “Trache,” has caused massive losses in flocks where it has occurred during the last decade.
It is more common in developed pullets and laying flocks than in immature birds. Sneezing, wet eyes, and coughing are symptoms.
As the illness progresses, the fowl sits with its eyes closed, breathing hard and wheezing due to clotted blood and mucus in the larynx and trachea. The illness might last anywhere from six days to two weeks.
Many birds perish, and those that survive only serve as carriers of the deadly virus. Treatment So yet, no widely acknowledged treatment for this illness has been identified. In other situations, fumigating the remaining birds in the buildings with beechnut charcoal has provided relief.
Making the temperature in the home very warm and humid appears to help the suffering fowl at times, but the severe technique of murdering all infected birds at the outbreak of the disease will most likely be most gratifying.
All coops, structures, utensils, and appliances should be completely cleaned and disinfected before being left empty for at least two months.
PULLORUM (White Diarrheas)
Pullorum is a sickness that has killed a large number of young chicks in this nation. Because of the extensive practice of checking breeding flocks for carriers of this illness and removing any reacters, there is currently little risk from Pullorum provided chicks are obtained from reputable hatcheries and breeders.
Chicks born from eggs placed by chickens with the illness’s bacterium transmitted the sickness to others, who became afflicted as a result. As a result, mortality rates might occasionally reach 100 percent.
Chicks hatching from contaminated eggs display signs within a day or two. Those that catch the illness after hatching will exhibit symptoms 5 to 10 days later.
Deaths from the illness occur from the moment the eggs hatch until around three weeks later. The illness causes drowsiness, ruffled feathers, a depressed, distinctively squeaky chirp, and diarrheas. There is no known treatment technique that is effective, however the illness may be eradicated if parent flocks are tested on a regular basis.
Coccidiosis symptoms include a steadily declining hunger, bloody droppings, a dull and listless look that worsens until the chicks stand with their wings down and their eyes half-closed, ideal images of terrible suffering, and eventually death.
Coccidiosis is caused by a tiny parasite that thrives in moist and filthy environments. It is prevalent near chicken buildings on a typical farm, but if a deep, absorbent litter is utilized, and plenty of air and sunlight is provided in the brooder house, there should be no harmful growth in these parasites.
Clean, dry sand or gravel should be used in low locations in the brooder house or yard to minimize damp regions where Coccidiosis thrives.
Because over-feeding might be a problem, if your chicks appear listless, deprive them of food for 6 to 12 hours. This will clear them out, promote fresh digestive action, and allow the chicks to fend for themselves against the illness. Semi-solid buttermilk, skim milk, or cheese will pique your interest.
If Coccidiosis develops, act quickly. Kill, burn, or bury the most severely afflicted birds. If the litter is thin, clean and disinfect the floor immediately before adding fresh litter.
If a deep litter layer has formed, just add an inch or two of clean litter.
Coccidiosis generally clears up in 6 to 8 days. There are various commercial treatments that can help slow the development of coccidia, but recovery is mostly dependent on sunshine and dryness in the brooder and brooder house.
Common colds or catarrh are caused by decreased resistance caused by inadequate ventilation, poor nutrition, or hereditary low vitality, drafts, changes in food or housing, and do not have to be fatal. Sticky, thick yellowish discharge from the nose, wet eyes, and a distinct unpleasant odour are all symptoms.
In severe situations, the eyes may enlarge and seal entirely. If allowed to progress to the advanced stages, it is known as roup, and there is minimal prospect of total recovery.
The bird gets so debilitated that even if it is restored to apparent health, it is not worth the risk of effective production or reproduction from birds that have had severe instances of roup.
Individual treatment of the severe cases: Nostrils and eyes should be wiped out with fingers or a softwood splinter. Using a tiny nasal syringe, apply a 10% solution of Argyrol to the eyes, nostrils, and cleft in the mouth.
In severe cases of roup, the swelling behind the eye can be opened with a sharp knife and the cheesy substance removed.
The cavity should be sealed with absorbent cotton dipped in iodine tincture, and the wound should be repacked every three or four days until the cheesy matter stops collecting.
However, unless you have a quality specimen, it rarely pays to go to the bother. You should axe the ill hens, clean the area, and replace them with excellent, robust, healthy birds.
Hurd of Cornell suggests the following flock therapy for colds: Once a week, add one ounce of Epsom salts to drinking water for every 20 birds under five months old or ten full-grown birds.
Make the birds consume the entire solution before giving them any additional water. Following that, enough potassium permanganate should be added to the drinking water to turn it a dark purple hue, and this should be repeated until the birds recover.
Bumble-foot is a corn or swelling on the bottom of the fowl’s foot that is most likely caused by bruising or another foot injury.
It might be caused by the bird jumping from high roosts to a hard floor, or by walking on jagged cinders or rocky runs, or by roosts that are too narrow. In severe cases, the bird walks with a limp, and when the foot is inspected, it is hot and uncomfortable, with swelling on the ball of the foot and between the toes.
In severe instances, the center demonstrates an abscess with a cheesy core. When an abscess comes to a head, it should be lanced, the pus-like substance pulled out, and the incision cleaned with warm boric acid or other disinfectants, an iodine tincture administered, and the foot wrapped.
The bandage should be removed after four or five days, and the wound should be cleaned and re-bandaged as needed until the bird is fully recovered.
Crop-bound is a crop that has become paralysed or too swollen as a result of ingesting indigestible items like as dried grass, feathers, or straw.
These impede the crop’s transit, causing it to become swollen and pendant. The bird appears uneasy and droopy. The crop will be hard, full, and affected when handled.
It is possible to identify whether a crop contains grain or indigestible materials by manipulating it.
When it is filled with grain, apply a generous amount of sweet or mineral oil using a common medicine dropper and slowly massage the crop.
The bulk can then be broken up and pushed out through the gullet while holding the bird upside down, or when the blocking material is removed, it can flow from the crop normally. If this fails, the only option is to do the following operation:
First, remove a few feathers from the breast above the crop’s top portion. Cut through the skin with a sharp knife. Then, shift the skin to one side and cut through the crop’s wall at the upper side.
Remove the obstructing matter with a tiny hook, such as a buttonhook, or your fingertips. Disinfect the sections and stitch up the crop and outer skin with silk thread, and the bird will typically recover, however the same problem is likely to recur again in the same bird later.
If the bird is not a very desirable specimen, it is preferable to get rid of it right away, as with other problems of this nature. If eaten before the ailment has had a chance to damage the bird’s overall health, it is entirely safe to use as food.