SMALL FLOCKS

The Poultry Bulletin - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

Spot­ting dis­ease and what to do about it

Laryn­go­tra­cheitis (LT)

This is an acute, highly contagious dis­ease of chick­ens. Clas­sic signs in­clude laboured breath­ing with ex­tended neck, chok­ing, sneez­ing and vig­or­ous shak­ing of the head. Mor­tal­ity is of­ten high with this in­fec­tion.

In­fec­tious Bron­chi­tis (IB)

This highly contagious dis­ease spreads very quickly. Its symp­toms may in­clude eye and nasal dis­charge, chok­ing, and sneez­ing. Mor­tal­ity can be high in young birds.

Avian In­fluenza (AI)

The dreaded dis­ease for all poul­try pro­duc­ers, while not com­mon, has the po­ten­tial to in­flict se­ri­ous dam­age in any flock. Its im­pact can range from mi­nor res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion to 100% mor­tal­ity, de­pend­ing on the strain of virus. Symp­toms that can be ex­hib­ited in­clude chok­ing, sneez­ing, tear­ing, hud­dling, ruf­fled feath­ers, and swelling of the head and face. Proper quar­an­tine or de­pop­u­la­tion of AI pos­i­tive flocks is es­sen­tial in pre­vent­ing the spread of this po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing dis­ease.

Pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure

The phrase ‘an ounce of pre­ven­tion is worth a pound of cure’ ap­plies to the small­est back­yard flock as well as to the largest com­mer­cial en­ter­prises. Min­imis­ing dis­ease in small flocks is very im­por­tant as they can act as reser­voirs of trans­mis­si­ble dis­ease to the com­mer­cial poul­try in­dus­try.

The first step in dis­ease pre­ven­tion is to know the en­emy. In the case of colds and flu, viruses are the cul­prit. Viruses can in­fil­trate a flock by air, wild birds, in­sect and ro­dent pests, new ad­di­tions to the flock, and hu­man traf­fic. An­tibi­otic treat­ments will

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