NZ Lifestyle Block

3 health problems that show up on the comb Fowl cholera


A common bacterial disease (also known as pasteurell­a) spread by wild birds, rodents, cats, pigs, and rabbits. Can also be carried on clothing, footwear, and equipment. A fast-moving infection, so often the first sign is sudden death in birds around the point of lay (18-30 weeks+).

Symptoms: listlessne­ss, fever, loss of appetite, ruffled feathers, mouth discharge (may be bloody), nasal discharge, pasty or yellow diarrhoea, lameness, twisted neck. Birds can also develop a chronic infection with swelling in the hock, wing joints, footpad, ear, sinuses, and wattles, or blisters on the breast. Just before death, they’ll have faster than normal breathing and a blue tinge to the comb and wattles.

Treatment: Offer supportive care, such as removing affected birds from the flock, and add a bird electrolyt­e to their water supply; talk to your vet about treatment options.

Prevention: keep rodents, wild birds, and other carriers out of your coop and run. Don’t let poultry, dogs, and cats share the same area. Quarantine new birds, and practice good biosecurit­y.

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