September 6, 2021

Livestock Corner

The problem of pests and diseases in poultry farming enterprise is one of the important factors that cause reduced bird meat and eggs production. Agri-business of poultry production is an essential business opportunity for the socio-economic growth of any farming community and nation at large. Poultry business creates job opportunities for people through creating self-employment opportunities. It provides the people with opportunities in the area of poultry breeding, hatchery, egg production, poultry product processing, marketing, feed manufacturing, and major sources of protein for people.

The economic loss caused by pests and diseases in commercial poultry farms would have made poultry farmers devise several strategies to reduce the loss to the minimum. In research conducted in the compilation of this Article, the major pests of poultry are rodents and lice. However, Newcastle and coccidiosis were top-ranked prevalent diseases. We all know prevention is better than cure. So how do we prevent this pest and disease and also the necessary cure if our poultry is attacked by them.

Coccidiosis generally occurs more frequently during the warmer months of the year, Young birds are more susceptible and more readily display signs of disease, whereas older chickens are relatively resistant as a result of prior infection. Infected birds tend to huddle together, have ruffled feathers, and show signs of depression. The birds consume less feed and water, and droppings are watery to whitish or bloody. This results in dehydration and poor weight gain as well as mortalities. In the past, it has been realized that eradication of coccidiosis is not realistic and hygienic measures alone are not able to prevent infections. However, if an outbreak of coccidiosis occurs, treatment via drinking water should start as soon as possible. The most commonly used drugs are sulphonamides, amprolium, and toltrazuril. Today the prevention and control of coccidiosis are based on chemotherapy, using anticoccidial drugs and/or vaccines along with hygienic measures and improved farm management. A veterinary doctor should be seen as before there is serve outbreak on the farm.

The Newcastle disease can infect a wide range of poultry birds including domestic, commercial layer, broiler, and breeder flocks, and it is responsible for high morbidity and mortality. Many factors include, lack of proper vaccination, an adaptation of quarantine measures, poor bio-security practices, etc. are responsible for outbreaks of ND. The ND virus infects the respiratory, digestive, and nervous system and in severe cases may cause high economic losses. Wide ranges of clinical signs are observed in affected birds and disease can be diagnosed based on clinical signs and laboratory isolation of the virus. The disease can be prevented through vaccination and adaptation of strict bio-security and quarantine control measures. During the outbreak of disease proper disposal of dead birds and zoning of the area can help to control the disease in surrounding flocks.

Lice are a part of your birds living in nature. It isn’t because your water wasn’t clean enough, or you did anything wrong in particular. If you’ve ever had a run-in with human lice, chicken lice will most likely sound all too familiar to you. Keep in mind; chicken lice only live on chickens. The good news is the lifecycle of chicken lice is relatively short. The bad news is they’re continually reproducing. But it’s important to make sure the chicken’s feed is placed in a secure area where wildlife won’t be drawn in to feed on their food. Also, consider placing nets over your chickens’ yard area to keep them safe and also from allowing birds to land in your chickens’ area. Dust baths are what help treat your chickens’ skin. This is what will rub any nits out of their feathers and make them an undesirable host for lice to want to live on. Also when you purchase new birds, don’t introduce them to your flock right away. You want to assume every bird you bring home will be healthy, but there are no guarantees.

Also in the prevention of rodents invading our poultry, elimination of nesting places -Clean up your farm and remove all debris that can provide shelter for rodents. If the storage area cannot be rodent proofed, move the material at least every week to prevent rodents from establishing themselves in it.

 A major factor to prevent all these pests and diseases is Hygiene, a good source of water, and constant visits of the veterinary doctor on the poultry farm.  This article is just to enlighten us that pests and diseases can be prevented which will bring about an increase in poultry production.

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