Common Diseases Poultry Farmers Should Look Out For During Cold Season
Fowl View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Pox is the first one which is a contagious viral poultry disease spread by mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects and affects birds of all ages. Mosquitoes take advantage of the stagnant water after the rains and use them as breeding sites. Bushes, stagnant water and lying around containers on the farm should be gotten rid of to avoid mosquitoes. Birds should be vaccinated against fowl pox from three to six weeks of age depending on the geographical location.
The second type of disease is Coccidiosis. In this cold season, most farmers get easily tempted to close the poultry coop curtains in an attempt to keep the birds warm. The temperature inside the poultry houses are therefore elevated and coupled with increased humidity making the litter inside to easily become wet. This favours sporulation of the coccidian organisms that causes the disease. Symptoms include drowsiness, bloody stool to severe diarrhea, ruffled feathers and depressed birds. In severe cases, anaemia and death occur.
Coccidiosis also causes decreased egg production in laying birds. To control this, ensure the house is clean and dry, litter should be kept dry and wet litter removed, ventilation and basic hygiene to be observed and avoid overcrowding of the birds. Fowl Cholera is another bacterial disease and is highly contagious and mortality in acute cases is very high. The wet litter in poultry houses associated with the wet season is usually responsible for hosting the bacteria that causes the disease.
Fowl cholera signs include yellow or green diarrhea, ruffled feathers, laboured breathing, loss of appetite among others. Brooder Pneumonia is another disease and is a respiratory disease of chicken and turkey caused by wet and mold-bearing litter. Infection occurs through inhalation of spores either from dump feed or litter. Signs include difficult in breathing, lack of appetite and increased thirst. Poultry houses and equiment should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before chicks are placed.
Worm infestation is the last disease and is widespread in the cold season especially in kienyeji birds under free range system. This is caused by drinking water contaminated with intestinal worm eggs. Birds should be dewormed during this season and ensure to observe the withdrawal period.