Prevention is the best medicine for poultry farmers | Poultry News


Diseases in poultry species can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection with pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites), nutritional deficiencies or toxicity, exposure to toxic substances, and improper husbandry or management.

Some pathologies in poultry are multifactorial, meaning that combinations of infectious organisms and/or management factors are required for clinical disease to manifest.

Common signs of disease in poultry include increased mortality, reduced feed and water consumption, reduced egg production, reduced egg production, lethargy, slouching, disheveled plumage, or affected Birds are isolated from other members of the flock.

Other clinical manifestations may occur depending on which body system is affected by the disease.

When trying to determine the cause of a particular medical condition in a flock, it is important to remember that the clinical symptoms seen in birds are rarely unique to a single medical condition.

Infections with several different bacteria and viruses can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.

In addition, poor ventilation in barns and sheds can lead to ammonia buildup, which can lead to respiratory symptoms due to eye and tracheal irritation.

Infection with a particular pathogen can cause very different clinical manifestations depending on the species, breed, production type and age of the affected herd.

Clinical disease following infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza virus strains can manifest differently in chickens, turkeys and ducks.

Some birds can be asymptomatic carriers of certain pathogens, and birds that have recovered from some infections can become chronic carriers of that organism.

These birds carry pathogens and can be a source of infection to other birds and flocks without showing any outward signs of illness.

Therefore, whenever you notice a sick bird in your flock, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis.

If you are a poultry owner in Pennsylvania and believe that your flock of chickens may be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, immediately contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Emergency Hotline at 717-772-2852 for options. You must select 1 to contact an on-call veterinarian.

For routine illness concerns, herd owners should contact either their local practicing veterinarian or a poultry veterinarian in the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostics Laboratory System.

PADLS veterinarians cannot examine or treat live birds, but can provide advice on which samples to submit for diagnostic testing based on the clinical signs present in the flock. We can also provide general recommendations for disease management.

It is important for poultry owners to keep their flocks under “self-isolation” while investigating disease concerns.

This means that birds are not bought, sold, traded, or otherwise moved on or off premises.

Do not visit other flocks, participate in poultry auctions or shows, or allow visitors to visit your flock until you have identified the cause of the flock’s illness. These biosecurity measures can prevent the spread of disease from your flock to other flocks.

Once the cause of the disease has been identified, we will focus on treating herd symptoms and how to prevent the disease from recurring.

Unfortunately, treatment options for infectious diseases in poultry flocks are relatively limited.

There are no antiviral drugs approved for the treatment of viral infections in poultry species.

Antibiotics can be used to treat certain bacterial infections, but antibiotics should only be used under the direction of a licensed veterinarian.

Prevention is the best medicine for poultry given the limited treatment options. Biosecurity practices can be effective tools to prevent the introduction of disease into a herd.

Vaccines are available to protect poultry from several diseases. However, vaccination programs must be tailored to the specific disease challenges present in the herd and geographic region.

Currently, bird flu vaccination is not an option in the United States. A comprehensive biosecurity program is therefore the best strategy for protecting the herd.

Veterinarians and state or federal animal health officials may recommend increased cleaning and disinfection or extended downtime before reintroducing poultry on premises if certain infectious diseases are occurring in a flock of chickens. may recommend.



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