Ground Birds: Health Issues (Diseases, Prevention & Treatment)
Aspergillosis. It is aka. brooder pneumonia. The disease is caused by a fungus.
Symptoms: Infected chicks lose their appetites but have increased thirst, and they begin gasping or show convulsions.
Prevention. Keeping a clean brooder, including all bedding, water drinkers and dishes, as well as improving ventilation in the area will help minimize this disease.
Symptoms: The symptoms of this disease include dull eyes, head and neck tremors, appetite loss and eventual paralysis.
Mode of Spread: It is spread through fecal contamination of food and water
Treatment. No cureis available and infected chicks will need to be killed and disposed of safely. A vaccine is available and can be effective to prevent the disease if it is administered properly
Avian Pox (aka.Fowl Pox):
Symptoms: White spots on skin; combs turn into scabby sores; white membrane and ulcers in mouth, on trachea; laying stops; all ages affected.
Mode of Spread: Viral disease; mosquitoes, other chickens with pox and contaminated surfaces.
Treatment: Supportive care, warm dry quarters, soft food; many birds with good care will survive.
Vaccine: It is available. Recovered birds are immune and do not carry the disease any further
Symptoms: Include remors quickly progressing to paralysis of body, including breathing; feathers pull out easily and death in a few hours.
Mode of Spread: Caused by a bacterial byproduct and by eating or drinking botulism-infected food or water
Treatment: Antitoxin available from vet but expensive. If found early try 1 teaspoon Epsom salts dissolved in 1 ounce warm water dripped into crop several times a day.
Vaccine: Not available. Ideally, locate and remove source, usually decaying carcass, meat near water, or insects that fed on the meat or the water the carcass is in.
Fowl or Avian Cholera:
Symptoms: Usually birds over 4 months — greenish yellow diarrhea; breathing difficulty; swollen joints; darkened head and wattles; often quick death. Does not infect humans.
Mode of Spread: Bacterial disease; wild birds, raccoons, opossums, rats, can carry. Also transmitted bird to bird and on contaminated soil, equipment, shoes, clothing contaminated water and food.
Treatment: Not available. Destroy all infected birds if recovery occurs the bird will be a carrier
Vaccine available: Yes
Symptoms: Its symptoms are like of a cold-like illness such as gasping and other respiratory trouble, sneezing, watery eye or nasal discharge and loss of appetite.
Treatment: Raising the temperature in the brooder slightly (3-5 degrees) can help chicks better resist the infection, and offering a warm, moist mash will help them eat properly as they recover
Symptoms: Include Swollen heads, combs, and wattles; eyes swollen shut; sticky discharge from nose and eyes; moist area under wings; laying stops.
Mode of Spread: Being bacterial disease it transmits through carrier birds, contaminated surfaces, and drinking water
Treatment: Only prevention by destroying the sick birds as they remain carriers for life
Vaccine: Not available
Marek’s Disease. A type type of cancer that infects young chickens and chicks
Symptoms: Include lameness or paralysis as well as blindness or labored breathing.
Prevention. Improving ventilation in the coop and brooder can help prevent the disease, as can good cleanliness and the appropriate vaccination
Symptoms: Include white cheesy substance in crop; ruffled feathers; droopy looking; poor laying; white crusty vent area; inflamed vent area; increased appetite
Mode of Spread: Fungal disease; contracted through moldy feed and water and surfaces contaminated by infected birds. Often occurs after antibiotic treatment for other reasons.
Treatment: Yes. Ask a vet for Nystatin or other antifungal medication. Remove moldy feed and disinfect water containers.
Vaccine: Not available
Mycoplasmosis/CRD/Air Sac Disease:
Symptoms: include weakness and poor laying. Problems in breathing, coughing, sneezing, swollen infected joints, death
Mode of Spread: Mycoplasma disease; contracted through other birds (wild birds carry it); can transmit through egg to chick from infected hen.
Treatment: Antibiotics may save birds — see a vet.
Newcastle Disease (N.D.):
Symptoms: Include wheezing, breathing difficulty, nasal discharge, cloudy eyes, laying stops, paralysis of legs, wings, twisted heads, necks
Mode of Spread: Viral disease; highly contagious; contracted through infected chickens and wild birds and is also carried on shoes, clothes, and surfaces.
Treatment: None. Birds under 6 months usually die; older birds can recover. Recovered birds are not carriers.
Vaccine: It is available as name of Lasota etc. U.S.A is working to eradicate the disease permanantly
Omphalitis (aka. Mushy Chick):
Symptoms: For Newly hatched chicks — enlarged, bluish, inflamed naval area, bad smell, drowsy, weak chicks
Mode of Spread: Bacterial infection of naval. Can spread from chick to chick on contaminated surfaces.
Treatment: Antibiotics and clean housing sometimes help, but most chicks will die. Remove healthy chicks immediately to clean quarters.
Vaccine: Not available. Staph and strep that cause this disease may infect humans
Symptoms: Chicks are inactive, may have white diarrhea with pasted rear ends, breathing difficulty, or die without symptoms. Older birds — coughing, sneezing, poor laying.
Mode of Spread: Viral disease; contracted through carrier birds and contaminated surfaces, clothing, and shoes.
Treatment: Destroy all infected birds — birds that recover are carriers. Most chicks infected will die.
Vaccine: Not available but there is a blood test to find carriers
Symptoms: This is a bacterial infection which causes rotten-smelling diarrhea and signs of listlessness or depression in infected chicks.
Mode of Spread. The infection spreads largely through overcrowding
Prevention. Keeping chicks in a properly-sized brooder will help reduce the risk of infection. Regular cleaning is essential to minimize the disease, and antibiotics administered in the water can help cure infected chicks
Medicines. There are many different types of drugs available that can be added to poultry feed to prevent and treat illnesses and parasites.
Antibiotics. Acceptable antibiotics strains which are recommended for poultry production include the following:
Coccidiosis is a common parasitic disease of poultry. It is the result of an infestation of coccidia in the intestines. A number of different drugs, called coccidiostats, are available for use in conventional diets to control coccidiosis in poultry. Coccidiostats that can be used in conventional poultry production include the following:
Sulfadimethoxine and ormetoprim
Medications for Controlling Intestinal Worms. Many types of parasitic worm that can infest poultry, including roundworm, tapeworm, cecal worms, and capillary worms. There are only a few products that can be added to conventional poultry feed to control internal parasites. No products are approved for use with egg-laying hens. Acceptable medicinal salts for worm control include the following:
Medications for Controlling External Parasites. Many types of external parasite can infest a poultry flock. Typical pesticides (salt only) used for control of external parasites include:
Medications for Controlling Beetles. Beetles are a common problem in poultry facilities. The adults are black with hardened front wings and antennae that start under a ridge near the eyes. The larvae are worm-like and slightly hardened for burrowing. Both the larvae and beetles eat decaying leaves, sticks, grass, dead insects, feces, and grains. Brand-name products that can be used to control darkling beetles include the following:
Medications for Fly Control. Compounds that can be added to conventional feed to aid in fly control in poultry houses include the use of Cyromazine