The poultry industry is a broad niche. There are many sub-sectors in the poultry industry which you can tap into. You have to Learn the 3 most common poultery or Chicken Diseases befor you started the poultery farming
Diseases that strike chicken in cold season
1. Poultry/Chicken Diseases 1: Fowl Pox
Fowl pox is a contagious viral poultry disease spread by mosquitoes and other blood sucking insects. It affects birds of all ages. Mosquitoes take advantage of the stagnant waters after the rains and use them as breeding sites. Bushes, stagnant water and lying around containers in the farm should be gotten rid of to avoid mosquitoes.
Pox lesions on the wattle, comb and other non-feathered body parts are some of the lesions associated with fowl pox. Birds should be vaccinated against fowl pox from three to six weeks of age depending on the geographical location.
2. Poultry/Chicken Diseases 2: Coccidiosis
In this cold season, farmers get easily tempted to close the poultry coop curtains in an attempt to keep the birds warm. The temperatures inside the poultry houses are therefore elevated and coupled with increased humidity the litter easily becomes wet.
This favours sporulation of the coccidian organisms that cause the disease. Coccidiosis is characterised by drowsiness, bloody stool to severe diarrhea, ruffled feathers and depressed birds. In severe cases, anemia and death occur.
Decreased egg production is experienced in laying birds. To avoid and control coccidiosis, ensure the house is clean and dry. Litter should be kept dry and wet litter removed. Ventilation and basic hygiene are paramount in keeping the litter dry. Avoid overcrowding by observing the required stocking rate of: Broiler- 1 bird/square feet, layers and kienyeji- 1 bird for every 2 square feet.
3. Poultry/Chicken Diseases 3: Fowl Cholera
This bacterial disease is highly contagious and mortality in acute cases is very high. It affects birds over six weeks old. 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, and loss of appetite, mucoid discharge from the mouth or nostril among others.
Fowl Cholera cause, symptom and control
The disease is caused by pasteurella avicida, a microorganism that multiplies very rapidly in the blood causing poisoning. Sick birds, wild birds, human, animals or utensils transmit the disease.
The disease spreads very rapidly in a flock. There is yellowish colouration on birds’ droppings, which is followed by yellowish or greenish diarrhoea. Infected birds become droopy, feverish and sleepy. The birds also sit with the head down or turned backwards or rested in feathers about the wing.
Birds with acute type should be destroyed and burned. House should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Treatment with recommended sulphur drugs is effective. Ensuring there is no wet litter is important, which provides ideal conditions for coccidian.
Tips: Points to consider when selecting sites for poultry housing:
• Provision of dry, friable litter.
• Avoidance of key areas that can be patrolled by predators.
• Dark areas to be avoided except for nest boxes.
• In fixed house situations, either wire mesh or stones in areas immediately outside pop holes.
• Air quality (i.e. low ammonia levels, correct humidity, correct temperature and good ventilation) plays a crucial role in health management. The position of a house can influence ranging activity and bird health. Soil type and drainage are instrumental in determining the extent of build up of soil-borne parasites.
• Locating houses on free draining, flat, shady, south facing pasture is preferable in order to minimise the build up of internal parasites and coocidial oocysts and to ensure better retention of grass cover.
• Poultry houses should have windows on either side for ventilation. In addition a hole or ridge on the roof will ensure proper ventilation and give light making it easier to work in the house. Make sure winds ventilate the house without making chicken cold. Make sure that there are no draughts. Sitting houses should be placed at right angles to the prevailing wind slightly moderates the amount of wind entering the building through the pop holes.
• Ideally, houses should be positioned in the centre of the land area, where the hens or chicken should have access, so that a series of radiating paddocks can be created around the unit.
• Accessibility during all weather conditions is an important consideration.
• Range areas bordered by dense woodland are likely to be at greater risk from predation by foxes in particular. On the other hand, trees and bushes close to the houses provide shade, windbreaks and protect birds from flying predators. Clear grass and bushes for about 3 meters on all sides of the house to keep snakes and rats away.
• Use wire (chicken and mesh wire) on windows to avoid predators and wild birds.
• Secure premises near the family house. It is important to hear if the chickens get disturbed at night by predators or thieves.
• It can be relevant to select a site on which the poultry house faces South or East in wet regions. In a rectangular house the end walls should face East and West to ensure that only the end walls face the hot afternoon sun.
• Cheap locally available material can be very good, and natural materials like bamboo, wood, reeds, thatch grass or clay bricks will often give good protection against heat and cold nights.
• Remove the bark from the wood to reduce the parasites load. Parasite often hide beneath the bark.
• Heat, humidity, and harmful gasses may be considerably reduced through good ventilation. High temperatures may cause deaths, a drop in egg production, low shells quality and reduced weight gain. A combination of high temperatures and high humidity may cause death in young chicks.
• Placing perches and nests inside the house to safeguard chickens against various predators. Perches and nests will also help to keep chickens and eggs clean.
• Laying nests should be place in a quiet place in the house
• Make a house which is easy to clean, to protect against diseases and parasites the house must be easy to clean. It should be big
• Make the nests and perches easy to remove when cleaning
• If relevant because of disease outbreaks, houses or shelters can be sprayed with lime (or in some cases it can be necessary to use a vermicide) washed after cleaning to disinfect and kill parasite eggs from the walls and cracks. Place ashes on the floor and in the nests to discourage parasites.
• Night houses/shelters should be built on poles, well above the ground to protect the chicken from predators such as dogs, rats and snakes.
• Build your poultry house to prevent possible injury to the birds. Remove any sharp edged objects from the house.
• All chicken must have an outdoor run.