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Monday, 3 November 2014

7 Deadly Chicken Disease and Treatment ( Do It Yourself Treatment and Prevention Tips


Hey guys, welcome to farm wealth zone. In this article, i will be taking about the common disease that affect our chicken and some do it yourself treatment and prevention tips. Before I start putting down what I have for you today, I want to use this medium to apologies for not functioning so well on this blog, i have been kind of busy with my birds and farm but now am fully back with more knowledge and experience in farming most especially poultry farming.

There are over 150 chicken illnesses but i will be talking about the most common illness that affect our chickens. It is a rare chicken that will live its life and be entirely illness free, much the same as us or any other animal. i have come to realize that not all chicks you rare starting from day old chick survivals been full chicken, at least 1 or 2 will along the way.  Even with modern antibiotics and premixed medicated poultry rations, chickens still get sick, sometimes with fairly lethal diseases that can sweep quickly through a flock. I rely on my few hens for their eggs and want them to be healthy, for their sake and ours,  i started
digging around from experienced farmers and mentors the common illness that affect our hens.

The remedies we came up with is simple, cheap, easily available ingredients and methods that are surprisingly like those frequently in your first aid box at home. This article aims to provide some basic information about some common chicken illnesses, along treatment. Illness can easily be spread from wild birds and pests to your chicks, so keep an eye out during your daily health checks for the symptoms listed below.



1.                   Diarrhea    


Among the actual diseases that affect domestic fowl,   diarrhea is the most common. This condition is revealed by white or greenish. loose droppings. Some loose droppings are normal for chickens. Several times a day, a chicken passes sticky, smelly brown cecal poops that you may mistake for diarrhea. Droppings that look like cecal poops should make up no more than one-third of the droppings you see in the coop under the perches in the morning. A normal hen isn’t perfectly clean back there, but in a hen with a problem, the feathers are heavily pasted with dried yellowish poop, and the vent area may be red and sore-looking.  You can see a huge range of colors and consistencies in normal and abnormal chicken droppings.



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Causes:  Many things can cause hens to have diarrhea, and some of the most famous causes are intestinal worms and intestine parasites. I is also caused by cold, dampness, dirty surroundings and unclean food.

Cure: The following are do-it-yourself tips for dealing with chicken diarrhea. You’ll know within a week if your efforts are paying off. If the bird continues to decline despite your care, something sinister is going on; consider euthanasia and a postmortem.

•     If a small proportion of the flock is affected, isolate the patient in warm, dry quarters and give her potassium permanganate solution to drink. Birds with dirty vents may need to be housed individually in separate cages, because other birds like to peck at the raw area. If most of the flock is affected, leave the flock where it is and treat the whole flock.
•     Check the flock’s environment if it is clean and comfortable. Take steps to cool heat-stressed birds or dry out a wet pen. Clean waterers and provide fresh, clean water. Examine the diet. Did you feed something new? Check for moldy or spoiled feed. If you have any suspicions about the feed, change it, preferably to a fresh batch of a well-known brand of commercial layer feed.
•     Add two tablespoons of vinegar to each gallon of drinking water. Vinegar is a “Why not?” remedy. Some evidence suggests that organic acids like vinegar may improve gut health in poultry, and vinegar won’t hurt if you give it at the recommended dose. Any kind of vinegar will do Chickens don’t seem to notice it at this recommended dose.
•     How to make the above remedy: To make this remedy, dissolve one tablespoon of the chemical in one quart of warm water. Then, for each bird, take one tablespoon of this concentrated solution and further dissolve it in one cup of warm water. In severe cases use a stronger solution, potent enough to turn a dipped finger slightly brown. (Don't keep potassium permanganate mixture in a metal container.)
Another remedy for diarrhea is Epsom salts in the feed, half a pound per 100 birds or 1/2 teaspoon each. Then feed the sick chickens wheat bran moistened with sour milk or buttermilk.

 2.  Avian Pox/Fowl Pox

Avian Pox/Fowl Pox is a relatively slow-spreading viral disease characterized by skin lesions and/or plaques in the pharynx and affecting chickens. Infection occurs through skin abrasions and bites, or by the respiratory route. It is transmitted by birds, fomites, and mosquitoes (infected for 6 weeks).

The virus persists in the environment for months. It is more common in males because of their tendency to fight and cause skin damage, and where there are biting insects. The duration of the disease is about 14 days on an individual bird basis.


Symptoms: White spots on skin; combs turn into scabby sores; white membrane and ulcers in mouth, on trachea; laying stops; this illness affects both chick and chicken.
      
Causes: Viral disease; mosquitoes, other chickens with pox and contaminated surfaces.
                
Treatment: None. Flocks and individuals still unaffected may be vaccinated, Supportive care, warm dry quarters, soft food; many birds with good care will survive.
             

3.         Fowl Cholera 

Fowl cholera as suggested by the name is a disease that affects primarily fowl, such as chickens, turkeys etc.
It is a contagious, bacterial disease that affects domestic and wild birds worldwide. It usually occurs as a septicemia of sudden onset with high morbidity and mortality, but chronic and asymptomatic infections also occur. It is the most common pasteurellosis of poultry. Adult birds and old chickens are more susceptible.





Symptoms: Usually birds over 4 months — greenish yellow diarrhea; breathing difficulty; swollen joints; darkened head and wattles; often quick death.

Causes:
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: Many drugs are available to treat fowl cholera, such as sulphonamides, tetracyclines, erythromycin, streptomycin, penicillin. The disease often recurs after medication is stopped, requiring long-term or periodic medication.Improve sanitation. The bacterium is easily destroyed by environmental factors and disinfectants, but may persist for prolonged periods in soil. Possible infection factors may be rodents, cats and possibly pigs.

4.    Infectious Bronchitis

Infectious bronchitis is an acute, highly contagious disease of major economic importance in commercial chicken flocks throughout the world. It is usually characterized by respiratory signs, although decreased egg production and poor egg quality are sometimes seen in breeders and layers.Infectious bronchitis is a virus,  It’s transmitted by contact with infected birds, contact with contaminated equipment, and can travel over 1000 yards through the air.  The disease will infect a flock within 48 hours, and those birds that survive recover within 2 to 3 weeks.  
 
Symptoms: Gasping, coughing, and sneezing are symptoms displayed by birds. Infectious Bronchitis damages the reproductive organs of mature chickens, so although they may return to production six to eight weeks after contracting the disease, they may never produce well again.
.
Causes: Viral disease; highly contagious; spreads through air, contact, and contaminated surfaces.

Treatment: Survivors of infectious bronchitis are IB carriers, so the only way to eliminate it is to get rid of the flock, clean the pen or coop, disinfect everything, and start over.  IB is supposed to survive less than a week once off the birds, so the probability of eliminating it seems good.   The positive things I can say are that we learned a lot from our birds, they enjoyed an organic/free range existence, and we enjoyed them so much we do want to start over.  We’re drawn to the heritage Buckeye as the type of chicken to start over with


5.                Mareks Disease

This is a viral disease that affects poultry - it is very contagious and is a herpes virus. The virus tends to affect the nerves and cause tumors in internal organs. Poultry may be unable to lay eggs or may even die.

Young birds are more susceptible than older birds with death most common between the ages of 8 and 20 weeks. The virus may attack the nervous system and result in paralysis or it may attack the visceral system and cause tumors in the internal organs. Some birds may die without any obvious symptoms.

Symptoms: Affects birds under 20 weeks primarily; causes tumors externally and internally; paralysis; iris of eye turns gray, Progressive wing paralysis - less common , Loss of ability to stand,doesn’t react to light.

Causes: Viral disease; very contagious; contracted by inhaling shed skin cells or feather dust from other infected birds.

Treatment: None; high death rate and any survivors are carriers. - infected birds should be destroyed promptly in a humane way and other birds should be monitored for signs of the infection
             

6.   Moniliasis 

This condition is caused by a yeast-like fungus - a Candida organism, which is widely spread throughout the poultry producing areas of the world.
This condition is similar to trichomoniasis, Vitamin A deficiency, Wet Pox and T-2 toxicosis.

Symptoms: White cheesy substance in crop; ruffled feathers; droopy looking; poor laying; white crusty vent area; inflamed vent area; increased appetite.

Causes: Fungal disease; contracted through moldy feed and water and surfaces contaminated by infected birds. Often occurs after antibiotic treatment for other reasons.


Treatment: An antimycotic drug will control the infection. Addition of Nystatin (100 g/Ton) or copper sulfate (2-3 lb/Ton) to the feed for seven to ten days should control moniliasis.

Note: Many broad spectrum antibiotics will enhance this disease; therefore they should not be used until after control of this condition is completed
             

7.           Newcastle Disease

Newcastle Disease is caused by a virus. The first symptoms usually consists of respiratory distress and rasping followed in 1 or 2 days by a paralysis of legs and wings and bad down between legs or straight back over shoulders. 
In adult birds, loss of production along with some respiratory distress and paralysis after 4 to 6 days.




Symptoms: Wheezing, breathing difficulty, nasal discharge, cloudy eyes, laying stops, paralysis of legs, wings, twisted heads and necks.

Causes: 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 available: Yes, but the U.S. is working to eradicate the disease.


These are the  most common type of illness chickens do have.  If your chicken exhibits any combination of the above symptoms and you are concerned and wanting to treat the bird, you can start by remove the bird from the others and provide it with a clean, dry nesting material away from cold, wet and draughts with access to food and water. If your chicken is really cold and listless, I encourage giving them a warmth boost by popping them close to a heater or bulb. A sick chicken can use up to 60% of it’s energy trying to keep warm. Therefore, a warm environment is essential to helping a sick chicken recover, as it can then use it’s energy to fight the cause of illness (whatever that may be) instead of expending that energy by trying to keep warm.

                                                               PREVENTION TIPS

 The best cure of all is prevention;   simply knowing something in advance of your flock's needs can ward off a lot of trouble. Basically, chickens should be kept warm and dry, get plenty of exercise and eat a well-balanced diet . . .Hens left to roam will satisfy their dietary needs and busily keep the local bug population under control (just take care to protect the vegetable garden, because the birds also love young green stuffs).

Chickens, like all animals, are susceptible to worms. There are a lot of different brands of chicken/poultry or bird worming solutions, which are available from pet stores or wherever you buy your chicken food from. Follow the instructions on the label, most are small amounts that are measured and added to clean drinking water. Onions and garlic fed regularly are a natural preventative of any worms that might be thinking of a home in your fowls and sour milk or buttermilk mixed in their feed or drinking water will deter diarrhea.  Feet and droppings in food or drink are a potential source of infection when birds are confined, so equip your chicken house with feeders and watering equipment that force the biddies to observe sanitary table manners. Always make sure that new birds should be quarantined a few days before joining an existing flock and to control the spread of parasites and disease, hen houses and brooders should always be thoroughly washed at least once in two weeks.

During the winter, keep chicken house litter dry and exposed to air by scattering scratch feed around on it every day. This serves the added purpose of providing the hens with exercise so that they stay warm and healthy. On especially cold mornings try putting on the bulbs for source of heat.



If your chicken isn’t eating well and you are concerned, try to tempt them into eating anything. Porridge with honey, bread soaked in milk, moistened grain mix with honey, anything really. The name of the game here is to give them energy to make up for their weakness. If they eat again, the energy will be used for fighting the illness and having their movement restricted will help. If you are very keen and willing, there is a particular food combination referred to as the Ricketts Diet which may be more tempting for a sick chicken and give them an energy boost. The ‘recipe’ for the Ricketts Diets and further information will be found in my next article.

Feel free to leave a comment, and if you have any challenges, It is always an option to contact me with your issue/concern and i will try to help you as best i can.  don't hesitate to ask us questions, ask us any question we will gladly respond to you.
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